Category Archives: dance

“Sing a Song: It’ll Make Your Day…”

During an informal teams meeting yesterday I found myself humming Earth Wind and Fire “Wanna Be With You” very quietly.

I’ve been listening to my EWF playlist for weeks since the Flowerbomb gathering for EWF on Clubhouse. I take small breaks to listen to other music but I keep coming back to my EWF playlist on Tidal. It has such an immediate soothing effect on me. I just become loose and comfortable and…transported. I listen to it while I put on my make up, when I clean on the weekends, when I go for walks. I mean I generally use music in this way and have for aged but this was the first time it popped up in a work situation. I definitely attribute this to the increased level of comfort I’ve experienced working from home where I do my best to surround myself with things that make me feel light and inspired.

The humming happened almost unconsciously and it was low enough that I don’t think anyone noticed. It was just for me really, a kind of security blanket of sound, something that cut through my stress and helped me to be present, to feel all the beauty of that tune, while we waded through tedious, nerve wrecking hypothetical re-opening plans.

Music, particularly EWF music that reminds me so deeply of my childhood and my family, has this power of making me feel a kind of nostalgic safety. For me, their vision of love, soul, joy and liberation, still hold up the same way to this day. It is at once a going back in time but also feels totally timeless if that makes sense. EWF’s ideas about the transcendent power of love, music, dance and spirituality seem bound up eternally in a heart centered place that can never be destroyed. This is a great relief to me at a time where so little is stable, and no one really knows what will happen from day to day. It also makes me realize that there’s rarely ever a time when I’m not listening to music. My music playlists are as much about sacred healing, grounding, releasing and connecting to the divine as they are about having fun and letting my body slip into a spontaneous dance groove. A solo dance party can start anywhere. A connection to the divine through music and sound is possible everywhere.

I am so thankful for it.

The Savage Ex Fenty Fashion Show: A Work of Art, Culture and Commerce SPOILER ALERT!

I am a Day 1 Savage Ex Fenty fan. I mean literally. I was one of the those people sitting in front of my laptop waiting for the exclusive website access I signed up for to begin when Rihanna’s line of lingerie first dropped, watching the minutes count down. I was so excited to be able to buy lingerie designed by Rihanna that catered to a broader range of sizes than I had ever seen at a Victoria’s Secret. I remember having to retrain my eye when I saw the range of varying shapes of full sized and “plus sized” models on the site. I was so used to giant skinny White women with flat asses, that it took me some time to adjust to seeing what real women looked like in lingerie. I signed up for the yearly VIP Membership as advised by my husband (heehee) and have never looked back. Over time, I’ve noticed that it’s often the fuller sized models who I look at to see how the lingerie might look on me. Body image for women in this world is such a colonized, white washed mind fuck that it can take months to deprogram your gaze from the damage of Victoria’s Secret print models.

The Savage Ex Fenty Fashion show that dropped on Amazon Prime streaming video last week took the concept of inclusion and Rihanna’s on brand strength, playfulness and sexual empowerment to a hundred and ten on acid!

Now I know that Amazon is a giant corporate monster but I’m not mad at Ri for  establishing herself as a mogul, getting that bag and creating an empire because she is also breaking the standardized mold of what we’ve been told sexy looks like as well as bringing art, culture, body positivity and non-conformity into the commercial world of lingerie. This fashion show was runway, was performance, was art, was dancehall, was concert, was furturism, was so many things! As each musical performance began you could click in the left margin to see the song that was playing and a bio about the artist. So you can buy the lingerie, the music, and discover and support some artists you may have never even known before Ri put you on.

Before it starts, there’s a behind the scenes look at the concept, vision for the show. The moment when Rihanna first sees Paris Goebel’s choreography for the opening of the show and loves it so much she decides she wants to be in it is just so exciting. The entire show is Rihanna from beginning to end. It’s strong, edgy, sexy, powerful and wildly inclusive. I’ve watched it three times so far and I get goose pimples every time.

Savage Ex Open

The opening lands like a chainsaw. It’s just sick. When these ladies go off, it’s like the Dora Milaje threw on sexy lingerie and decided to do a hip-hop concert. Rihanna’s Savage warrior spirit is on full display. The women she selects to channel their own version of that are pure fire.

The set, a collection of all white basic but theatrical shapes, landings, stairs, and several stories of domes to highlight the silhouettes of each dancer who inhabit it was a fantastic backdrop to set off the plumage of fantasy, funk, freakiness and fabulosity that graced the stage.

