Shake Shimmy Swivel Swirl

She tossed her luxurious gorgeous thick black hair as she gracefully danced across the stage to Beyoncé in heels that made my ankles wince. Her body, adorned in glitter and a tight sparkly gold outfit, was beautifully muscular and petite. And yet her energy, heart, and passion expanded outward to fill the entire room with electricity that drew the audience to the edge of their seats as she slowly seduced us with teasing bits of clothing off. A zipper to reveal flesh here, a toss of a glove there. Despite it being my second burlesque show, I hoped no one noticed that I was blushing as I showed my support for my friend Sweetpea with cheers, hoots, and applause as I watched this woman bravely and flawlessly bare herself under the glow of stage lights to a packed room of people. Thoroughly enthralled and entertained and awed, I shocked even myself by quietly whispering after she strut off the stage: I want to do that someday.

Flash forward about five years, several layers of masked self removed, and a different city later, I found myself this past Saturday swiveling my hips in the mirror in a class I had curated for women, led by a wild woman friend leading us through buti yoga. I was intrigued by how uncomfortable and foreign the circular motion was to different parts of my body at first... how I don't usually move this way. As we isolated hips then chest, circling right and then left, I found one side harder, tighter, more restricted then the other. And as I started to get the hang of it, I realized MY BODY LOVED IT! My body was CRAVING circles! Which got me thinking about my range of movement on the regular day to day. We walk forwards. Sometimes backwards. We sit. We stand. I squat and lunge. Sometimes I downward dog and forward fold. Very straight, linear movement that sort of forgets that I have more than just one thick trunk as a core. I have hips, a waist, a busty chest. And they can shake, shimmy, swivel, and swirl.

And being encouraged to watch my beautiful body in the mirror as I moved, I was reminded of my burlesque dancing dreams from 5ish years ago. And I had fun dreaming up what my costume, music, and routine would look like (DEFINITELY fake eyelashes and lots of glitter!). For me, more than anything else, to stand on a stage and remove my clothing will be the ultimate act of self love. Of allowing myself to be seen. I'm not quite ready to make this happen yet and in the meantime I think I'm going to make moving my body in circles a regular practice, along with all the squats, lunges, two steps forward, one step back (cha cha cha!). And when I have my first performance booked, ya'll will be the first to know!

Point to ponder: what kind of movement is your body craving? Is it the same or different from what you are giving it now? How could you incorporate new moves into your daily groove? And what is a dream you have that is terrifying and thrilling?!


NYC babes: 4 more chances to join in the movement fun with Divine Rising on Saturday mornings!  This coming Saturday, we'll be exploring our body as our temple with subtle moves to increase awareness of our internal world.  More info here!