Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Bootyism is the celebration of booty power. A liberated booty is a liberated being. Who in 2008 doesn't want total freedom? How many of us are tapping into the sacred power of our booties to truly experience our freedom? Bootyism encourages us all to move our bodies for our own healing.
The bootyism campaign evolved from my own journey to self-love. I grew up around old women and young boys who seemed to be the most vocal about my booty. There were always comments about my "baby-making" hips, and how "thick" I was, or how "those pants are pulling." In college I was often the only afrikan person in my dance classes and ballet was torturous. In the mirror, I was one of the only girls with a rounded bottom that never "tucked" under. Surprise...I never got a higher grade than "B" in ballet. But nevertheless I was comfortable with my booty and my body and never missed a chance to booty shake!
I didn't start to consciously think about the booty until a major lovelife upset a few years ago. Same-old story, you know, he was with another woman and her booty was bigger than mine. I couldn't voice my feelings because I was this dance teacher who spent her days encouraging everyone else to feel good about their bodies, trust their unique movement, and celebrate themselves. I felt there was no home for my booty insecurities, so I kept silent and only told my journal. These mounting feelings of inadequacy were getting on my nerves and so I decided to play a game with myself. I pretended like I had this larger-than-life booty. Every time I was at a party or dancing with people, I emphasized booty movement and got others to booty shake with me. And before I knew it, everyone else was commenting on how big my booty was getting! It was great, and then I had this epiphany. My booty hadn't physically gotten so much bigger, but my "booty consciousness" had expanded and grown free of those small-minded fears that I was lacking booty and beauty.
The enthusiasm around booty shaking continued to generate more creativity, self-love, and opportunities to share and create art communally. I decided that the whole world is hungry for more liberating, self-empowering dance and the booty was a grand place to start. Why the booty? The booty is life! Many indigenous cultures around the world have preserved booty-centered dances that celebrate this life-giving region of the body. Think about the Samba of Brazil, a dance that unifies people from all over the nation, and even now the globe. Bootyism elevates a person's awareness of the life-force frequency, and consequently, creativity as well, enabling everyone to access a unique self-power that is the foundation of healthy communities. The booty is power when we claim it as such.
I am on a quest around the world to gather at least 6,000 unique booty moves and I invite everyone to participate in the development of the bootyology. Some dances are for the individual to do, some to do with partners or groups, some to do inside the ocean, some to do for political protest, and some for releasing traumas. I am making house calls to host booty parties, holding "Booty Energy Dance" workshops in different communities, and of course dancing on the street and booty shaking with the public as much as possible. The booty is an omni-source of creative energy and Bootyism is a path to explore all its dimensions. Remember, All booty, is good Booty!
Upcoming Booty Energy Dance Workshops for Women
Friday, June 13, 2008 7:30-9:00pm
Emergence Community Arts Collective
733 Euclid St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Suggested Donation: $12
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Wow, a new year has dawned and many people have asked me where has OSA been since October? Where have I danced? What have I been doing? The dance has definitely been here, with me! In the fall, I decided to shift the structure of OSA Dance 600 (which was 600 consecutive days of OSA dance) to better nurture my whole self. Learning to balance health, nutrition, rest, prayer, cleansing, and writing with the dance allowed me to reflect on sharing OSA with the world in a more effective way. With the arrival of spring, I have come out of hibernation and OSA is reborn ANEW!
Welcome to the journey of movement as life itself. Ask yourself when was the last time you danced? If you don't remember start dancing NOW! Shake a leg, a booty, a wrist--do something to send a signal into the universe that you are ALIVE and participating in this cosmic dance of breath and body. OSA reminds us that the dance belongs to all us, and depends on all of us to actually do it. No one else can do your dance, and no one else can teach you how to do your dance but YOU! You are the magic equation for the miracle that is your life. Wake up with me and dance!
I recently started dancing with women who are incarcerated and recovering from drug abuse. This has been an amazingly synchronistic development in my journey as a movement healer. The experience of surrendering my freedom to enter a prison only to go and facilitate dance that acknowledges the innate freedom within has illuminated the ambiguity of liberty. What is freedom? Is it a place or a consciousness of being? Is it something you are given, or something that is yours to take?
I dance with these women. I listen to their poetry and I wonder, "why are you here, in lock-up?" And there are many reasons, many stories, many traumas, many people with blood on their hands, and yet, none of it matters when we stand in the circle to breathe our way into dancing. Lifting our arms, stretching our backs, smiling with whatever teeth are left, this dance is the product of all the known and unknown circumstances. In one moment I am wishing that they weren't in jail and then again I know we wouldn't be dancing these sacred healing rituals if they were out on the street escaping life with drugs. I am thankful and I am prayerful that each one of these women experience dance as an opportunity to love the self. And it wasn't until working with them, that I really began to honor the same prayer for myself.
I love moving with the whole world. This dance is so much bigger than my moving body, this dance is the whole earth body and all that dwells therein. All of us are dancing and the OSA Dance project is a reflection of that movement. I dance out the joy, the pain, the ugly, the gorgeous, the sexy, the lame, the scary, the traumatic, the spiritual, the confusing, the anger, the humor, the mystery, the monotonous, the NOW, and whatever else I find out there in our world. Are you in the dance? Are you in the game?