“Dancing is a part of who I am. It’s my way of expressing a part of my soul I never even knew existed.” Alessandra

It’s about finding that place of Oh and awe.

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It was called the Unsound Surf Pro Competition and competitors came from near and far to display their ability, their agility…and maybe win some cash.

The contest was held Sept. 13th through the 17th, I was there the last two days of the event.

The sky was cloudy for the most part, the surf was up even though hurricane Jose had not yet reached offshore Long Beach, New York.

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There were many photogs alongside me as I expected. But as I shot the surfers I was surprised to see a young lady pass in front of me wearing a flannel shirt, a hat and a back pack. She shouldered a hula hoop.

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Soon I spotted her way off to my right, wearing a bit less and showing her own capabilities.

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Her performance kept me scanning my camera back and forth from sea to shore. And after a while I couldn’t help but see her as riding curls of music on the Long Beach sand just as the surfers rode their waves.

I think what was before me on this sandy strip of Long Island was the confluence of people plumbing their hearts, doing  what they love…just for the love of it.

I think too that I was not only witness to this coming together but maybe a bit of a part of it.

As these wave gliders rode the hills and valleys of the sea, this dancer whirled across the sand whipping her hoop around her as she did.

And there I was shifting my lens back and forth in the sea air, anticipating the burst of surfer action above a sea crest or the graceful whirls of the beautiful dancing dervish.

My long lens schussed left and right, not unlike the sea boards cutting the sea nor the shifting hips of the sand dancer keeping her hoop in orbit. We were capturing moments, capturing our pleasure, capturing a splash of life…together.

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A bit about the hula dancer, Alessandra: She’s been dancing since three years of age, surfing for the last seven years. She loves dancing. She told me, “Dancing is a part of who I am. It’s my way of expressing a part of my soul I never even knew existed.” Alessandra can be found on Instagram:@longbeachhulagirl

I think we were all where we needed to be that mid September day, doing the things that we love and loving the things that we do. In doing those things we perhaps bring a bit of beauty into this troubled world:

“It seems to me that something is beautiful when it is loved. If I love what I make then I will try to make it well. And if I make it well enough it will attract others too and perhaps they will come to love it also. If they then tell me that this is so, a circle has been completed and everyone has been nourished.” (Ray Lynch, composer and artist of, “The Oh of Pleasure”, the music in my video below.)

Yes, I think we all have the capability of nourishing ourselves and each other by finding that thing, that place, of Oh and awe. That thing of beauty and passion and love that counterbalances the world’s ills.

May we all find the Oh, in our pleasure, the awe in life, and love it…just for the love of it.

My music photo video, Surfing…Pleasure:


For a post with still another beach hula girl see:

Be well,





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