Tasha Blank lives in the service of dance. She’s the founder of The Get Down, a raucous New York City dance party featuring a heart-pumping playlist, and a high-energy fixture at other dance parties, yoga events, and festivals around the world.
Now she’s bringing her feel-good, dancey vibes to the West Coast, where she’ll lead two Deep House Yoga classes at Wanderlust Hollywood October 21 and 28. We chatted with the DJ ahead of the series to find out more about her inspirations, musical style, and what she can’t stop listening to.
How did your love of music and dance start? Any early memories of being a little kid jamming to music, or wanting to be a DJ early on?
I was raised on my parents’ jazz and African drumming records. And then, of course, there was my Rockstar Barbie, who came with a neon pink boombox that I’d play for my stuffed animals. And the “radio show” I created with my best friend in elementary school that involved us taping songs off the radio and recording interludes of ourselves talking about the music. So I guess you could say the signs were there.
How would you describe your musical style?
The core genre I always come back to is house. But house is an enormous genre in itself and you can find influences from all over the world in its countless sub-genres. What carries through everything I do (whether I’m playing for a yoga class, beach sunset, or a raucous dance party) is that I work with the energy in the music to carve out a journey. We begin in one place, and by the end we are transformed.
Yogis traditionally have used instruments like drums and harmoniums. Is practicing with house music the modern interpretation of this?
Drums and harmoniums were the most culturally relevant instruments when yoga evolved in India, so it makes sense that those would have been the instruments of choice for all those years! But now we have so much music pouring our of our culture, and it resonates with us, so we can use it all to enrich our practice.
Where do you get the inspiration for your playlists? Do you often have an overarching theme?
Everywhere! It could be a new favorite track, bass line, or the harmony two songs create when they’re mixed together. I’m always influenced by what I’m feeling and learning in life. And then you add the factor of a live audience, which changes everything. It’s an intuitive, multi-sensory, empathetic process.
What’s your creation process like?
I believe in intense periods of focus and concentration with plenty of dance breaks.
What do you think is the relationship between yoga and dance?
I think they’re after the same thing: remembrance. We come to the yoga mat and the dance floor to remember that we are miracles. Our very existence is miraculous. Every inhale and exhale. And with the remembrance of that miracle we gain the opportunity to access our deepest creativity, heal our selves, and celebrate our existence with movement.
Favorite song or artist right now?
Can’t stop listening to it.
Do you have a mantra?
I try to remember to ask myself whether love or fear is driving my thought process in any given moment. And to feel my feet on the ground as often as possible.
Tasha Blank will be leading two Deep House Yoga classes at Wanderlust Hollywood on October 21 and 28. Find more information at wanderlusthollywood.com.
Grace Edquist is the associate editor at Wanderlust Media. A former radio DJ and summer camp director, she now spends her days writing, editing, and walking around Brooklyn. She enjoys a fine aged cheddar and spending as much time outdoors as possible.