First of all let me just say that October has been fantastic rollercoaster of goodness. Last week I kicked off The Shamelessly Sexy Masterclass here in Chicago. We had an intense and transforming session. So much so that I've decided to expanded the sessions coming up into a full day experience. Seats in the class are limited right now to 8 people per session. Learn more about the masterclass here
Nothing could have prepared me for this epic-ness last night. On top of an electrifying class with a room full of curvy women, the beautiful, talented comedian and tv personality on Windy City Live, Erica Watson, came to out to my class. She on the spot interviewed me via FB live after class. Here is the video:
I’ve always protected myself in a certain way when it came to my work with sensual and erotic dance. I believe that this is part of the reason why my private practice + group coaching classes have been so intimate, even when I had a desire to take the message to more people. I’ve experienced something now that I know in my heart I wasn’t mentally or emotionally equipped to handle when I first started this work. This video, in 24 hours has been viewed over 40,000 times. That outweighs my small production teams first film “Sex Is A God Thing” which gained over 20K views in less than two weeks without a marketing budget and quite honestly without a strategic plan other than just continuing to share our process and share our excitement for the project. I say that to say that nothing could have prepared me for this experience this weekend.
My body has always been protected in the sacred space of my class. In class we love on each other with grace, loving support, compassion and constant praise. We let every woman know, regardless of shape,size or any other factor that she is beautiful + hott. Outside of class I have selectively shared and edited small snippets of me dancing on my own terms. In the excitement and the high of the experience after class, I went against my own norm and pushed my boundary.
I usually never let anyone film me dancing after class nor do I agree to it being shared on social media for many reasons:
When I was working full time as a teaching artist in high schools I sacrificed my business for the sake of avoiding drama with my employers and remaining “respectable”. I went to work everyday dreading every call or email scared that I was about to be fired because I had been “found out”
The fear of my church families new + old having a negative impression of me. I feared that they would question my walk in Christ because of their misunderstanding of what it means to be sexually liberated and of my work. Let’s not talk about the fact that I have led Praise Dance ministries and performance efforts across the city.
Men that I know and men that I don’t know, or shit just masculine of center people in general regardless of anatomy, seeing my videos or images as an invitation for their lude comments, aggressive behavior or sexual violence.
Facing negative comments from online trolls about my plus size body and/or getting slut-shamed for being a woman embracing her sexuality in a public space.
Prior to this weekend’s class I spoke into existence at a recent performance at #BlackSexMatters that I was tired of hiding under all the stuff. I was tired of hiding under all the fears of taking up space, all the fears of rejection, all the fear and confusion of not wanting to be seen as anything less than a “respectable or good woman”. I let something go that night. I let go of other people’s expectations of me. I let go of my own resistance to doing this work that was put on my heart. I let go of the pain that people had caused me over the years that led to feeling crippled in my sense of self-worth. That last piece was probably the biggest release. While onstage I ripped the dress I wore to my father’s funeral (and the two weeks after). This ripping symbolized for me taking back my life and a commitment to not get stuck in the pain of the past- especially the pain that I experienced with my Dad. This was a new step in my liberation journey.
Over the years I have shared and talked about overcoming the pain I experienced in my relationship with my Dad. From his many health challenges, to our vast differences in opinions to not growing up with him actively in my life, there was a lot of distance and tension in our relationship. In that heartwarming way that children want to be loved and nurtured by their parents, I believe I was always a Daddy’s girl. And truth be told my Dad broke my heart on many occasions throughout my childhood and into my adult years up until the point where I came out to him as a Lesbian. It was his violent and abrasive response to learning that I was same gender loving that put the final wall in place. I made a resolve within myself that I wouldn’t keep opening the door to that type of pain, no matter who it was. I prayed for the strength to love him from a distance, forgive him and God willing have the opportunity to do the work of reconciliation with his initiation. Years later my Dad did apologize for how he responded but I know that he never really understood the pain that he caused me at that time. It didn’t occur to me how much I had been holding on still to that pain until I received the news that he had died. I spent the next two weeks during and after his services in white, mostly the same white dress. I didn’t work. I slept. I cried. I avoided a lot of the stuff that needed to get done. And with the help of my partner and her gentle encouragement I found strength to face this depression head on. This performance at BSM happened about two months after his passing and the act of ripping that mourning dress gave me something back mentally that was invaluable.
