I am Michael Parra. I own and operate Volition Fitness. Here, on the wall of a cottage in San Francisco, I proudly display my certifications in Personal Fitness Training, Pilates and Yoga; but I am neither a physician nor a psychotherapist. I’m a generalist, someone with a philosophical bent, a broad liberal arts education and a lot of hard won skill in many classical disciplines. The dance studio is my laboratory and the place where I go to figure out life. I’m a teacher and a community theater director; and to my thinking, discovering purpose is a collaborative endeavor. You don’t have to be a dancer to benefit, comment or participate in the forum that I hope to create here. I welcome our conversation.
“Dance – the ritual of self-contemplation, hard physical labor
and the celebration of life.” – Myron Nadel.
MY STORY: I was a sickly, asthmatic and unpopular child who escaped an unhappy adolescence by vanishing into academia. There I excelled and found my self-esteem if not yet my voice. I dabbled in dance, but mostly it was a way to fill my scholastic unit load without incurring additional homework. In my twenty-fourth year, while attending my fourth university, I had an asthmatic episode that hospitalized me for a week and nearly killed me. On what I thought was my deathbed I decided to dedicate whatever time I had remaining to what I loved best – Dance. Today, as a former professional ballet dancer now in his mid-fifties, I call myself a Movement Educator. I’m the fabled Ugly Ducking turned Swan; and I figure that if I can do it, anyone can.