A look at life as a dancer

sarah-navarrette You may have seen her cool style and daring jumps in our recent yoga and dance campaigns. Her name is Sarah Navarrete. She’s a dancer with brilliant talent who makes our days on set more fun, especially when she’s playing around with fellow dancer friend, Kenna Crouch. Sarah recently moved from the California coast to the Lone Star State of Texas to join a prestigious dance company. We got to catch up with Sarah to get a closer look at her life as a dancer and what that means to her. You'll see why we adore Sarah...

Tell us about your younger days - where did you grow up and when did you start dancing?

I grew up in El Paso, Texas. It's right on the border of Juarez, Mexico, which may seam scary given the violence that struck the area during the height of the drug wars, but it’s actually a sweet and humble place to grow up. I first started dancing through gymnastics when I was about 6. I was a little too lanky and awkward to go far with it. Then I found modern dance in high school and we've been going steady ever since.

Tell us a little about the dance company you are with and what will you be doing with them?

ARCOS Dance is a contemporary company that combines choreography, theater, sound design, music, and interactive media to push past the lines that separate artistic disciplines and to innovate new forms of performance. We are based out of Austin, Texas. I just started dancing with the company this Fall, and it's safe to say that I've completely fallen in love with this group of artists. The work is innovative, full of complexity and intrigue, which makes my role as a dancer incredibly satisfying. The company has also provided a platform for me to explore photography, film and other disciplines I'm interested in, beyond dance.

What is your favorite music to dance to and why?

Now that depends purely on what kind of dancing mood I'm in, but you can bet I'll probably be jamming out to either something instrumental, perhaps a little dark - and I like a driving beat, classical piano or something playful that has soul. Michael Wall is by far my favorite artist to dance to. He's a musician/composer who's basically committed his life's work to making music scores specifically for movement. He's absolutely brilliant and he comes out with new albums almost monthly, check out Sound for Movement.

What is your morning ritual?

Well, I actually don't have a ritual - each day is quite different. Sometimes I'll go for a quick jog. I'm not a runner, I just have a lot of energy in the morning and getting my heart rate up first thing is invigorating. I need coffee… well, I don't NEED coffee (as I mentioned, I naturally have a lot of energy) but I LOVE coffee, so that will undoubtedly happen. Right now I'm a French press kind of gal, but I'll do a Cortado if I'm at coffee shop. Breakfast usually happens too, another one of my loves. I like to get my conditioning done in the morning so I'll usually take a Pilates or yoga class, followed by a dance class and/or rehearsal, depending on the day of the week. I like my mornings to be pretty active.

What is dance to you?

It’s funny, I was recently asked this and I thought to myself well, I don't think I've ever defined that in words? You see, we dancers are used to communicating more through body and energy rather than written word. So I took some time to write it out and here's what I came up with: Dance is a language that can transcend our imagination beyond what words could. It’s knowing something so viscerally yet being unable to translate it. This dance is in us all - my dance is a movement inward of myself so that I can connect with others. I want to feel the warmth of our blood melt so that we can move to the edges of our skin and really feel this life. That, and there are shortcuts to happiness… dance is one of them. dance-socks-leap

Do you have a pre- and post- performance routine or ritual?

Pre-performance: I’ll usually do a calming pranayama (breathing practice). I still get nervous every time I go on stage. Post-performance: Drinks! But most importantly FOOD!

How do you keep your body healthy?

I try to move my body a lot. They way I see it… we are naturally designed to move, play, dance, run. So do it - everyday. Even if it's just a short office dance break. Move. I also feel that eating clean and keeping your mind active and healthy is critical. Yoga has had a huge impact on my mental and emotional health, while Pilates has helped me integrate my core and move more mindfully. It’s ultimately a balance of different ingredients that work for YOU, because everyone is different. Oh, and don't forget to indulge every now and then, the sweet things in life are just as important.

What is the one ToeSox product you can’t live without and why?

The half toe Scrunch Knee High grip socks are my hero! I'm all about comfort and style. They keep my feet cozy during warm up, they stay fastened to my feet while I'm moving, and they're super cute outside of the studio with ankle boots or high top Converse. We miss having Sarah in San Diego. Even though she’s a few states away, we're glad we still get to see her beautiful movements bring our products to life in photos and video.