Eva Ball

picture of eva ball

Eva is the Coordinator of Sexual Violence Response Services and Advocacy located in the Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE) in the Northwestern University Health Service; she joined NU in January 2012. Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, Eva has been working as a pro-consent activist throughout her career. Prior to joining the NU community, Eva worked and volunteering at Rape Victim Advocates, Chicago and is the founder of Sexuality Health Education to End Rape, a Chicago-based coalition formed to bridge the fields of Sexuality Health Education and Sexual Assault Prevention. Eva holds a master's in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago and BA from Earlham College in Richmond, IN. When she's not busy with pro-consent work, Eva loves to perform! She supported herself through graduate school working as a professional musician and continues to perform periodically today. Eva can be reached at e-ball@northwestern.edu, 847-491-2054 or by stopping in her office in Searle Hall 3.210 for confidential advocacy services.

'3 Minute Dance Parties'

I believe in 3-minute dance parties.

I used to work at a rape crisis center. I stayed late, came in on weekends and was awakened by 2 AM crisis-calls. I worked to make a positive difference, yet I knew I’d never be able to stop rape. Despite this conflict, or perhaps because of it, I had a relentless inner voice that told me I must try harder. I must do more. I must be a warrior for the cause. After years working in crisis intervention this voice became my overpowering inner monolog – a voice of judgment against others and myself but worst of all, a distraction that prevented me from being present in the moment.

Then 3-minute dance parties came to my rescue.

One Friday afternoon my exhausted colleagues and I concocted a plan. Once our clients and volunteers left the office we cranked the cheesiest guilty pleasure pop song we could think of and we danced!  It was so enlivening we made it a tradition. Together with N ‘Sync, Janet Jackson or Ace of Base, for about three minutes and 20 seconds every Friday we allowed our dorkiest and least judgmental selves to let loose. And for those three minutes my inner voice was quiet.  No more distraction. In spite of the traumatic things I’d witnessed I was joyful. I was present.  I found renewed optimism and energy for my work.

I am grateful to have a new job that is more compatible with my well-being. But it doesn’t matter if I work in a university, crisis center or retail store my inner voice still tempts me away from the moment with its burden of responsibility. My response to this temptation? I pull the blinds and dance by myself. Usually for no longer than 3 minutes -- but 3 minutes can make a big difference.