I came into this world different. Ma says that when I was young we'd be walking hand in hand down a well-paved path. I'd take my hand from hers and walk among tall grass, carving my own way.
Burlesque helped me acknowledge my personal power forged in my difference. It took time. Wading in discomfort. Attempting to mold myself into the imagery often associated with burlesque. Glamour and rhinestones. Big band jazz and feather fans. Performing burlesque through this lens didn’t honor my power. I realized that, for me, burlesque is about personal power and liberation.
Burlesque, the artform of satirizing and striptease, is rooted in revealing and reveling in one's truest self.
I learned how to revel in my power and touch my freedom. This is my aim as a burlesque instructor. To create a space that encourages us all to touch both our power and joy-filled freedom. Just as with my burlesque journey, in the classroom we start with classic burlesque movement as an embodied envisioning. A way of asking, "This is what was…What else can be?”
We bevel our feet and shimmy our shoulders so that we can take note of how this movement sits in our bodies. We use classic burlesque movement to break away from the practice of folding ourselves into shapes but rather as an invitation to allow the movement to find home in our bodies. It ain't a class with me unless I exclaim, "Now let it go and make it yours!" We all ain’t gotta shimmy the same but it is my aim that we all do it down a path forged by our personal power.