What does the phrase "Body Positive" mean to you?
Accepting your body and the changes it will experience as you move through life with grace. Being kind to yourself about things that society may make you dwell on , such as stretch marks, weight gain, wrinkles etc.
Why is performing important to you?
Performing allows me to move through my fear and negative associations I've formed with my body . Pushing through and sharing my expression with the audience always ends with support, love and renewed sense of " I can do this. I am beautiful no matter what ". It's also just plain fun :)
What was it about your chosen art form that drew you?
I've always been a performer, even in my childhood I loved the spotlight. Bellydance and Burlesque happen to be my 2 chosen forms for now. Bellydance because I love exotic dance forms and learning about other cultures and Burlesque for the pure , raw sex appeal . Being able to feel confident, sexy and supported is totally empowering.
What has your journey to body positivity been like?
Still going through ups and downs. Like many I've gained weight throughout the years and it's a struggle to be ok with it and yet be ok with wanting to change. Questioning if my motives for change are from a health standpoint or a disgust standpoint ( because I've had both). Some days I cry when I see my performance photos because of my perceived flaws and other times I feel I'm a damn tigress. It really is an ongoing journey that I hope continues to move toward a more positive end.
What, if any, impression(s) do you hope your audience walks away from your performances with?
"Damn shes sexy !" for Burlesque is always a win.
I love to have fun with both my dance forms, so I hope that people who watch me see that I'm totally immersed and enjoying what I'm doing.
Also that anyone can do it, you just need to smile and have fun .
What do you want people to know about your story as it relates to participating in this project?
I want people to know that it's hard to get past your bodies perceived flaws, that it's hard to really listen when others tell you you're beautiful. And that's ok. You don't have to believe it every time, but smile and say "thank you" before that little voice in your head responds with "really? because I thought I looked (insert body shaming here)". I hope that by getting outside my comfort zone that I will inspire others to do the same. To dance, free your mind and your body from the mental shackles of shame. Life is too short. Share who you are with the world, no matter what size. <3