I should preface this by saying, I don’t see anything wrong with making, passing or having judgements about anything. While a Judge is making a decision or forming an opinion as objectively, authoritatively and wisely as humanly possible, most every day humans use judgement in another way. They simply form opinions, estimates, notions or conclusions from what’s been presented before them and what they are measuring those presentations against.
There is nothing “wrong” with that. It’s called being human.
What we suck at is later on treating people and situations harshly and horribly because of those judgements which may or may not be true. I recently had TWO lessons in my issues of judging. The quick lesson is this, Don’t let your judgements stop you from taking risk, exploring all your options and trying something new.
Two weeks ago, we were given an assignment via my S Factor class called “Harem.” When given these assignments we are to find costumes, music, props and/or movement that is inspired by those themes, for example, “The Naughty Nurse.” So “Harem” came up and I thought “Dirty Brothel” and I didn’t want to participate in that assignment, even though “Dirty Brothel” sounds like a fun assignment in retrospect. Then I thought Indian and Turkish music which as far as ambience put me in the right mood but I couldn’t find anything danceable. So I just didn’t do the assignment. In class last night, because most of the students did not do the assignment, our teacher Meg gave us a group assignment to try. She placed all four lazy boy chairs in a circle and asked us to lounge about on them. She told us in the olden days a Harem was a safe place for women ONLY sort of life S Factor. It wasn’t sexually charged but perhaps it was more sensually charged. In essence it was a place for women to go to dwell in their feminine energy and to be in community with each other.
Yes I know there are other connotations connected with Harem. Religious and Political Oppression, Women’s Rights and such but that’s not the point of the assignment unless you wanted to dance a “political statement” or something.
So there are five women, including me lounging in a circle of chairs and she begins to play this other worldly, harem-like music and it was just fun. We weren’t being “sexy”. We were moving as the music inspired us. We were engaging our senses. Playing off each other’s energy and listening to how our bodies were beckoning us. It was so fun. I learned my dance can be just as engaging if all I’m doing is using my finger tip to trace the fabric of a chair. No pole tricks needed. No hip swaying. Just the full engagement with using my fingertips to touch the soft fabric of a chair.
If I had done the assignment during my freestyle with an open mind, I can’t even imagine what fun I would have uncovered. There’s always next class, though!
THE LITTLE MERMAID
S Factor just sent our weekly email and in it they revealed that our next assignment is “Mermaid.” For a second, I rolled my eyes. There’s no way I’m coming to class dressed as Ariel or a Fish. I will NOT dress in gills. I made that snap judgement…. Which is OK….. We do that. What would have been a problem for me, is if I let that judgement prevent me from living and experimenting.
I thought more of “Mermaid” then I remembered the whole concept of a “Siren” and anyone who knows me knows that I love all things Siren. One of my archetypes is Siren. While S Factor calls the manifestation of your sexuality and sensuality, your “Erotic Creature”, I’ve always maintained that for myself, it is called, “Siren.” In fact, for months now I’ve reiterated the fact that I have TWO sirens, SLY and ISIS.
So this assignment is perfect. It’s about Sirens for me. It’s about seduction. It’s about the element of water. It’s breathy and sultry. It’s deathly. It’s life giving. Its risky, dangerous and wet. It’s coy and suggestive but firm. It means I can bind a part of my body. I haven’t blogged about the discovery of ties, tethering and binding…I will soon but basically my inner Sirens LOVES being tied up. This assignment is ASKING for it! I’ve already started an initial playlist. Remember when I mentioned how I make a playlist full of all genres of songs whenever they give us an assignment. I did that again.
Now I’m inspired. I’m excited. I can’t wait to figure out my costume. I can’t wait to see what song I decide to freestyle too. I JUST CAN’T WAIT.
I learned my lesson. I don’t have to come down on myself for making judgments. We do that every day. What I keep learning though, is that judgements aren’t the final say. Judgements shouldn’t dictate how I live my life. Judgements shouldn’t stop me from trying. Imagine all that I would have missed if upon hearing “Mermaid,” I simply said, “Fuck that,” and clicked delete.
Don’t let your judgements prevent your adventures and epiphanies!
This goes beyond themed assignments though. On a grander scale, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what the execution of our judgements could prevent. I’m sure there are a lot of women who’ve been presented with the opportunity to try a sensual movement class but because of, not only their preconceived notions… i.e., judgements but because they let those judgements influence their actions, they’ve never tried those kinds of classes. I remember my first assumptions of pole dancing. I thought they were going to teach me how to be a stripper. Now I didn’t necessarily have a problem with being taught to do that but I just didn’t expect my life to change. What if I never tried S Factor, or Shockra Studioes or Flight Club NYC? ? What if I had judged myself and others and let that lead to me NOT doing the Pole Showcase? If I let my initial judgements regarding sexuality influence all my actions, I wouldn’t have met Claire of The Pole Story and I wouldn’t be a blogger or writer for Vertial Art and Fitness! I wouldn’t have met Aerial Amy and so many others. I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to read the life altering, ‘Penelope in the Divine’ by T. S. Valenzuela. (MAJOR review and MULTIPLE INTERVIEWS PENDING. You need to know this woman!) I wouldn’t have encountered Lori of Confessions of a Twirly Girl, Lisa of Pole Dancing Professor, Chwenny of Chwennyland and so many other amazing people. I mean, I even had a six month internship in Social Media and Marketing in the pole dance community. I’m editing a pole dancing and sensual movement short film right now! I was asked to be on a production team of pole dancing video series and I am stage managing a pole dance showcase.
NONE of this would have happened, if I let my initial judgements STOP me from experiencing adventures!
I won’t say, “Stop judging.” You’ll do that until the day you die. What I’d advise is to move pass the judgement and see what else there is.
And if you’re interested in what my playlist look like, it’s below. For the next few days I’ll be adding more and more songs to the list. Usually I scour the music I already own on my iPod and I create playlist. Then I do research and get suggestions from friends to add new songs too! I know already this playlist needs some Sonnymoon!
1. Avalanche – Zola Jesus
2. Lick the Palm of the Burning Hand – Zola Jesus
3. Skin – Zola Jesus
4. Optimist – Zoe Keating
5. Hyperballad – Bjork
6. Be Like Water – Sarah Fimm
7. Troubled Waters – Cat Power
8. Water – Rose Royce
9. Will There Be Enough Water? – The Dead Weather
10. What the Water Gave Me – Florence + the Machine
11. Everybody Loves You – Jenn Grant
12. My Lover’s Gone – Dido
13. Here With Me – Dido
SOME of MY SEXY MUSINGS
Conversations With My Skin | Set Your Soul Ablaze | Goddess Rising | Rebuild Yourself | Adjusting For Decency | Moving Meditation | Needing It | Bravery, Boldness, Courage and Strength | If You’re Sexy & You Know It, Clap Your Ass