Tied to Each Other

My shoes are tied to you.

When I put the Tap shoes back in the baskets, I often tie the laces of each shoe to each other so they won’t get mismatched. Poetically, I am reminded of how two sea otters “hold hands” while sleeping so they won’t float apart during the night. Today, while gathering shoes from a class to put back in the basket, I noticed that I didn’t tie my shoes together. I thought about this after and decided that my shoes are already tied to every shoe in the basket. And just as they are also tied to the drum, the floor, my heart, and my mentors… in this continued poetic way… now my shoes are tied to you.

Recently, I have revisited a quote that once inspired me as an Environmental Science student in the 90’s said by Lilla Watson, an indigenous Australian/Murri visual artist and activist. “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” 

These words have taken on a new meaning for me because of the work that we do with THEY DANCE FOR RAIN. It is not “them dancing” and “us helping”. It is all of us woven together.  We are bound to each other through this often invisible thread of humanity. When we step outside of our comfortable places we must face our ignorances, insecurities, assumptions, privileges, and differences and find the courage to admit, accept and then embrace in order to create peace and real change. THEY DANCE FOR RAIN encourages this process… here in the U.S. and in Nairobi.

We look forward to returning to Nairobi for the month of January to continue strengthening the awareness of this thread through the process of making dance, photography, art and -most importantly maybe- meaningful relationships. Thank you for being a part in this process.

As we prepare the baskets for more Tap shoes, we have some loose ends to tie-up. $2000 must find it’s way to us in the next 45 days so we can complete our fundraising, focus on our objectives and be ready for our 5th residency in January.

If you have not given and want to, here is the link to make your tax-deductible donation online: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=9160

To mail a check written to FRACTURED ATLAS for THEY DANCE FOR RAINsend to: Stefanie Weber PO BOX 3094 Pittsfield, MA 01202 (I will email you a tax receipt after the donation is processed.)

If you have given already: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

We’ll be in touch again before we venture off. Until then, I hope this little note reminds you of the indestructible and eternal threads between us all.

Be well

They Dance For Rain is a Fractured Atlas fiscally-sponsored project founded/directed by Stefanie Weber in collaboration with fine arts photographer Monika Pizzichemi and project assistant Josephine McDonald. 

Listen to my interviewabout Tap Dancing,They Dance For Rainand our fundraiserSOFT SHOE BOOMwith Jason Velázquez of The Greylock Glass. Become a patron of Jason’s information-packed Berkshires-only podcast here.(photo by Monika Pizzichemi)
Thank you to all the amazing artists, cooks, performers, volunteers and patrons of SOFT SHOE BOOM! It was certainly a night to remember!  Special thanks to Ghazi Kazmi & The Whitney Center for The Arts, Dana Bixby Architecture andDiane Firtell Designs.  (photo by Michael McKay)
Here is a list of some things we are in need of in case you see Santa: 
  • used laptop or macbook
  • used/unlocked iPhones
  • cameras
  • AA batteries
  • ped socks/shoe liners
  • Tap shoes
  • Tap dvds+books
Visit our Vimeo Album to see some of the edited videos from our work between 2012-2015.

Copyright © 2015 Creatures of Habitat, All rights reserved.

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December 5th Jazz Dance


Dance artist Stefanie Weber will deliver a soulful menu of -what are now- classic Jazz dance techniques: isolations, hinges, footwork, and moving phrases. Experience a seamless blend of detailed choreography and freestyle movement that feels both invigorating and at times effortless. While combining fluidity and grace with bold accents and style, this class is for those that have something to express from deep within their bones.

Musical accompaniments will range from Billie Holiday to PJ Harvey, John Lee Hooker to The White Stripes, Duke Ellington to Michael Jackson. Wear Jazz shoes, sneakers, or go barefoot. It’s up to you, just be prepared to strut, spin and slink.

Stefanie Weber has been studying movement, making dances and performing since childhood. Her passion for dancing has taken her throughout the US, to Canada, Cuba, Spain, and Kenya and always back to her native Pittsfield. She brings a wealth of dance experience in many forms including: Traditional and Modern Jazz, Rhythm Tap, Ballet, Modern, Afro-Cuban, West African, Middle Eastern and Somatic forms such as Butoh, Continuum and Gyrotonic.

Class cost is the usual $10 for this one-time special event.

Soft Shoe Boom!

Soft Shoe Boom Flyer

Buy tickets online: https://www.artful.ly/store/events/7168

Reserve tickets (cash/check): TD4Rkenya@gmail.com

Calling all creatives!


They Dance for Rain is partnering with artists of all media for “Soft Shoe BOOM!” An evening of art, dance, performance, food, fun and an UnSilent Auction of your artwork inspired by the Tap Shoe!

This evening benefits They Dance For Rain programs in Nairobi, Kenya.