I know these aren’t stories that we are suppose to share. I know that especially since my Father has passed I am suppose to only remember the good moments that I had with him. The truth is that I had very few moments in my life where we existed in joy and peace together. I do know that he was much more than what I experienced of him. However, that does not change my experience and one of the things that I encourage my own clients to do in our classes is to tell their truth and dance their story. We can’t have our own experience of healing if we are not willing to take the risk of speaking our own truth even if it means going against norms and loyalties to set ourselves free.
That night on that stage at #BlackSexMatters I set myself free. I think that is part of the mission of that beautiful space curated by the phenomenal Playwright & Activist Kristiana Rae Colon, to give Black people a safe space to reclaim pleasure, eroticism, sensuality and joy without shame. To set themselves free from the societal and interpersonal violence that blocks us from experiencing our birthright to ecstasy. Because in so many spaces, Black Sex doesn’t matter, it is stifled, invalidated, abused and shamed. In those spaces where we can’t embody our sexuality in our own expressions we are forced to numb out at best and die at worst.
The Universe heard my cry on stage that night prior to my performance and decided to come out guns blazing to meet my request for growth. I’ve been met with many opportunities to show up and show out in my truth and this video culminating the end of our class is really the epitome of this energy surging through me. This video for me is raw, unfiltered and beautiful for so many reasons.
And then I read the comments.
What stood out the most was the praise from other women who saw the confidence that they desired to embody, the celebration of unashamed body love and being sex positive even in a body that is often times deemed undesirable by society standards.
I noticed a few other comments in the midst of the praise. Comments asking if I was dancing in potato chips, why I wasn’t covering my stomach, I should have started the dance differently, people saying stop, no or flat out calling me ugly.
Here is my response:
Those were clearly rose petals. To the ignorant assholes that thought it was funny to make food jokes - fuck you - twice.
My stomach is round and full of stretch marks. I love every inch of it and I will wear whatever the fuck I want regardless of your rules.So again- fuck you.
I’ll start these dances however the hell I want. Once again - fuck you.
To all the people calling me ugly or undesirable. Please do us all a favor and go fuck yourself.
I will not succumb to the pressures of ignorance. And I pray that the women who are reading this message won’t keep taking hits either.
You deserve to celebrate that beautiful body you live in- RIGHT NOW.
You are desirable - RIGHT NOW.
You are sexy - RIGHT NOW.
You are worthy of respect - RIGHT NOW.
You are needed - RIGHT NOW.
Any son-of-a-bitch that has the audacity to tell you anything different can kick rocks. Dismiss that shit from your life and keep holding your head high. More than ever right now we have to take the risk of showing up. Life is not waiting for any of us. I refuse to see women holding back from living the life they desire out of fear of the possibility of rejection.
So what are you holding yourself back from doing?
Where do you feel resistance in your life to taking a risk?
You have nothing to lose other than the opportunity to experience pure freedom.
I want to hear what you are going to do for yourself before this year is over in the comments.
Join me for the Shamelessly Sexy Masterclass. Here are the upcoming class dates. Remember this experience is my VIP intensive and it's limited to 8 people for a full day of working with me in an intimate setting.
OCTOBER 8TH 2016 Chicago,IL (Sold Out)
OCTOBER 29TH 2016 Chicago,IL
NOVEMBER 19TH 2016 New York, NY
DECEMBER 10TH 2016 San Francisco
DECEMBER 17TH 2017 CHICAGO,IL
jANUARY 14TH 2016 ATLANTA,GA