Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Living Life To Its Fullest

A Woman who was instrumental in the Modern Dance world in Canada, and who I had the opportunity to work with for many years, passed away this last weekend.  

Rachel Browne you will be missed by many.  Your dedication to Dance as an art, your commitment to Dancers young and old and your passion for what you loved was felt by many people.

                                                     "Nothing Past The Swans"
                                                                       Choreographer: Tedd Robinson  1983ish

Every artist has his or her quirky ways and you were no exception. All the times in the studio when you would have your electric kettle close at hand for your tea, your baggies of food that you were always munching on, and your trademark sweatpants are memories that I will hold forever.  

The passing of Rachel has really made me think deeply about my own life and how each day passes too quickly.  How do we live life to its fullest while still doing the mundane every day things that are required.  How do we allow ourselves to wake up every morning with anticipation of what the day holds rather than dragging ourselves out of bed with a cloud of "how can I do everything that needs to be done" hanging over our head.

I think they both come hand in hand.  Not everyday will be completely filled with energy and joy.  But hopefully each day we can find at least a few moments when you just think to yourself, ahhhhh life is beautiful.  And then of course there are those days that are WOW its wonderful to be alive!  Those WOW days are the ones we need to remember and draw from for our otherwise down days.

And of course our yoga practice is the one constant that grounds us and brings us more of those ahhhh moments.  So do your yoga.

My personal story of Rachel Browne is when I finished my first year as a student at Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  My dream was to be a dancer and that company was the one I wanted to dance with.  Rachel was the Artistic Director at the time and she took me aside at the end of the year and told me I did not have it in me to become a professional dancer.  As you can imagine I was first crushed and then I got mad.  I came back the next year and worked my butt off to prove her wrong.  2 years later I was hired as a dancer in the company.   So thank you Rachel for lighting the fire under my bum so that I would work harder than I ever thought I could.  I think that was your plan anyways, to see if I had it in me to be a dancer.

Rest in Peace Rachel Browne.