Tasha Blank Taps into the Power of Conscious Dancing with New York's BODY LVNGUAGE
Tasha Blank is a dancefloor alchemist. The founder of New York’s buzzy BODY LVNGUAGE parties, Blank seeks to connect us all to our universal consciousness through the power of uninhibited dance. We spoke with the DJ and educator about her BODY LVNGUAGE brainchild, her DJ academy, and the ways she finds magic in the everyday.
Hi Tasha, great to speak with you! Let’s start at the beginning. Walk me down your path to where you are now as a DJ, educator, and founder of party collective BODY LVNGUAGE.
The love of music and hunger for movement has always been there. I trained as a dancer as a tween and teen, but the further I went down that track, the more depressed I was. I couldn’t find the love anymore, so when it came time for college, I stopped dancing and chose academia. That choice just spiraled me down more. I was trapped in my head, totally disconnected from my body, and ultimately had a mental and physical health crisis.
I decided to change everything. Less than a year later, I landed at Burning Man, where I found the kind of dance I didn’t know I’d been looking for my whole life. The level of freedom and pure unbridled creativity I touched on the playa catalyzed a new path of learning everything I could about music, dance, trauma, healing, ritual, medicine, neuroscience, community, and culture building.
I changed my whole course of study to support this new path and formed the conceptual framework for everything I still do today. This is a big part of what we teach in Powerhouse DJ School. From there, it became about figuring out how to catalyze the kind of magic I knew was possible in the real world. The more I do, the more experience I gain. The more I teach and coach, the more I have to learn and practice.
BODY LVNGUAGE claims to be “an ancient future party ritual”—what does this mean to you?
Ancient because our species was born for this. Future because ours depends on it. Humans have been gathering to communally dance for prayer, ritual, celebration, release, and healing since we could clap our hands together.
Connecting with ourselves and each other in full-bodied expression belongs in our everyday life. As the world gets more chaotic and the structures we used to take for granted unravel, it’s time to reclaim the power that lives in our bodies that rises up every time we grant ourselves permission to unleash. At BODY LVNGUAGE, we serve it up in a context that’s fun as fuck and brings us back to our sense of belonging at the same time.
As a DJ, do you ever feel confined by the expectations of genre from partygoers? How do you navigate the fine balance of honoring your own creativity while serving the vibe of the party?
I think vibe is more important than genre. While I usually keep things uptempo, I tend to go all over the map. So we cultivate an environment where folks are down for the ride. They want to end up somewhere new at the end of the night. They trust me to play music for their bodies, which gives me the freedom to do exactly that.
I know a few rules come with a BODY LVNGUAGE party—no drinks on the Dance Floor, No Phones Anywhere, Love & Respect Above All. How did you develop these three tenets, and why are they so important?
When I started going out to clubs, all I wanted to do was dance. But you can’t do that with a drink in your hand or a phone in your face. It’s extra tricky to do that in a room where you don’t feel you can trust everyone around you. We needed some ground rules to signal that we were doing something different from the regular club scene, and these three solved the worst vibe killers out there.
When did you sense the connection between meditation, spirituality, and music?
When I look back, it’s always been there. It really hit me that first Burning Man in 2007. Dancing stopped being this fun thing I liked and became a straight shot to the universal intelligence and creativity moving through my body. Spiritually stopped being a cool idea and became the experience we have when we remember who we really are together. The deep self that lives in the body, below the head, independent of who we think we are and linked up to everything we’re made of, is pure gold, and dance is the quickest way I’ve found to come home.
As an artist, how do you push yourself to keep growing?
All I have to do is go out and dance or hear music, whether that’s at a club, festival, or show. I always leave super jazzed to jump into the next creation. My students inspire me so much. Our first international cohort of Powerhouse DJ School hasn’t even graduated yet, and their mixes are blowing me out of the water. Now that I’m teaching and mentoring upcoming DJs, it’s not just about me anymore. I want to keep getting better for them.
Who is the most influential person in your life that helps you on your path?
I have so many teachers and mentors, incredible colleagues, teammates, and advisors. If I had to name an MVP this year, it goes to my partner-in-crime and BODY LVNGUAGE DJ Maro. She came to me about 18 months ago wanting to learn to DJ and slayed it so hard. She was DJing festivals and clubs within six weeks of our work together, so we decided to start a DJ academy. We’ve done so much this year, and we’re just getting started. We added eight new rockstars to our team, are getting ready to open enrollment for next year’s Powerhouse DJ School, and are planning our launch in my new home of Las Vegas and a US tour for 2023.
What can we do to cultivate everyday magic in the music industry?
I think so often we forget to actually do the thing we love just because we love it when it becomes our job. Music is the closest thing we have to actual magic on planet earth. So how do we cultivate it? Dance.
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