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Travelling to India at 19. Chapter Two: From Turkey to the Border of India

Chapter Two: From Turkey to the Border of India

Turkey & Iran

Leaving Istanbul, and the speed in which I left, was not optional. 

I needed to get out of Dodge and fast, so jumping on the mini bus to Goa was, to me, the only real and safe thing to do. Having virtually no time to choose meant a whole lot of surprise and mystery lay ahead.

First off, I had no idea who the owners of the bus were, having had only a short exchange with them- my pleading for a spot. Turned out, they were a German twenty-something hippie couple with a close male friend. They always sat in the front of the bus with the boyfriend driving, and his girlfriend sitting between the two men.

Travelling to India at 19. Chapter One: Istanbul

Dear Beauties,

I am about to tell you a story. A life changing story and one I have carried with me for almost 40 years! This story is my journey from Toronto, to Europe, the Middle East, India, Nepal and back home to Toronto. Since this is a very long story, with lots to tell, I am going to share it in chapters. I am writing this from my head, so details are blurry at times, but I trust that what is alive in me will be enough to give you a taste.

Warning- Some of this may not be easy to hear, but it’s the truth.

Vanya offered DOWH at Burning Man, August, 2012.

What a coup to have Dance Our Way Home offered at one of my favourite creative festivals on this planet, Burning Man, in the Nevada desert! Thank you, Vanya, for your courage to create a wonderful space for women to play in. Here are the pics:

Burning Man       Burning Man  


Burning Man        Burning Man


Dancing the Heat Wave, 2nd posting by Vanya


Dancing the Heat Wave

My across Canada, dancing journey continues and I am pausing here in Hope, BC to write a little update on where my dancing feet have landed over the last two months. 

After conducting workshops in Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay, Ontario I found myself in the middle of the country and in the middle of a sky rocketing heat wave!  Winnipeg, Manitoba is often described as the belly button of Canada and I found myself quite exhausted after the first week of long drives in Northern Ontario.  However hot, Winnipeg became a resting place and a city that opened up many unique adventures and encounters with soul-enriching folks who were ready to dance!

Dancing My Way Across Canada!, a special posting by Vanya


Dancing My Way Across Canada!

Born and raised in Sault Ste Marie, I have decided to start here on my cross Canada tour with Dance Our Way Home! It has also given me a chance to help my Mum plant her garden and get organized for the 3 month car trip ahead.

I have been conducting workshops up here in Sault Ste Marie all month and it has been quite a learning experience being away from Toronto. Torontonians are so used the "workshop culture" and up here it is quite rare to spend 2 hours (and to pay for it!), doing a workshop just for the joy of it! I have met some incredible folks up here who are longing for DOWH and other holistic practices to really blossom in northern Ontario. Everything just happens a lot slower here. For example, there weren't even yoga studios here 7 or 8 years ago (now there are a couple)!

Changing Woman is doing her magic!

Beautiful women,


Thank you to all who have been so generous of heart, to share their feedback and hopes and dreams for DOWH.  Because of YOU, DOWH has a new approach to dance and community of mutually shared, ever-widening and deepening experiences. 


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Summertime on my hammock, dreaming up "Sundays with the Muse".

Dear friends,
I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. Ya, I know it hasn't been particularily hot and it definitely has been wet here in Toronto, but I am still grateful for this time, regardless. Summer is my season and I am not going to complain!
For me, as long as it's warm enough to throw a sarong around me, and to curl up in my hammock in the backyard, I am a happy camper.  I love my quite time on the hammock. It's my summer "ME" time -- a sweet sanctuary from the to-do list, chores, emails and responsibilities, where I can intentionally dream and muse in a calm, receptive space of creative flow. During one of my hammock-lounging moments, a beautiful idea came to me.

BLOSSOMING: from mystery, to seed, to bud, to bloom.

On Sunday, May 31, I was utterly blessed to be in the presence of 36 beautiful and brave women as we gathered together to explore a Blossoming Ceremony of movement, art, relaxation and ritual.


Dancing in Beauty

Dear friends,

Sunday's Extended 'Pay-what-you-can' DOWH Workshop, for me, felt like an urban oasis or retreat. I have been smiling with joy for days with the wonderful and luscious memories of fabulous Brazilian drumming by Guiomar Campbell, fluid flute playing by Laura Nashman, and all the beautiful women dancing themselves out of the cave.  We represented maiden, mother and crone. We played. We laughed. We bonded. We opened to the moment, together, in peace and friendship. I am ever so grateful. One of the shining women present was Brenda Clews.  She weaves magic with her poetry and words.  Below is what flowed out of her, inspired by Sunday's movement medicine. Thank you, Brenda! Thank you to all dancing women, everywhere!!!

Joyous Flesh

Dear friends,

Another week as flown by in a flurry of busy-ness. I am thankful that I have a practice that reminds me to slow down and appreciate my own flesh, breath and energy. I am ever so grateful that women come and dance with me, so I can participate in this magical collaboration.