Raisa Verticle

Let’s talk about Raisa Flowers (above), a make-up artist who opens up part of the set for the first performance. I had no idea who she was before I saw this show but to see her is to know what she is about because her energy, her artistry and beauty are just beyond. I’m blown away by her.


There was a woman with a double leg amputation who did a fierce walk across the stage during one set. Mama Cax, a gorgeous model and just an amazing being who has a single leg amputation someone I know from being a fan of Finding Paola, was also featured.  And Normani who used to be with Fifth Harmony was all angles and hips and joint defying butterfly! She and the dancers in her set busted out and came to slay it all down.

I loved seeing Gigi Hadid walk out to  the intro of Big Sean’s “Clique” a song I really like despite the usual misogynistic lyrics. He and A$AP Ferg were a great choice to open.  Halsey was also amazing. I believe she lip synced her song because unlike the other musical artists who performed on stage alone, she performed with lingerie clad dancers who were part of her extensive set. Migos was a wondrous visual spectacle performing in a circle filled with shallow water. I loved how their futuristic metallic outfits and sunglasses reflected the multi-colored colored  laser lights that shot down towards them in slanted shapes like rain.  I also loved that Tierra Whack came on with DJ Khalid, Fat Joe and Fabolous to close it out.

I cancelled my Amazon Prime account last year and never find cause to order using their service any longer. But somehow I’ve still watched  the fashion show repeatedly since it came out. LOL!

If you don’t have Amazon Prime and are totally anti Amazon because of the shit they tried to pull, I totally understand. Just go get you a trial so you can watch and then cancel it later. LOL!!

No, seriously…go…now…



Give it up if You Didn’t Kicked in the Face: Why I like MTA Subway Dancers


Like so many New Yorkers in the 80s, I grew up as a girl in NYC feeling that  that Graffiti was just rude and ugly vandalism thrust upon undeserving commuters. Maybe it was to some degree but it was also art, art of the streets and of the youth. And now when I look back I wish I had been able to appreciate the creativity, passion and intelligence behind it then, the ethnography, the historic record and narrative it would become. I notice graffiti now wherever I go. I even seek it out when I travel because it tells me more about who has imhabited the are then the story the developers would like us to believe.

I won’t miss out on it this time around.

The subway dancers. You love them, hate them, or don’t care about them at all but if you live in NYC and ride the MTA, you probably have had to tolerate them several times in your journeys. Young African American teenaged boys who travel in small goups with the odd girl or two sprinkled in on occasion. They come on the train with a radio or some music playing device playing something with a hot contagious beat. One of them yells “Showtime” and claps his hands while they each take turns doing gravity defying flips, twists, kick and somersaults all while on a moving train. And I have never seen anyone get kicked in the face.

I can barely keep my balance on a moving train if I let go of the pole or bar for four or five seconds.

So they’ve got skill, stamina, strenth. They’ve rehearsed their routine. And they are charged up with energy, passion and excitement. They’re comedians, Mc’s, promoters. They’re self trained dancers. And for the most part they’re veyr polite because they’re doing this for money. They go around with hats collecting money saying “Show your love, not your hate.”

I not only like watching them dance but I also like watching the ways in which they transform the subway car and change the energy around them. Kids always look on with wonder and amusement and return the extended fist bumps. Tourists usually love them and show it with cash. The girls they flirt with often drop their stiff faces and break into giggles. Some people ignore  them, move away, stay in their own worlds. Others like older people who you think might not like them clap their hands in support. Some people look at others for some idea of what and how they should feel about this. Others give the dancers pounds, smiles, laughs. Some hit record on their cell phone video cameras. I’ve done it once or twice when I’m on the mood.

It’s New York City where anything can happen and I know that one day these subway dancers will be a thing of the past, relegated to photographic record, part of a cultural narrative of NYC’s past. But I like to enjoy them now, in the electric present where they belong, the voice of today’s youth channelled through physical expression, pushing the boundaries of performance. The streets are where so much of our popular art comes from.

And I love a museum exhibit as you well know but I like just as much when art suddenly happens like an accidental wrong turn, dirty, unsolicited and occasionally disturbing. It doesn’t always have to be sterile and meticulously selected or curated and pinned behind glass. You can touch it, smell it, taste it, feel it, sometimes without wanting to.

Keep your eyes on it while they’re still on this side of the gallery. Feel it. It’s free and It won’t last forever.

I can hear some of you yelling “Thank God!”