EASKEY BRITTON


WATER DANCER AND WAVEMAKER

Easkey Britton is an Irish surfer, scientist, artist and explorer with a PhD in Environment and Society.  Her life long passion for the sea and surfing has taken her on a unique journey, challenging her beyond all her limits. She has a lot to report about natural intelligence and how the sea can restore us, and how we must also restore the sea.  Her body practice is an intimate play, a dance and relationship with nature that demands full attention, in the body and whole being.  There are few opportunities in our modern society to tune in this deeply, daily, or even weekly, to ourselves and our bodies.  (Dance can be one of them.) We were very curious to hear what this women’s commitment and extensive experience surfing and exploring has taught her. 


Easkey's work explores the relationship between people and nature, especially the ocean. She is five times Irish Surf Champion, British Pro-Tour Champion and in 2007 she was the first female surfer in Ireland to ride the "big wave," Aill na Searrach, off the Cliffs of Moher. She channels her passion for surfing and the sea into social change through her research projects, art, a number of ambassador roles and as a public speaker.


In 2010 Easkey found herself surfing in a small community in Iran.  She began to train the women of the community and this trip became the origins of women surfing in Iran.  Connecting these women with their bodies through the water continues to have extraordinary ripple effects.    


We travelled to her home in the west of Ireland to learn more about her motivations, passions, mission and life journey. We spoke about fear, bravery, the ocean, trauma and body practice. As part of our process with Easkey we danced together, and finally, we asked her to dance alone.

Giving ROOM to Easkey as part of our dance platform highlights some of the values and beliefs we share about the body, nature, emotions, connection, movement and our feminine innateness. As we suspected, there’s much common ground between our practice and Easkey’s.   

ROOM



We asked Easkey to Dance.


We spent a day with Easkey discussing the water as a non judgmental space that holds us and offers an opportunity to encounter ourselves honestly and to move through challenging emotions.  Surfing, like dancing, gives us permission to feel the body which doesn't lie, and that we believe, needs our urgent attention.  Surfers cannot ignore the waves, so the more we surrender ourselves to the ocean we learn that the body's natural wisdom is capable of moving us through.  This lesson breeds bravery and trust in ourselves.  Easkey shares these lessons again and again with women and people all over the world.     


We wanted to share our tools for moving on land.  To give permission to the waves of whatever we held that day in ourselves.  Easkey had dipped her toe in dance before and describes surfing as dancing on water.  We had just met for the first time.  There was an instant open and alert feeling.   The sun was blazing, and the weight of the year lifted.  It's was a powerful sharing, hats off to you Easkey, for your generous expression and deep dive and dance with us.  


ROOM REFELCTION 

by Easkey Britton


The tension around another national lockdown was looming. Like the outer world was pressing in against my internal one. I was starting to have trouble sleeping again, a feel of unease creeping up in my belly, and a sense of being caught in a fog. It was like I knew, in my head, all the things that mattered most, all the ways to ground myself, to self-connect, to find calm and clarity, but I couldn’t access any of it. I couldn’t feel any of it in my body. I couldn’t even feel my body properly. The only time I felt whole was when I was in the water surfing. Although increasingly my longing was to be fully immersed, for the feeling of contact with the water on my skin, so I had started to go for more regular sea dips too. 


That day held some of the leftover warmth of a summer that had already ended, with winter around the corner. I love the light that time of year. It’s softer and more golden, casting longer shadows. That’s when Maria and Stace arrived. The energy shift was instant. I hadn’t realised how much I’d been longing for this creative connection. To be with other like-minded women so open and willing to explore and express this sense of who we are in an animate, living, breathing earth. Through conversation, music and movement I returned to the aliveness of my own body, I discovered the simple joy of feeling how my body wanted to move again. A rich return to wholeness. I felt the energy move from my toes to my fingertips, across my shoulders and up to the crown of my head. I felt the simple joy of being again.





BE LIKE WATER


The origins of women surfing in Iran begins with a trip Easkey took in 2010.  She was following her instincts, seeking new waters and waves to challenge her limits, and this led to teaching the local women how to surf.  This school is still going strong today, and younger girls of the community are becoming global competitiors.  

Easkey teaching women's workshops, Baluchestan

Easkey was the first woman to surf in the Iranian community of Baluchestan.  The strict cultural landscape requiring women to cover up made surfing almost completely inacessible.  If surfing was to become part of the women's lives, new suits were vital.  Easkey is an ambassador with Finistere who are developing cultrually approproate wet suits for women who are restricted by religous and cultural laws acorss the globe.  Easkey is commited to Blue Health, access to the ocean is at the heart of this persuit and training.    


When you are in the ocean you can feel the power of something stronger than you, and when you get your first wave, it feels like you can do anything.  – female participant in ‘Be Like Water’ program, Iran

Shiring Gerami wearing the 'Seasuit'. Credit Abbi Hughes







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