Over the past three years Sarah Barrable Tishauer has worked to turn her passion for the dancefloor into a profession as a DJ. Her current project, We Met Dancing, is focused on advocating on behalf of the community, to save the kind of venues they can hold parties in, and to demonstrate that a vibrant nightlife is a cultural asset. For Sarah, cannabis is a spiritual tool for connection – to herself, to music and to her community.
Since the beginning of time, humans have gathered to consume sacred plants and dance to tribal rhythms to reach a higher state of consciousness. Cannabis has always given me a deeper connection to music and movement. It induces a synesthetic state where I feel music, it flows through me and in turn, I’m in flow. When I play, I want people to be able to get that same release and that can only happen in a space where you’re not being judged or harassed, where you don’t feel you have to look a certain way or dance a certain way. Dance floors are reflective of our society and are often just as patriarchal and hierarchal. Coming of age in Montreal’s electro scene, I’d never seen a female DJ and I rarely felt safe on the dance floor. I didn’t feel like it was a space for me. I’m hoping to change that.
I want to help legitimize dance music culture, to help people look below shallow interpretations and respect its roots. House music came out of New York, Chicago and Detroit where underground parties provided a sanctuary for marginalized communities to feel safe to express their true identity. Somewhere we lost that in mainstream club culture where those very communities feel unsafe and excluded. Partying is now written off as a destructive, vapid lifestyle when it’s actually full of incredible stories of friendship, community and human connection. I’m inspired by people like Anthony Bourdain, who legitimized street food by talking about it in the same way you would the food of world-class restaurants. Thanks to him, food trucks and street markets have gained cultural and artistic recognition. People used to think you’d get food poisoning from a taco stand, and I guess in the same way, if people were less focused on the stigma around “partying”, we’d be able to tell a truer story about what the dance music scene is all about.
Cannabis has always given me a deeper connection to music and movement. It produces a synesthetic state where I feel music, it flows through me and in turn, I’m in flow. ”
Cannabis will always be a part of that story. Dance breaks are almost always accompanied by a sesh outside the club, where the passing of joints gives you the opportunity to meet people you’ve been sharing the dance floor with. It is part of the creative journey and an alternative to more harmful and destructive habits. I think it’s fair to say there’s a desire to step a little bit outside yourself, to see the world from a different perspective. When you go out dancing, cannabis provides that, but in a way that feels restorative. It’s ok to want that kind of release. My DJ name is both a personal state and an invitation – to bring Me Time from the couch to the club.
Photography by Angela Lewis
My current project, “We Met Dancing” is an online community inspired by the fact that my partner and I met on the dancefloor. We Met Dancing is weaving a tapestry that connects me to you and to everyone dancing around the world. When I thought about how many of my friends I have met on the dancefloor, or at a music festival, I thought, “there’s something to this.”
Think of We Met Dancing as a dance floor of ideas, improvising and colliding like sweaty bodies, vibrating at the same frequency of our shared values. Click here to learn more.
Start your day with a wiggle.
Wiggling is dancing with no rules, no moves and no expectations. My good friend Lilly introduced me to the power of wiggling when her father passed away unexpectedly. To help her get out of bed, face the day and move through complex grief and anxiety, she would blast her favourite music and do #MorningWiggles. It’s become an invaluable mental health practice for me and many others. Whether it’s morning or afternoon (#ArvoWiggles), I turn to dancing as a way shake me out of a funk. Whenever I’m feeling down or stuck, I wiggle my way out. When in doubt, I wiggle.
Find your flow.
You know you’re in flow when you lose track of time. When you’re so immersed in an activity that you feel an energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process. I found my flow in dancing and later, DJing, I would close my eyes and the world would melt away. That’s the story behind my DJ name, my ‘Me Time’ is on the dance floor. For you, it could be cooking, yoga, arts & crafts, gardening or walking in nature. Whatever it is, create space for it, create time for it. No one look out for this time but you – so block out ‘me time’ in your calendar and go with the flow.
Run Towards not Away.
I’ve learned that a lot of destructive habits are the result ‘running away’ from something; turning to mind-altering substances to numb or forget, entering toxic relationships because we’re hooked on the highs and lows, using social media to compare ourselves to others. When you acknowledge what you’re running from, you can also acknowledge what you’re running toward; a deeper sense of self, new goals and exciting challenges. It can be scary to define ourselves by what we want, instead of what we don’t have. But imagine the possibilities if you used all that energy to run towards yourself and your goals, rather than trying to run away and escape.
Life is full of responsibilities, deadlines, meetings, emails and obligations. When we ‘play’, we release that sense of duty for who/what we should be. We see the world through child’s eyes, full of curiosity and wonder. My favourite way to embrace a sense of play is by dressing up. I love visiting my family at Space Vintage to discover new looks that allow me to explore different parts of my personality. They also play ‘Me Time’ mixes on repeat so a dance party usually ensures.