When is the last time you've felt powerful? Like really powerful. To the point where if you needed to, you could knock someone out with the sheer force of the look in your eyes. I'm talking BEYONCÉ powerful.
My last time was at the All-Female Fusion performance at IASA's cultural show Sarani on November 3rd.
Those seven minutes on stage, dancing to some of my favorite songs, doing body rolls, deep bends, dressed in a fierce af outfit with full-out diva make-up –– those were quite possibly my favorite seven minutes of being on campus.
When I first signed up to dance with IASA, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it would be a casual, fun experience dancing to some Bollywood songs and meeting some new people. I never thought I would walk away from it reinvented in a sense. The very first dance our choreos taught us was a slow, sexy number to Camila Cabelo's Havana. Damn, that was a lot of hip thrusts and bending. I have no problem with other people being sexy, but myself? That's a whole different matter. I was so nervous. I was nervous about getting on stage, about what my parents would think. I was nervous that I would just look ridiculous instead of sexy. I knew how to move my body that way, but I really didn't know how to do it in front of other people. I suppose that stems from a layer of self-consciousness. A layer of not being comfortable in my own skin, with my sexuality. Of being told to safeguard myself from "that" world. Of course, I'm still young, but I'm not a child anymore either.
After two months of practice, I knew I had the moves down. I knew I could look sexy. It was just the matter of doing it in front of a bunch of people, strangers, family and friends alike.
The entire day leading up to the show was all prep work. Prep work of getting ready, getting dressed and dolled up, last-minute practicing of moves. It was a lot of fun, and the more my new dance friends dressed me up, the more confident I started to feel. That made me realize something; wearing the make-up, wearing the clothes actually does empower. There's a direct relationship between looking sexy af and feeling sexy af. I would never recommend getting dressed up like that on the daily, because oh my god that took forever, but when you are getting dressed up, own it, girl. Go all out. You look hot, feel it too.
Then, getting on stage, I felt myself surrounded by this amazing group of women, who I'd bonded with over the past two months. I felt even more empowered. "Who run the world? GIRLS GIRLS!" That had been our chant for so long. I felt strong, fierce.
Our choreos taught us to make every move big and powerful. "Punch like you're trying to f*ck someone up, punch like you mean it." That's not something that women hear on the daily. We're taught to be calm, dainty, composed.
But being powerful is cathartically liberating.
Being powerful is a high.
It amped me up to the point where I was comfortable being sexy. I was comfortable in my own skin. I felt fierce, not ashamed or self-conscious. The cheers of my friends and family in the audience egged me on.
I walked away more confident in myself. I walked away not conscious of the way I was walking. I walked away with the motivation to hold my head high. Empowering.
It's true how people say that dance is an empowering art. It's true what they say about the rush of pleasure that sets you loose. It's true that embracing your sexuality feels SO MUCH BETTER than feeling ashamed of it. Like I've said before, these are all things you hear and live vicariously but don't truly understand until you've done it yourself.
I had a wonderful experience with Sarani this year, and I encourage every young women that if given the chance to be a part of an all-female dance group, take it. Dance with your fellow women and feel the power.