You get:
-A tap shoe for inspiration. (You may keep it or return it.)
-Your work on the walls/floor of the Whitney Center for the Arts for the month of October, 2015.
-Two receptions.
-50% of the sale price of your artwork (or you can choose to make a 100% donation to They Dance for rain)
-The chance to be part of TD4R’s work to inspire new Tap Dancers in Nairobi, Kenya and improve the lives of others.
-Artwork due Sunday, September 27
-Show Dates Oct 1- 30
-First Friday Artswalk Friday October2, 5 – 8pm
-“Soft Shoe BOOM!” Saturday October 24, 7pm


Contact Monika at td4rkenya@gmail.com for details and to get a tap shoe.


They Dance for Rain is a dance-making project in Nairobi Kenya working with various arts-for-social- change organizations with dance and photography. They Dance For Rain began in 2011 when dance artist Stefanie Weber raised funds to bring along a duffle bag of donated Tap Shoes with her to Nairobi for a visit to a good friend. Since then the project has grown into an annual residency that boasts of being the most artfully documented, organized and sustained introduction of Rhythm Tap Dance in Kenya and possibly East Africa.


They Dance For Rain is directed by Stefanie Weber in collaboration with fine-arts photographer/artist Monika Pizzichemi and project assistant and tap dancer Josephine McDonald.


Tap & Blues in Arlington and Otis

Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington, MA August 8th, 8p

Knox Trail Inn, Otis, MA, August 15th, 7:30p


A Taste of Iranian Dance Arts

Join us for an introductory workshop in Iranian folk and classical dance with Iranian dance artist Sheila Eghbali. Demystify Iran and gather appreciation for the diversity of Iranian Dance. Sheila will draw from ancient dances from the majestic courts of ancient Iran, connecting mind, body and spirit. Come to dance or just observe and learn. 

Proceeds benefit They Dance For Rain (TD4R) programs in Nairobi, Kenya. With this event, TD4R seeks to reveal truth, beauty and joy and promote peace through the process of engaging others in the dance arts. In this local event (US) we want to connect change makers in the dance arts with communities in need of fresh perspectives on relevant global issues and relationships. 

In Kenya, we work with arts for social change organizations in creating Tap Dance programs for impoverished youth and professional contemporary dancers. We document everything and our photography illuminates a need for more artful image making in global society.

Iranian dance artist Sheila Eghbali is internationally recognized, the director of the International Iranian Dance conferences (IIDC) and Artistic Director of the Iranian Dance Arts based in Boston, MA. Coming to us with 24 years of experience, Eghbali trained in Iran in classical and folk dance and has been teaching for over 15 years along with only a handful of others from the Iranian/Persian community in the US. She is currently the only known Iranian dance artist in the US teaching and performing both folk and classical dances with a focus on authenticity.

Participate in the dance for $30 by pre-registering or $35 at the door.

Observe and learn by listening and watching for $15 by pre-registering or $20 at the door.

Groups of 4 or more may contact us for reduced rates.

or 413.281.6734

Creatures of Habitat Artifacts from Kenya will be for sale and yummy sweet Persian treats available for your belly.

All levels of interest are welcome to attend and participate. Advanced dancers please contact us for further study opportunities with Sheila but please do join us on the 21st


Body in Focus: Exhibition of Videodance


Stefanie Weber’s Creatures of Habitat Physical Poetry Public Performance Project announces screening of two short films, Factory Secrets and Release Me, But Don’t Let Go, from Auto Mobile Body Works at the 1st International Exhibition of Videodance in Porto, Portugal on May 1st 2015 at 4p.  The screening is part of the 17th NORTE Festival de Dança.

Factory Secrets explores the depth of expressions inherent and ignored in the often limited view of the female body as presented often as un-moving two-dimensional commodity or  sexualized object via misogynist or pornographic juxtaposition-ing. The female body moving here tells a story of resistance, empathy, grief, and self-realization. It illuminates the natural beauty and emotion that movement exhibits.

Release Me, But Don’t Let Go, utilizes a pair of moving female legs/feet in various associations with gravity and space to tell the ancient stories of longing, conflict, jubilance, harmony, death and rebirth while in relationship to other.

Release Me, But Don't Let Go, Easthampton, MA. 2014.  photo by Monika Pizzichemi

Release Me, But Don’t Let Go, Easthampton, MA. 2014.
photo by Monika Pizzichemi

This is the first time the films will be screened indoors for a seated audience. The films were originally designed to be projected onto outdoor surfaces for passer-bys or as part of the entire live performance production of Auto Mobile Body Works.

Film credits include camera, direction and production by Stefanie Weber, editing and additional production support by Michael Sinopoli of Greylock Productions in Lee, MA and music by Thomas White/Electric Soft Parade in Brighton, England.

Factory Secrets, 14th St, NYC. photo by Diane Firtell 2014.

Factory Secrets, 14th St, NYC. photo by Diane Firtell 2014.