Dancing in the Streets!


I have always loved big cities. I spent a lot of my early childhood in downtown St. Louis

How can you not have a good day when you start it with these?

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Okay, I admit they look a bit funny. But I’m all about the taste, which was phenom. In fact, I had been planning chocolate raspberry oatmeal for tomorrow morning, but I might just have to make these pancakes again.

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These pancakes were a rather thrown-together creation: I mixed some oats, almond milk, pumpkin, and a few tablespoons of whole wheat pancake mix. One thing I’ve learned about healthy pancakes: you can still use pancake mix, but use something more nutrient dense, like oats as your base.  Only a little pancake mix is needed to fluff them up.

Ooh, and I tossed in a few carob chips with an Emeril-like flair. Doing so makes it taste even better.

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The “syrup” or topping was 1/2 mashed banana, 1/2 T of pumpkin butter, 1/2 T peanut butter, a sprinkling of Stevia and cinnamon, plus almond milk to thin it out.  Mix it up and microwave for about 40 seconds.  It was so good that I might have to make it again just to eat it out of the bowl. Since it was rather thick, I spread some between each pancake and then poured the extra on top.

So did the rest of my day live up to the awesomeness of my breakfast?

Yes, yes, yes!! The fact that I had such a wonderful day feels so great after a rather stressful week.  It’s been one of those weeks where everything seems to be going well, and then the rug of contentment gets pulled out from under you without any warning.  Let’s just say that (in one single morning) I got HUGE blisters from my new tennis shoes, locked my keys in the car, missed my first class (because I was stranded by the riverfront with my keys locked in the car), walked 2 miles to find someone who could get into my car, all before breaking down and paying $40 for a professional to open it in 30 seconds. All this happened in the space of two hours Wednesday morning. The rest of the week continued in similar fashion.

I needed yesterday to go well, and it didn’t disappoint! Most of it was spent with my mom, too.  She and I are extremely close but also extremely busy, so it’s rare that we get to spend a day out and about together.  We started our day with book shopping!  The bookstore we went to is family owned: what seems to be a teeny tiny yellow house on the outside is completely crammed with books, winding staircases, and curiously shaped rooms on the inside.  I’ve loved going there since I was about 10, but they are sadly closing next month. But look what mom bought for me!

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All half price, too.  The 1938 copy of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King only cost mom $4! We walked out with quite a big bag of books – 3 for me, 2 for my brother, and 1 for my mom – for under $20!

Afterward, mom and I headed downtown for “Dancing in the Streets,” a big dance festival which takes place outdoors in the arts/theater district of St. Louis every year. 

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Several streets are closed off and a few stages are set up, where you can watch St. Louis area dancers perform all day.  I’ve performed in the festival since I was in high school.  It’s such a fun time: there’s no pressure in the performances because every one is just there to celebrate their love for dance! Lindenwood brought a few pieces to the festival this year, and I performed in our tap number.

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I couldn’t seem to get a good picture of the crowd from where I was standing.  Some creepy old guy asked if I like for him to put me on his shoulders. No….thanks….

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“Dancing in the Streets” is one of those festivals that is always slightly chaotic, but you just have to be laid-back and go with the flow.  We waited “backstage” for a while with some, er, tap doctors. Their piece was really cool: the music was just the sound of a beating heart, which sped up as the dance progressed.

Our own dance went pretty well – I think we all made some mistakes, but the audience really seemed to like it! There was also a lot of Lindenwood support in the audience, and it was nice to have my mom there, too.

After dancing, I grabbed a few pictures with these awesome guys:

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What the heck am I doing?  I mean really…

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That’s better.  I love Brandon and Raphael. Great dancers and great partners!  I get to rehearse with both of them later today.

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And Brian, too!  Hi!!

I just love getting to spend time downtown.  There’s a certain energy and richness of culture that just fizzles out in the suburbs.  Also, I want to badly to be able to be a pedestrian more often.  Where I live, you have to drive 10 minutes before breaking out of the monotonous chain of cookie-cutter houses. 

St. Louis is calling out for me.  But Sunday morning Yoga is calling out for me too, so I’ll be back later (after some Zumba and ballet, too) to let you in on how the rest of yesterday went.

~ Taya ~

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