On Thursday morning, not yet out of bed, my mind started up with the questions. So, what steps can we take? And what about…
“Don’t start,” I said aloud. I was irritated and tired from lack of sleep. I took a shower.
Desperate to climb out of my head, I couldn’t wait to get into the city for my weekly S Factor class. I almost brought a print-out of a draft article with me, to edit before class. Luckily my inner wise woman spoke up: What are you doing, sweetie? You need a break. Leave it home.
Before class I shared my difficult week with friends hoping to leave my mental chaos outside the studio. Some of it followed me in to the familiar darkened studio. I chose a spot near one of the lights wanting to absorb energy from its red glow. I longed for inverted spine circles, a move that stretched my fingers, arms, shoulders, back, sides and opened my chest. These combined deep breath, super slow stretch and sensuality – a holy trinity that rarely failed to sink me into my body.
Why hadn’t I done these on Monday night when my brain hurt from over-thinking?
But we started class on our knees, resting on our heels. Uggh. My butt still didn’t reach my heels. I’m not sure it ever did, even as a child. And my left quad and knee still felt tweaked from a recent injury.
I’d have to rely on hard work since it keeps my mind from wandering; it takes focus to exert muscles. I hoped I’d have enough energy. Once we transitioned to hands and knees I began to warm-up. I pushed through abs letting my teacher’s energetic encouragement help. I felt sweaty, satisfied and proud. During flat-footed bridge grind, the stretch in my quads and hips felt delicious.
When I leaned forward in a seated open-leg stretch (legs forming a wide-V), my back sighed with relief after spending long hours at the computer. Taking my sweet time, I lingered behind my teacher’s guidance, “Girls, take yourself from the center to your ankle, slower than ever.” My hands crawled along the cool floor before reaching my warm skin. As I leaned my torso towards my left leg, I felt my breast rest on it. Woot! I was getting more flexible. My quads felt more pliable too. We ended with spine circles, which set us free into our moving meditation. Eventually, Blinding by Florence & the Machine pulled me to my feet.
Time to dance.
I dressed in a favorite outfit. Sheer black flowy baby-doll. Sheer robe with pink, aqua and yellow flowers. Tight denim mini skirt. No shoes since my knee had not fully recovered. Though I felt more grounded, remnants of irritation lurked. And I wanted to dance out the emotions of my week to Glory Box, especially after the imaginary conversation I’d had with the singer the night before.
I headed to the back pole for my warm up dance. I felt restless and undecided about where to start. I walked to the right corner near our second lap-dance chair. It felt off. I moved away then glanced at the day bed across the room. Nope, I wasn’t relaxed or tired. I stood between the wall and the pole. Pole? Nah. Wall? Yes, my rock and anchor.
I leaned my back against the wall squatting as the sunny beat of reggae filled the room. It’s light bounciness slid across the floor to my bare feet, tickling them to step away from the wall. I rolled my hips in a big circle.
A huge grin spread across my face. I felt transported to a sunny beach. I frolicked around the room, sashaying my hips. I played with my sheer flowery robe. It caressed my skin, as if blown by warm ocean breezes. I could almost feel the soft hot sand between my toes.
The happy chorus was familiar and so joyous:
Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady
It drew me to the pole. I spun backwards around the pole in a flying half pint then twisted my knees forward and landed on my feet. My hips continued to lead the way, twisting into another spin.
My feet took over, skipping towards the empty chair. The chorus sent me back to pole several times. Eventually, the music faded.
Glory Box or Reggae?
Should I stick with Glory Box for my dance? For a moment I felt torn. Hell, no! I wanted more reggae. I chose Above the Bones by Mishka.
“Do you want someone in your chair?” My teacher asked.
“Yes, please.” A classmate moved from the ‘peanut gallery’ into the chair, which had been was pushed up against the middle pole, facing the front wall of the studio.
I leaned my head against the wall, away from the chair and peanut gallery. The music started. A similar sunny, bouncy reggae beat enticed my hips to swing and roll along the wall towards the middle of the room.
I pushed off the wall, meandering towards the chair. I grasped the pole behind it. I felt inspired to swing around it. But the chair and lapdancee were in the way. Slightly irritated, my hip pressed against the chair; it slid away. This surprised me. While doing this, I heard Mishka’s raspy voice:
…We gonna rise yeah, high above the flames…
Feeling empowered, I stepped around the pole in the small space swinging my hip gently into it. I slowly backed my butt into it to nudge the chair with body farther away. Still hearing Miska’s words:
Our hearts open as the endless sky
No more deception
Now, I had enough room to soar around the pole in a flying half pint-chair sit combo without hitting it or my lapdancee. As I touched ground, the following lyrics felt like a promise from the universe:
No more shame
Just a reflection of the natural high…
The discomfort I’d been feeling all week about women’s responsibility for her sexual power and its affect on the male gaze melted. There is no shame in moving this way, not when it feels so damn good and glorious.
The rest of my dance felt like lazy day at the beach as I discarded layer after layer, smiling and teasing my lapdancee.
Afterwards, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated like I’d just had a mini-escape to the Caribbean.
As a friend of mine said, “A little reggae make everyTING irie!”
Why not take a play break right now?
With Shaggy featuring Rayvon?
Or better yet, pick the song that your erotic creature (sexual alter ego) needs to hear and give her what she needs.
Note: For Why I still S after all these years, Part 1 see Doing, Doing, Doing and Being