More importantly than solving a puzzle, is questioning its possibilities. It’s easy to define what sits in front of you, and to take the answers from the back of a book…or in this day and age, Google. But as artists, dancers, athletes and movement lovers we are more than just doers, we are also creative thinkers. So let’s rediscover these three words, which are Heart, Health & Happiness.
Can definitions ever be concrete? With the progression of time and the making of history, words develop new meanings, even if it is ever so slightly. Our definition of health has changed throughout time, what was once “good” has been deemed “bad” and vice versa. Everyone should have their own definition of health, and discover what it means to be healthy and happy on their own terms. More often than not, our own definitions do not align with the one-size-fits-all labels that media and society mark upon us.
Despite the ever growing influence of social media, there is a growing awareness and interest in exposing the diversity amongst body images and embracing the reality and rawness of the human body and mind. It is not about overhauling the current state of marketing and social media, but rather defining it for yourself.
Just as a work of art carries a voice and a message, there are brands and products with a mission and something greater than their manufactured parts. After all, these brands, companies and marketing campaigns were all started by people, and people have stories to tell. Nowadays we can listen to an array of stories from different backgrounds and lifestyles, encouraging us to write our own dictionaries to the words we once thought defined us. Turning our words into messages that project the reality of who we are, and the beauty in being uniquely diverse human beings.
So here are some products and brands that reflect our definitions of heart, health and happiness here at the Dancewear Centre.
Work-work-work-work-work-work, Rihanna says it right, our bodies and minds tire out and tense up after a hard days work. These three massage tools will become your best friends (…besides Ben & Jerry that is), we often forget about the health of our feet even though they provide the base and foundation of our anatomical structure. Give your feet a treat with Capezio Bunheads’ Footsie Massage Roller! For those power muscles that need a little lovin’, roll in the red carpet for Merrithew’s Deluxe Foam Roller. And for the spots that the foam roller can’t quite dig into, this perky pink Suffolk Rubber Massage Ball will knot disappoint…eh-hem I just couldn’t resist.
Capezio Bunheads’ Footsie Massage Roller:
- Footsie massage roller by Capezio Bunheads
- Relieves tension under your arches
- Helps smooth out knots
Merrithew’s Deluxe Foam Roller:
- Activate deep core muscles, improve balance and posture
- Made of top-quality closed-cell foam with a non-skid surface
- Excellent for myofascial release and for working out muscle knots with self-massage
Suffolk Rubber Massage Ball:
- 25 inches in diameter
- Perfect for releasing tension in muscles and soothing sore feet!
- Portable size to throw in your dance bag and carry with you for whenever needed
Not only is the set up of your practice space for mindfulness, meditation or yoga important, but the tools you use should also bring you peace of mind and a sense of style. Take your pick of these diversely zen yoga mats, our personal favourite is Yoga Design Lab’s Tropika Travel Yoga Mat.
Yoga Design Lab’s Tropika Travel Yoga Mat:
- Super lightweight and ultra foldable version of our Combo Mat designed to fold up and go!
- Use on it’s own or bring to class to cover over those oh-not-so-clean studio mats.
- Luxurious and absorbent sueded microfiber (made of recycled plastic bottles!) bonded to a natural tree rubber base gives you the sweaty grip of a towel and the cushion of a yoga mat. Machine washable. Carrying strap included. Feel good about the products you use
Madonna made the leotard a fashion trend, though not every young dancer could be convinced that this was “cool” (coming from the same person who wore a cone bra when even training bras would be scary at the age of 12). Once new styles and designs of leotards began to hit the stores, we started to embrace our inner Madonna, or I suppose for our time it would have been Lady Gaga, but going retro and making references to pop culture icons well before your time is a millennial trademark which we should wear proudly. When you look past the cotton, lycra and spandex, you will see that leotards are all about heart. The heart and passion of dancing and the art of expression can be seen in Basilica Dancewear’s Valentina Contrast Print Open Back Sleeveless Leotard.
Happiness comes from within and of course a few episodes of Modern Family. Being confident and happy in your own unique skin and your signature body and voice is one of the most powerful things you can wear. Know your style, your voice and express yourself the way you want. The possibilities are endless…and the world is your turf. Soft but powerful are these Rose Melange Squad Leggings by Aimn.
Black Stripe Reflective Leggings by Aimn:
- Full length leggings
- High and wide waist for extra support
- Moisture wicking properties
- Reflective lettering and features
Health can mean so many things, it can refer to our bodies, minds, relationships and the world at large. We can chose to take a microscope to test the minuscule details, or we can choose a telescope to look at the bigger picture…and sometimes we can take a kaleidoscope and look into the curiosities and wonderments of life. Hearts, I always knew them to be burning hot or cold, unfortunately it may not always be simple as that. Some loves and passions in life may remain forever, whilst others may change over time. Happiness is not always laughs and smiles, it can be tears too or it can be as still and stealthy as a quiet lake. It takes many shapes and forms, know your own happiness and wear it like no other. What do these three words of health, heart and happiness mean to you? Write to us in the comments section below, and let’s start the conversation towards creating messages of self definition!
About The Author
Melinda Gaskin is a contemporary dance artist, creative assistant and writer navigating the concepts of culture and identity construction. Born and raised in Toronto under both Eastern and Western influences, the questioning and curiosity of identification, culture and heritage were heavily embedded throughout her life. Melinda has an extensive background in contemporary dance choreography, performance and ballet pedagogy. She received her undergraduate training from York University, Canada's National Ballet School and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts Degree from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Having performed with Divine Heritage Artistry, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Zuni Icosahedron and Unity space, Melinda now works as a Creative Assistant for the Hong Kong based international experimental theatre company, Zuni Icosahedron.