Combat veteran Cassie Boblitt — who has been sharing the healing power of movement with her business Mindful Movement — is hosting a two-day workshop created by internationally known movement specialist and former Pilobolus dance captain Edwin Olvera.
Insider caught up with Boblitt to find out more about her business and the workshop — “Connect: Performance, Partnering, Play” — which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Walden School.
“It’s going to be a huge event for Louisville dancers, movers and yoga (practitioners) — it’s not just for classically trained dancers, though they will get a ton out of it to,” she says. “It’s just challenging, and there is so much connection and community connection between people.”
Bringing in guest artists for workshops is just the latest from Mindful Movement, a company Boblitt formed in January of 2016 with the hope of bringing her love for a variety of movement styles and disciplines to one place.
“But when I think of Mindful Movement, I think of doing whatever we need to get our body moving with intention,” says Boblitt. “The disconnect in our world today is that we’re not moving enough. And physically moving has physical and mental benefits.”
Boblitt adds the mental benefits are priceless.
“So when people start to move, they start to realize, ‘Hey … I’m able to get out of my own head.’ It changes you, it changes your outlook on everything,” she says.
While she teaches a wide variety of movement disciplines, she credits yoga for being the exercise that altered her outlook and changed her life. It was a change that was vital to Boblitt, a veteran who had trouble re-entering daily life after her service ended.
She uses her love of movement and yoga to reach out to other vets trying to reintegrate.
She received her certification to teach yoga through VEToga, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit centered on offering yoga to vets and their families.
“A big part of that mission is … they bring veterans from all over the nation, get them a yoga teacher training, very extensive, very detailed, and that costs nothing for the veterans,” explains Boblitt.
The 200-hour yoga teacher training the program offers is aimed at sending vets back into their community, where they can share their new knowledge. Using that training, Boblitt works with men and women at the Vet Center in Old Louisville, where she also participates in Shakespeare with Veterans.
“Veterans are more apt to take a class if the teacher is a veteran themselves,” says Boblitt, underscoring the importance of the work she does at the Vet Center.
Outside of her work with veterans and her drive to bring in more high-quality workshops, Boblitt’s day-to-day involves working in schools.
“I contract with private schools to offer a full movement program. It can range from sports to dance to traditional playground games — I even co-teach rock climbing and archery, outdoor adventures, hiking trips,” says Boblitt, adding that for the moment, her daytime schedule is full.
She also performs regularly with CirqueLouis.
One of the common threads in her movement practice is its focus on communities, and she hopes this weekend’s workshop will help bring together movers from all over the community, especially dancers.
“I’m excited to connect so many dance organizations,” she says. “I’ve reached out to many, and I have representation from a lot of the different dance companies.”
Boblitt met movement specialist Olvera at a short workshop he taught through the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville last fall, in conjunction with Pilobolus’ touring production of “Shadowlands.”
“He and I ran into each other in town later that evening, and he was like, ‘Oh, you were at the event,’ and we ended up connecting,” says Boblitt. “Then I was reaching out to him to see how I could travel to one of his longer weekend (programs).”
But when she mentioned she might know some other Louisville movers who might want to join her, Olvera suggested he come here instead.
“And he said, ‘If you’re interested in that, then would you consider hosting me in Louisville?,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
Boblitt says the mental and emotional benefits of movement were evident in the short workshop with Olvera she attended last fall, and it makes her very excited for this weekend.
“In that hour-and-a-half, we accomplished so much — it was so transformational,” she says. “I am so excited to see what we will do in two days.”
“Connect: Performance, Partnering, Play” will be held Saturday April 29, and Sunday, 30, from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Walden School, 4238 Westport Road. Registration is still open.