A few months ago I had a unique experience and was incredibly hesitant to share it publicly on Instagram or a blog post. It happened when a friend captured a video snippet of me fire eating with two friends while we were playing around one night. We had spent the afternoon at a Tattoo fest where other friends performed a sexy and sassy fire dance number. As a result, later that night when we were having a fire jam, some of that sexual energy came out in our movements. After seeing the video below, I had an insight on something that has been bothering me for most of my hoop life.
It is a struggle for me to be ‘sexy’ on stage… I feel like an imposter, like I’m pretending to be a woman, like a watered down version of someone else who has more allure, more seductiveness, and more female power than I do. I imagine that there are many other women and female hoopers who feel the same way with many reasons why this is a difficult form of expression for us.
Maybe it’s because as a young women I was typically given positive feedback & attention for being funny, smart, ‘one of the guys’, and not often given praise or compliments based on my body. I was awkward, flat chested, and often carried myself with a masculine tomboy nature because it made me feel stronger and more confident. In other ways, I also notice that my upbringing somehow subconsciously created the feeling that this type of sexualized movement and expression should only be reserved for my partner, even though my logical brain knows that isn’t the case.
The video above is weird for me to watch. As a children’s performer and a self-professed “dork” I watched the Tattoo Festival fire acts in admiration for the confidence & seductiveness of each woman on stage. I’m grateful that this footage was captured; this snippet of me dancing like this because it’s actually uncomfortable for me to watch; which says a lot.
Why? Why does this make me uncomfortable?
Honestly, the girl in this video… she looks like someone else to me. She’s not me… I don’t identify with her… I’ve never considered myself ‘sexy,’ & would be uncomfortable dancing in this way in public on stage. I’ve never been that comfortable with sexualized dancing, or even public nudity, despite having been to Burning Man 7 times. I completely understand why woman take Burlesque classes & learn pole dancing. Being sexy is HARD, FEELING sexy is hard, OWNING your body and its movement with confidence is HARD. I want to take this moment to say how much I respect women who can hold their feminine power while on stage.
How do you feel about this topic? Is being sexy a struggle for you? Why do you suppose that is?
What makes YOU feel sexy? I propose that we create a movement for hoop dancers. Please share your videos and photos online by using the hashtag #sexyonpurpose
Spread the hoop love while you embrace your sexiness.
Much love and kisses,
Photo Credit: Article photo includes an image of Valentina of Unity Hoops.