Vincent Mantsoe is a dancer and choreographer who performs all over the world. Growing up in the townships of South Africa, Vincent was exposed to the rhythms of dance early in life: his mother was a sangoma, or traditional healer. When he got older, he got excited about Michael Jackson and other pop musicians - they got him onto the dance floor - and his family spirituality kept him grounded. Also in this episode, Pam Rock's story for our listener series "Your Story."
Two years ago today, New Orleans lost one of its most legendary black Mardi Gras Indians: Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana. His son, Darryl Montana, is now carrying on the tradition - the fifth generation in his family to mask during Mardi Gras. Also on the show: a woman tells two love stories - how she fell in love with her husband, and how she fell in love with the lute. One led directly to the other.
On a dare from his work mates, Jonathan Trappe took his first balloon-powered flight two years ago, in his office chair. Hoisted by over 50 giant helium balloons, he sailed up to 14,000 feet, floating across the North Carolina countryside for over 4 hours.
Ann Nicholson lives in Florida, where she says she struggled to afford health insurance for her 12-year-old son, Tyler. Ann says Florida's limited KidCare Medicaid system gave her no option but to send Tyler to live with relatives in Georgia, where she found more affordable medical care for his blood disorder. Also on the show: teaching art in a communist system where students prize similarity.
Soldiers call it the Iraqi Crud, a lingering illness that many of them get and that some are linking to large pits where waste is burned on deployments. Dick Gordon talks with Captain Le Roy Torres about living and working under the plume of the burn pit, and how he copes with his illness.