Cassie Meador not only would, but will walk 500 miles. Tuesday night, she'll explain why.
Meador, artistic director for the Dance Exchange, is setting off for her very long walk on April 10. She'll be traveling by foot from her home on the District of Columbia side of Takoma through Maryland and Virginia to West Virginia. (Meador says she's not disclosing the exact location where the walk will end "for safety reasons.")
The entire walk will take about two months. Meador will be making visits to wind, coal and waste resource recovery facilities on the way, as part of her overall goal: to better understand where the objects she uses in her daily life come from. (She'll also be thinking a lot about how long walks use different muscles from dancing -- she's been getting some sense of this part of her journey already, while spending hours every day walking around D.C. as training.)
The walk itself is something of a performance. As she's walking, Meador will be creating the "The Moving Field Guide," a portion of the project being funded through the U.S. Forest Service. The Moving Field Guide involves partnering scientists, artists and naturalists in an interactive experience that is half nature walk and "but also a bit like a rehearsal, where a dance or a piece of art is being made along the way," says Meador.
Other projects include a “500 Miles/500 Stories” website, where stories collected on the walk will be documented. Meador will also be researching a dance production called "How To Lose a Mountain," set to premiere in spring 2013.
"I'm really thinking of this as creative a 500 mile route of curiosity," Meador says, "around some of the questions that this is addressing. That really behind everything we use, there's a story of people, of communities, of land that often exist out of our awareness. What would it mean to try to uncover that story?"
Find out what it means to uncover that story -- and how training for a 500-mile walk differs from training as a dancer -- on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., when Meador discusses her 500 miles at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center ( (intersection of Stadium Drive and Rte. 193, College Park, Md.)
On April 10, come to Meador's kickoff performance at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW) -- it'll take place at 6 p.m., the end of her first day of walking.
Follow the 500 Miles project on the Dance Exchange website.
And in the slideshow below, see Meador preparing for her walk.