The Elephant Project

            Moving toward wholeness…

Jump and land and splat and crumble. 

No wait. Crumple. Or crumble. 

Doesn’t really matter, but keep in mind, they really do mean different things.

–Angela Yetzke


I am a breast cancer survivor. Following my 2017 surgeries, I wrote a poem entitled “How to Move the Truth” to start the work of reclaiming, restoring, and re-imagining my body (excerpt above). At the same time I learned of a communal practice in female elephants in which they surround and protect a distressed, ill or pregnant sister, kicking up dust and trumpeting until she is no longer vulnerable. I began to envision breast cancer patients and survivors as vulnerable elephants, surrounded by dancers moving the images of my poem.


The Elephant Project seeks to promote holistic recovery through movement.

PHASE 1 – Movement-based Mindfulness with Heather Vaughan-Southard

Spring, 2020: Movement workshops for West Michigan individuals affected by breast cancer (along with their families and caregivers) and healthcare providers interested in holistic recovery through movement.

Learn more about workshop facilitator Heather Vaughan-Southard at

Participating organizations:

To request more information, please visit the “Contact” page. 

PHASE 2Ten original dance works by ten choreographers on the themes of fragility, trauma, loss, and body image. 

2018 – 2021: Works presented globally for stage and community outreach.

Participating Choreographers:

Alicia Chesser Atkin, Tulsa, OK,

Alexandra Beller, NYC, NY

Emma Draves, Chicago, IL

Stephanie Rankin, Chicago, IL  

Sharon Marroquinn, Austin, TX,

Ashley Allen, Long Beach, CA

Rosely Conz, Alma, MI, presenting in Brazil

Katja Buchtemann and Sandra Adiarte, Germanyüchtemann

Irina Paiuk and Sharon Gidron Peskin, Israel

To request more information, please visit the “Contact” page.

PHASE 3 – Screen-dance and documentary created by Mexican choreographer-filmmaker Ana Baer.

2021: Screen-dance release

2022: Documentary release, to include screen-dance, Phase 2 workshop footage and participant interviews, and resources on holistic recovery through movement, specifically Martha Eddy’s Moving for Life and the work of Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre

Learn more about choreographer-filmmaker Ana Baer at

To request more information, please visit the “Contact” page.


Dad Quote #196 – “Somehow, Some Way”