In Colorado we worked down town Denver with the many homeless men and women who have to call the streets their home. We also worked in the universities there as well as in the prisons.
At one of the largest correctional facilities in Colorado, we performed two shows in the yard. This was in the summer and it was so hot my dad got bad heat stroke and we almost were not able to stay for the second one. But the organize told us that the next group were all guys serving a life sentence and that they had been looking forward to this for a long time. We were able to get some water and cool down in air-conditioning and able to kick it out for the next show. By the time the let the men out into the yard, the sun was setting and a full moon was rising. There were around 500 men who sat on the grace in front of us and it was just a beautiful night. As I danced my Irish step dance under a full moon, with a cool breeze and 500 men clapping to the beat, I thought to myself, this is what life all about.
My favorite part of every performance we do, is when we get to talk one on one with the guys, shake their hands and hear their stories. We work with a lot of inmates who are serving a life sentence. So many stories of injustice that just break your heart.
There are a lot of guys who committed a crime at 16, and are serving life without parole. I mean think about yourself at 16! The brain is not even fully developed at that age and highly influenced by our circumstances. Many stories were of mistakes that ended in tragedy. One guy I talked to was defending his little sister from someone who attacked her. His punch accidentally killed the guy and he’s in for life.