It’s not even 9 a.m. on a recent cloudy Saturday, but scores of wide-awake teen and pre-teen girls make their way onto the Santa Monica pier for the ivivva Coast-to-Coast Summer Festival 2016. Enthusiastic fans of the company’s athletic gear, designed especially for girls like them, they are dressed in lavender festival tanks and yoga pants or shorts. They’re here to move, dance, celebrate the summer and check out ivivva’s latest offerings.
The line, started by lululemon athletica, the Canadian active gear company, is “inspired by active girls, athletic wear made to move,” and includes sports bras, tanks, shorts, leggings, skirts, dresses and accessories for ages 6-15. In keeping with ivivva’s mission of getting girls moving, stores offer complimentary athletic classes and a “Dreams & Goals program that inspires girls to dream big.”
My dancer daughter, who swears by the comfort and movability of their tanks and leggings, is away, so I’ve brought my friend’s 10-year-old to the festival. Some girls are having their hair braided, but Manon opts for tribal art. Then we try our hands – and legs – at acro-yoga. I lie on my back and learn how to balance her weight, lifting her up the way you give toddlers an airplane ride. The mom-daughter duo ahead of us is more advanced. The girl does a frog pose while balancing on her mother’s outstretched legs.
Aquamarine, pink and blue yoga mats brighten the grey day and pop music has the girls swaying. The atmosphere explodes when a flash mob – girls from So Cal dance studios – dances to a medley of pop songs: Meghan Trainor, JT, Taylor Swift, Bieber. They’re charged up after a special rehearsal with the Lakers cheerleaders!
As the sun emerges, everyone gathers for yoga with Christi Christensen, elite gymnast and platform diver turned yoga teacher. She leads the group through exercises to stretch their bodies and work their muscles. She talks about inner confidence, dreams and goals. Then Katie Wilcox, the founder of Healthy is the New Skinny, and Megan Park, a senior from Diamond Bar High School, share some inspiration. “Goal are stepping stones toward bigger dreams,” Park says. “Don’t just be a girl, be a girl who wants more and gets more. Don’t just be a dreamer, be a dreamer who makes her dreams come true.” To learn more about ivivva visit their website.
Other major festival stops this summer were Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.