Run for Life

By: Shannon Shull

At the end of last year, 2011, I had the honor of doing an ‘acting for dance’ workshop with CCPAC – Central Carolina Performing Arts Center’s award winning dance company, Central Carolina Dance Force.  When I was working with these dancers, head choreographer Hiliarie Covington asked if I wouldn’t mind watching one of their pieces.

I had the great honor of watching a raw version of a piece called “Run for Life,” a song by Melissa Etheridge.  I was incredibly touched by the piece and was not the only one in the room choked up and wiping away tears after I’d watched the dancers. These young women all danced with utter passion, because they each have had an experience with cancer in some way. Nowadays, most unfortunately, we’ve all been touched by cancer in some form or fashion, whether we’ve lost a loved one to the cancer beast, have helped aid someone in their battle against cancer, or have battled it ourselves.

This song was always touching to me before I’d seen this dance piece. I have always been a fan of Melissa Etheridge and even had the honor of interviewing her twice when I was working in Los Angeles. I interviewed her before her own diagnosis with cancer and had the privilege of interviewing her after her battle when she was in remission.  Both times she was positively beautiful, humble, attentive, passionate and kind.

Long story short, the dance piece inspired me so much that I knew right then and there that I wanted to make it into something bigger – I knew that it could touch people’s lives.  I immediately had a vision of a music video production for this piece.  It took months to make it happen, but despite scheduling difficulties, production details and such, it just all beautifully fell into place. Was obviously meant to happen!

And now I have the honor of sharing it with you! To see this vision of mine come to life is a little dream come true and I truly hope that it can be used in many positive ways – to touch people’s lives and to help raise money for Relay for Life.

The video starts out with special interviews that explain the passion behind the project. Please watch until the very end and take note of the credits and note everyone involved. A big thank you goes out to my amazing sister, Chelsea Vaughan Parler, who shot and edited the video, to Hiliarie Covington, all the dancers and their families. I adore you all! I consider it an absolute honor to have produced this piece and be a part of something so special that will hopefully touch people’s lives and fill their spirits with strength! Please do share!

Filming "Run for Life"

Chelsea and I Getting Footage

Chelsea Gets Close Ups - These Dancers Performed the Piece Over 20 Times in a Row!

Choreographer Hiliarie Covington Watching Filming with her Precious Daughter

May you Run for Life – and carry laughter, love, faith and hope in your heart.

Here’s to the Survivor in us all!

“Run for Life” by Melissa Etheridge

It’s been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She’ll tell you it makes her complete

[Chorus:]
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me, my friend
I run for life

It’s a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body

But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I’m still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I’ll tell you I run for us all

[Chorus:]
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister, your daughter, your wife
For you and me my friend

I run for life
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

4 thoughts on “Run for Life

  1. As a nurse in the ER at LMC and sister of a breast cancer survivor I can proudly say this is my daughter’s dance company. They are a great group of kids who have a passion for dance and others.

  2. Shannon, absolutely beautiful. I am so blessed to have known Mark DeLoach before and during his battle with cancer. He was absolutely one of the FINEST men I have ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with. Thanks to you and every single person involved in this project for not only honoring the memory of Mark, but any man, woman, or child who has been affected by cancer.

  3. What a beautiful tribute! My daughter Marissa started dancing with CCPAC 5 years ago. Debi and Hiliarie started with a three year old that cried at her first recital and sat on mommy’s lap during the studio’s open house. She is now very devoted to her tap and ballet……and is extremely confident within herself as a dancer. Thank you Ms. Debi and Hiliarie for believing in my daughter…..Thank you Shannon Shull, Hiliarie, and all the dancers that put this together….and especially to Marissa’s cousin Beth Hall for your tribute to Mark. Beth…..You are such an inspiration….I am so proud of your passion for dance.

    Jennifer Spradley

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