Showing posts with label Teresa Dovalpage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teresa Dovalpage. Show all posts

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Teresa Dovalpage, from Taos to Miami

Strengthening the core at Vibrance Pilates and Fitness

By Teresa Dovalpage
(para el blog Gaspar, El Lugareño)
Publicado originalmente en The Taos News

The Pilates session starts and I find myself lying on a mat, with a foam roller under my back. It feels good, like a getting a massage just on the right spots. It’s the perfect way to get rid of those shoulder cramps one gets from spending too many hours in front of a computer.

Then we do a breathing exer­cise. I can picture stress dis­solving away as I slowly inhale and exhale … Now we stand up and stretch, and the wood floor feels smooth and warm under my feet.

I am at Vibrance Pilates and Fitness Studio, located at 616 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, near Creative Framing. The cozy, one-room space opened July 21 to fulfill a longtime dream.

After teaching Pilates classes for several years, Sadie Quintanilla and Hillary Thieben decided to open their own stu­dio —a community oriented venture that combined their passion for Pilates and their background in education.

Quintanilla, who has a B.A. in psychology from Naropa University, has taught at several schools in Taos. Thieben, with a B.A. in social science from Fort Lewis College, was the head swim coach for the Taos Swim Club and also taught at Anansi Charter School. They are both certified Core Dynamics instructors. Their main goal is to make Pilates available to “todas las personas,” as Thieben emphasizes in Spanish.

“We want to reach as many people as possible,” she says, “that’s why we have created a cost-friendly program.”

Mat classes are $10 for drops-­in, $40 for a five-time punch card. Equipment classes are $20 for drop-ins, $80 for a five-time punch card. There is also a gen­erous student discount.

They offer mat, spring board, chair and combo classes for beginners and advanced stu­dents, in addition to private and semi-private lessons. The stu­dio is open Monday to Saturday and the class schedule appears on its website

“Pilates is all about strength­ening your core, standing cor­rectly and breathing right,” says Thieben. “It starts from the foundation up, from the core, and improves your posture while eliminating joint pains.” (When I hear that, I try to men­tally locate the core in my mid­section, but can’t find it.) “Pilates is a ‘white meat sport,’ Quintanilla goes on, “as opposed to ‘red meat’ ones, that focus mostly on bulking up. Our goal is to lengthen and straight­en the muscles. It’s a whole­ body kind of exercise.”

Though the studio has been open for just a couple of weeks, it has already attracted a clien­tele. My classmates, who move gracefully and “flow” from one detail-oriented movement to another, swear by it. “You need to take four or five classes to really get into Pilates,” says one lady, noticing my efforts to keep up with them. “Then, it becomes much easier.”

With some help from Thieben, I finally locate my core and things get better. We use the chair and the exercise bands (this is a combo class) and an hour passes by fast.

For a taste of Pilates, drop into Vibrance, visit the web­site Vision

or call (575) 737-5800.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Teresa Dovalpage, from Taos to Miami

Slow life on a bike: From Florida to Taos

Hugh Holborn

By Teresa Dovelpage
(para el blog Gaspar, El Lugareño)
Publicado originalmente en The Taos News

Hugh Holborn’s cross­country bike trip was prompt­ed by a death-cheating epi­sode.

His son Alex was driving his Volkswagen Jetta when both he and Holborn dozed off. Holborn was startled to find that the car was going straight toward a tree. He quickly took control of the wheel and avoided an accident.

That was a wake-up call.

“I felt as if I had been given a second chance,” says Holborn. “It had been a tough year. I had had to close my art gallery and had also begun to have health problems. I needed a major change to transform the energetic flow of my life.”

The major change involved riding more than 2,000 miles on a bicycle from St. Augustine, Fla., to Taos. It was a journey that star ted May 21 and ended July 20.

A 54-year-old web design­er and artist, Holborn doesn’t consider himself an athlete. Though he often rode his bike in town, he admittedly “prized comfort over exercise.” And yet, he decided to put every­thing on hold (his business, his life) and cycle to Taos.

Why Taos?

“I lived in this town for eight years and own a house here,” he explained.

He built the house in 1991 and has driven to and from St. Augustine many times. But he wanted to experience more of the country than what can be seen from a car at 70 mph.

