Devi Hadsell: Hip hop dance, yoga (500-hour RYT) & group fitness instructor

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Devi (day-vee) Hadsell is a hip hop dance, yoga, and group fitness instructor with a background in theatre. She infuses her classes with a sense of play and moments of comedic relief. Devi completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center and her 500-hour at Namaste Yoga + Wellness. She is proud to serve her community as an ambassador for lululemon athletica. Devi empowers her students to release their inhibitions and expectations in order to unapologetically be themselves and move their bodies. Follow Devi on Instagram at @Picklesandprosecco

What do I do best?

In my dance classes, I balance choreography-specific instruction with a “F*ck it!  You do you!” attitude.  Giving myself and my students permission to be not perfect allows all of us to trust the perfection of each moment.

What makes me the best version of myself?

When I’m thriving as my best self, I’m able to walk away from any situation without allowing the outcome to land as a “win” or a “loss”.  My tendency is to optimize situations, convincing myself that there is always a silver lining to be found and that any scenario can (and should) be experienced as a “win” … somehow, someway.  While this habit certainly has served me in the past, I also hope to continue practicing what yoga teaches - equanimity.  Learning to receive all circumstances with love and gratitude and to respond with clarity and mindfulness.  In other words - to let go of the need to forcibly convince myself, “This is actually GOOD news!” and, no matter what happens, to simply feel like, “Ok.  News.  Cool.”     

I’d also say that one of my strongest traits is my commitment to finding something to love in each person I meet.  This trips me up occasionally and I’m left disillusioned, but I wouldn’t change this about myself.

What are my aspirations?

To develop a dance/fitness/music brand with my partner … To travel the world sharing our celebration of movement … To prioritize self care (oh, ya know, eating, bathing, meditation, all that good stuff) amidst the craziness of “being an adult” … To create a sense of groundedness and stability within my haphazard, freelance lifestyle … On a more random note, I’d also really love to cultivate skills as an aerial artist!

My Biggest Success?

Paying rent each month in Palo Alto, CA!  No, but seriously … Anytime I hear from a client that I’ve facilitated his or her positive relationship with physical expression through dance.  These are the successes of which I’m most proud.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Releasing my position as Fitness Director at uforia Studios.  This particular company welcomed me with open arms when I moved to California and offered me the platform from which I could share my art with the Bay Area.  When push came to shove, though, there was too much being asked of me in this role and I had to step back in order to reclaim my sense of self.  This experience taught me that setting boundaries (i.e. saying “No. I can’t take this on.”) can feel icky in the moment, but is a crucial practice in cultivating a sustainable career and in gaining self-respect and the respect of others.  

My Motto?

Love Fearlessly

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My Mama … She is the most selfless, loving person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.  I could never do enough to deserve all the thoughtful care she’s given me and yet she would never let me down.

My Dad … For giving me the freedom to be myself and for instilling in me a certainty that I am loved, always, without conditions.

Grimes … I never thought I could fangirl (used as a verb here) anyone so hard.  She is entirely, unapologetically herself and I look up to this quality beyond measure.  Additionally, I feel that my body was meant to dance to her music.  Not to mention, she’s a beautiful fairy goddess.  

Kay Gross … My high school jazz + tap teacher.  This woman’s joy for dancing is nothing short of contagious.

Ryan Bettencourt … My loving partner.  His presence is a gift and an everyday reminder that to be gentle is to be powerful and to be kind is to be strong.  

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I’ve (embarrassingly) traveled very scarcely (thus far!).

Key Biscayne reminds me fondly of weekend beach trips during my undergraduate years at University of Miami.  Otherwise, my favorite spots are mostly defined by food memories … Better Half in Atlanta, GA (sit at the chef’s counter + order the nine course tasting menu … just do it) and Republic of Pie in LA (for a lazy day of coffee, dessert, and journaling) both come to mind.  Also - There’s always something dirty and magical and seductive about NYC.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Grapefruit Ginger Sparkling Yerba Mate.  My secret sauce.

My denim vest with a googly eye instead of one of the buttons … It’s like a sleeveless security blanket.  I feel like me when I’m wearing it.

My Current Passions?

Searching for inspiring activities that integrate stillness rather than movement.  Specifically, right now I’m super into listening to podcasts and Sarah Andersen’s comic books.  Making homemade ghee.  Writing with gel pens.