skip #1: The inaugural skip 02.07.13

Skipping Club Madison Square Park

It was my very first Skipping Club meeting, and I had convinced (begged) a few of my friends to be my skipping Guinea pigs. “Please please come! I will be so sad if you don’t!!!” In my iPhone notes, The Inaugural Skip was fully detailed out in a plan with talking points, activities, music cues, a mile long route and a smiley face. Ever since I dreamt up Skipping Club exactly one week prior, I had been falling madly in love with the concept behind it. I couldn’t wait to share it with the world!

Or like, four people.

skipping-circle

Donning the brightest leggings my closet, my pink bob wig and my ::magic:: glasses du jour, I was off and skipping to the North Circle of Madison Square Park for the very first Skipping Cub. My heart raced with excitement, as I skipped to the subway with my brand new see-through neon-pink backpack from American Apparel, and out of it, Azealia Banks blasting from my sleek new JBL Bluetooth speaker.

As I arrived at the North Circle, I heard somebody running up behind me. I turned around and he stopped, our eyes meeting. “Hi! I had to stop you. I love your outfit, your everything! Can I take your picture?” he asked.

I have never said no to a picture. “And then you should come skipping with us!”

“Skipping?”

“Yes, I started a Skipping Club and today is our first meeting!”

As it turns out, this wasn’t any old street photographer. This was the photographer I had been wishing to find me for over a year. This was the photographer behind my favorite page on all of Facebook. This was Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York.

Of all the times, days and places I could have picked to start Skipping Club, it was in exact alignment with Brandon’s. And the stars. And this was the result:

Michelle-Joni-Inaugural-Skip

I had never been more ready to lead a skip in my life.

Michelle-Joni-Skipping-Club-Inaugural-Skip

After my big intro, a few improv games (it’s all about saying YES!)… we did and a hands-in: 1, 2, 3… PAINT THE STREETS!

michelle joni skipping

I hit play. “I Got The Magic In Me” blasted from my backpack, and we were off. I was being carried by something other than my feet.

I fluttered through the park, and felt pure joy and creation. People in the park smiled  and nodded us along. Construction workers stopped in their tracks to clap and high five as we passed. A bunch of people even joined in with us for a few seconds here and there, swept up in our energy.

I winded my skipping entourage from Madison Square Park to Union Square, stopping for surprise breaks along the way.

Michelle-Joni-Skipping-Club-Inaugural-Skip-Photos

After a fortified mind-body workout, we winded down to the tune of “All You Need Is Love,” joining hands and vibrating from the energy of our own making.

I took us into our final destination: City Bakery. February was Hot Chocolate Month, where every day was a new flavor of Hot Chocolate. As we sipped our creamy treats, I got feedback. This was part of the deal! You MUST be honest and give me all your feedback.

“I loved it,” said my friend Justine. “At first when we started I was actually embarrassed. I walk my dog at the park all the time and was afraid for someone I know to see me. But after a minute or so, watching how much you didn’t care about judgement, made me loosen up and do the same. Who cares if they saw me! That was fun!”

Michelle, who took nearly all the photos here, was pleased with how class-like it was. “People are totally going to come to this! Just slowwww it down, and we need more frequent stops.” Noted.

Hanna, who I had actually met just the night before at a restaurant, her response speaks for itself: She was a loyal member till the very end, coming every week she was free.

Gene-Manuel Whirling’s response? Apparently I’m a WONDER GODDESS!!!!!!!

One Skipping Club down, and things were already falling into place.

I’d like to call it Skippingdipity.

 

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