Truth’s first belt dance video!
Richard Simmons’ first song on the record was called “Wake Up and Breathe” and the lyrics from that song are still embedded deep inside my head to this very day.
When my friends came over, I made them do aerobics with me in my living room as I led them into different aerobic movements along with Richard Simmons. And years later when I was a teenager, a show called THE TWENTY MINUTE WORKOUT aired on TV, and I did it every day.
I loved it so much that I recorded the audio from one of the shows onto a cassette tape so that I could do it in my room on the days that I missed the show! And then when it was no longer on TV, I kept doing the routines along to my cassette tape.
Aside from my 4 years in university (where I studied Fashion Design), I have always loved and participated in aerobics classes. One day I thought to myself “why don’t I just become an instructor? That way, I could be paid to work out!”
So, that’s what I did! I became an aerobics instructor and taught at a nearby community centre twice a week, and eventually at a real gym. I taught aerobics for 14 years straight. It was genius because when you are an aerobics instructor, you get a FREE GYM MEMBERSHIP! And, you get paid to work out! I loved it.
I learned the importance of extra curricular activities. They keep you sane in your day job and allow you to forget about your problems for a short amount of time. It’s a great way to reduce stress.
Richard Simmons, I pay homage to you because you influenced me BIG TIME!!!!
I love your enthusiasm, courage and silliness. I hope I can meet you in person. If you ever read this, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can chat. We should do dinner one day!
I emailed Richard Simmons in 2010. I told him my story and I recited the lyrics to “Wake Up and Breathe”. He then sent me a post card with a hand written note, which said, “Never give up on being you, Love Richard”. I have that post card hanging on my cork board at work, and you can see it at the top of this blog.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I am telling you all about Richard Simmons. What does Richard Simmons possibly have to do with vegan fashion?
Well believe it or not, this all led up to how the Seva Dance Video came to be!
Movement and music are a huge part of who I am, so doing a dance video to one the coolest Truth belt styles simply had to be done. Aerobics is all about routines. I love that. If you were a friend of mine in my late twenties to early thirties who went camping with me, I would have forced you to do synchronized swimming routines with me in a lake. Or, in a public pool in downtown Toronto.
When you like aerobics you also like dance. I started to learn Salsa while I was in university and fell in love. In my thirties I discovered Lindy Hop and dove deep into the world of swing dancing. I later tried another type of swing dancing called West Coast Swing where I made a lot of great friends. I still do this dance today…. (March 2020).
It was these friends who agreed to be in the Seva Belt Dance Video.
The first stage of this idea was to come up with music and lyrics. I had the melody and words floating around in my head, so I contacted my good friend Parvati who is a extraordinary musician and asked for her help. She agreed!
I had planned out exactly how many beats were in the jingle. She was an expert! It was fascinating to watch her bring all of the sounds and pieces of the music together like a pro. Parvati, her boyfriend Rishi and myself did the singing. In just under 3 hours the entire jingle was complete! It was a pleasure to watch her at work in her studio.
The next stage was the shooting of the video. My personal trainer at the time, Johnathan Zorbas was doing short films on the side of his personal training career, and as it turned out, film was his passion! After hearing about my idea for the dance video, he offered to shoot and edit it in exchange for the use of my photography studio! How lucky is that? (Thanks universe!)
The last stage was getting my swing-dancing friends together which was easy because they are the type of people who really don’t need any reason to dance! They were in! I had planned out what everyone was to do.
One week before the set date for our video shoot, Jonathan and I did a test run. We used that as a guide to teach the dancers the moves. I planned a BBQ / video shoot party and we went for it! It was a lot of fun. A couple of months later, the editing was complete and BAM…. Truth’s first belt dance video. The first of many…
Check out the video and let us know what you think!