This long weekend has been all about getting grounded and staying limber for what promises to be the trip of the year (the only trip, really), as I prepare to for a brief but full west coast adventure. Each year Serpentina North Ensemble gives the f-u to Toronto’s end of March chill for the lush and balmy-in-comparison land of Seattle for the Cues & Tattoos festival (last years post here). This will be my 4th year attending, and its special for a few reasons. First and foremost, the whole troupe is coming, which has never happened! All of us will perform on the Serpents Muse stage on the Sunday of the festival and of course take the fabulous workshops available over the weekend. Also, this years festival logo (shown below) was designed by Toronto’s very own artist/designer/illustrator Marion Green, who also created our troupe logo. She will be joining us for the festival too, look out for the purple hair and bangs and tell her how much you love your hoodie/tank top/festival swag!
Before Seattle, some of us will hit Portland for a show and we’ll take that opportunity to get a private troupe session with Paulette of Gypsy Caravan. Its been a couple of years since I’ve been to Portland so hoping to fit in Powell’s bookstore, Voodoo Donuts (vegan cock & balls donut, its a real thing) and *fingers crossed* a class at Datura.
From there, its a short bus ride to our hostel in Seattle and we rest up for the weekend ahead. The lineup is killer this year (as every year, really) at the festival. I’ve signed up for workshops with Mardi Love (both of hers, cause any chance I get to study with her is so valuable), Zoe Jakes, Sharon Kihara, Luciterra and Elizabeth Strong –who I saw for the first time on a small stage in San Fransisco in 2009 and am excited to finally learn from this wealth of dance knowledge and skill.
After Seattle, the troupe parts ways and I get on the train to Vancouver, to see more of the west coast and my Karma Teachers family. It will be my first time at the Karma Teachers mothership: the studio that offers all free and by donation yoga classes, and the teachers who trained me last summer in Toronto for my 200 hour yoga teacher training. I will be celebrating my birthday in Vancouver and I’m excited to spend it staying with dear friends, exploring new vegan eats and yoga yoga yoga…
I’ve had the luxury of some downtime before hitting the road tomorrow and this prompted me to think about self care (taking care of the bod pod, as my dance sister Shaila would say) before and during dance intensives or series of workshops. I’ve been sleeping 7-9 hours a night, skipping out on any late night adventures in favour of preparing the body for this all dance and yoga trip. Plenty of plant-based foods, water, adaptogen herbs (like ashwaganda/withania), good old vitamin D and daily yoga is the recipe that helps me feel optimal for the brain and body capacity required for intensives. And since this lady is an introvert (albeit a very social one), I have had enough alone time these past few days to get grounded before the whirlwind of people. It is super fun traveling with the troupe. We get more hangout time than usual, eat together, dance together, meet new people together.
Stay tuned for posts from the west coast adventure!