“There is so much out there,” he said, “and we always pass by at the speed of light. We need to slow down.”
The need to slow down is the main concept behind his blog www., where he documented the trip. Holborn has even coined a term — Time Deficit Syndrome— to describe the constant rush that prevailed in his life.

But it wasn’t just all ride and no work. Holborn traveled with his laptop and completed sev­eral projects on the road while his office manager took care of the business in Florida. He worked in libraries and coffee houses.

“McDonalds is a great resource to find Wi-Fi,” he said.

Holborn stayed in camp­grounds, churches and fire departments. “I would call the battalion chief and ask if I could camp behind the fire station. Usually, they let me use a bed, a shower and even fed me.”

He also found places to sleep through Warm Showers, an organization that suppor ts cyclists on the road.

He wanted to see the ocean all the way to New Orleans but when he began the tr ip, the oil spill had already star ted.

“I didn’t actually see the spill,” he said, “but felt the tenseness, the cloud of con­cern over the people and the entire place.”

What about personal safe­ty?

“My friends asked if I was taking a gun,” Holborn said. “I didn’t, because I did not want to attract that kind of energy. I had some pepper spray in case dogs chased me, but the only one that did was a big Chihuahua in Bayou La Batre.” His best experiences were about the discover y of human kindness to strangers. In Lee, Fla., he met law enforcement officer Dale Kinard, a guardian angel in uniform. His story is told in the blog post “Buddha at the Inspection Station,” where both men reflect about the meaning of life.

Though he traveled between 45 and 60 miles a day, pull­ing a trailer with 40 pounds of gear and carr ying another 40 pounds on his back, Holbor n acknowledges that the hard­est part of the trip wasn’t the physical effor t.

“The most difficult-to-con­trol space was that between my ears,” he said, laughing. “I kept imagining myself at work, taking care of the business, answering e-mail. It wasn’t easy to let go of all that.”

Holborn did accomplish the major change that was the whole idea behind the trip. He now relishes the sense of peace he got out of his journey. It allowed him to start moving at a slower pace.

“When you are pedaling, days are measured in a differ­ent way,” he says. “Your sense of time is altered and you get back to how it must have been when people crossed this country in carts and horses.”

“It was a spiritual journey,” he said, thoughtfully. “Cycling was just a method that taught me to slow down.”

He also lost around 15 pounds and his health has improved. “I retrieved myself,” he says. “I know I’ll be fine now.”

Holborn says that it has been difficult to get off the bike.

“It’s going to take a while to go back to reality.” He paused briefly. “Sometimes I feel I should continue pedaling.”


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teresa Dovalpage, from Taos to Miami

Nunca había escrito nada que no fuera ficción… Incluso a ciertos documentos que se supone sean verídicos, les he puesto con mucho disimulo mi granito de fantasía. Porque si no, ¿qué gracia tendrían? Por eso, cuando me propusieron escribir para el periódico local de Taos, The Taos News, me paniquié al principio, como diría mi abuela. Tenía horror a no ser capaz de ceñirme a los hechos, a dejarme llevar demasiado por la imaginación y meter la patota. Pero me pareció un buen reto y algo interesante que hacer durante las vacaciones, de modo que me dispuse a intentarlo. Ahora estoy haciendo reportajes con regularidad y me encanta la idea de compartirlos con ustedes por medio de Joaquín Estrada-Montalván a quien le agradezco mucho que me haya abierto las páginas de su blog Gaspar, El Lugareno.

Los reportajes, que aparecerán aquí a medida que se publiquen en el Taos News están en inglés y tratan de temas locales, como qué es un santero nuevo mexicano (ojo: no tiene nada que ver con los orishas) y a qué se le llama “smothered burrito” en estas regiones (otro ojo: no es un cuadrúpedo con exceso de carga). Con mucho gusto respondo a las preguntas que tengan, si algo no queda claro. Pueden dejarlas en el blog o escribirme a

Saludos muy taoseños…

Teresa Dovalpage

A living tradition: Aztec dancers in Taos

During the 5th Annual Fiesta honoring Senor Santiago de Los Cuatro Ventos,
 Tanya Vigil watches other performers prepare for their morning activities.
 (Photo/Stuart Palley)
Eduardo Delgado prepares his traditional dress for the
 morning portion of the 5th Annual Fiesta honoring
 Senor Santiago de Los Cuatro Ventos. (Stuart Palley)

By Teresa Dovelpage
(para el blog Gaspar, El Lugareño)
Publicado originalmente en The Taos News

Arrangements for the vigil in honor of El Senor Santiago de los Cuatro Vientos began on July 15, when Aztec dancer Tanya Vigil went to the San Francisco de Asis church to get the gym ready for the celebration.

Santiago's actual feast day falls on July 25, but the vigil and dance are held a week before so as not to coincide with the traditional Taos fiestas a week later. By Thursday night the altar was covered with lace. Amy Còrdova, an award-winning illustrator, painter and writer, brought a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, painted in soft tender shades, that presided over the altar.

“I personalized the Virgin,” she said. “I wanted to bring her to life.”

A conch shell, a crucifix, vases for flowers, a colorful portrait of Santiago riding his horse and votive candles dec­orated the altar.

But this was only the beginning.

On Friday at 9 p.m., everything was ready for the vigilia de Santiago. All the candles were lit; the shimmering altar was decorated with flowers and offer­ings: Sweets, a pineapple, cigarettes.

The estandar te (banner) of Tanya Vigil's group, Izcalli In Nanantzin, stood on the right side. There were tables with food and the tantalizing smells of chile con carne, pozole and frijoles filled the room.

The Delgado family, all Aztec danc­ers, came from San Bernardino, Calif., to be par t of the celebration.

“Dancing is a living tradition,” said Eduardo Delgado, “and we love to share it.”

The group Izcalli In Nanantzin holds a special significance for them. “We don't have an estandar te (banner) for us in California,” said his son Manuel, so this one is ours, too. This is the only estandarte in the United States that came directly from a Mexican group.”

From Mexico also came the Garc'a Vargas family, who have attended this event for five years now. Their dance group is called Danza Azteca de México, Uniòn y Conquista (Aztec Dancers of Mexico, Union and Conquest).

Mercedes Vargas said that los cuatro vientos (literally, the four winds) that surround Santiago's image were the Virgin of Guadalupe, El Senor de Chalma, the Virgin of los Remedios and Cristo del Sacromonte.

“Santiago is at the center of all of them,” Mercedes said. “He is the focal point from which we depart in this par­ticular ceremony, but we can't forget the other saints.”

The vigil included traditional Spanish songs, prayers for everyone present and blessings for each dancer. Limpias (spir­itual, emotional, physical and mental cleansing) took place at 4 a.m.

In the morning, after a few hours of rest, the Aztec dancers from Mexico City, Albuquerque and California got together with Vigil and Izcalli In Nanantzin.

The danzantes, like a bright ribbon of colors and feathers, made their way from the gym to the highway. Actually, they danced down the highway and stopped the traffic.

“It was a reminder that there is something much bigger than the busy­ness of life,” said Patricia Padilla, an eighth-generation curandera.

Then they returned to the church and danced for six hours. The celebra­tion ended with a feast of beans, chile, squash, melons, oranges, warm torti­llas and chicken.

“The dance is a prayer for the ben­efit of the people,” said Padilla. “It just takes a different form.”

Nota mía: Comienza este domingo una nueva sección: Teresa Dovalpage, from Taos to Miami, gracias a la cortesía de Teresa Dovalpage quien se ha ofrecido para compartir cada semana sus artículos publicados en Taos News y otros textos.

Las otras secciones fijas que tiene actualmente el blog son: La Luz Reconciliada (Lunes); El Trago de los Tigres (Martes), Con la Verdad a Cuestas (Miércoles), Cubanos (Jueves), Ley en el blog (Viernes), Manny Interviews ...  (Viernes), Oikos (Sábado) y Damas de Blanco (Domingo)

También, se estuvieron publicando de manera sistemática: Orígenes (Martes), Camagüey visto por Reynier (Miércoles) Fotos de Ninon Lavallee (Jueves) y Estampas Camagüeyanas.

Gaspar, El Lugareño
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Click here to visit - The place to shop for Cuban memorabilia! Cuba: Art, Books, Collectibles, Comedy, Currency, Memorabilia, Municipalities, Music, Postcards, Publications, School Items, Stamps, Videos and More!