I asked for my mom to help me attend since I wasn’t working and it was almost my birthday. I unfortunately cannot remember most of what I experienced since I lost a lot of my memory from that time of my life- what I do remember is struggling so much just to be seen. I worked so tirelessly on my solo and the group piece and with every class I felt more and more sexy and more and more alive. Our performance was kept to just women identifying individuals and I remember how important that felt for me. What I loved most about it all was that I never felt abandoned in the process and I didn’t feel smothered or hassled in it either.

 

It felt as if Audrey would open the space and invite us to join her and it was always a choice but every time I wanted to make that choice and not once did I feel her try to shape what I experienced but felt instead a massive sense of control. I got to be in charge for the first time in a long time. That shifted my life radically. I chose so many things for me and got to honor my boundaries. I honestly didn’t have any expectations except to heal, grow and to get closer to, “being better.” I can say it exceeded every one of those expectations because here I am and I still choose this for me!



The most unique thing was that although there was guidance and structure, I felt how much I was being asked to lead myself. Every time I went further and further it wasn’t because I was told to do so but because I was being shown that I was capable and that I’d be supported in my process.
 


The burlesque series felt like an initiation and invitation into myself to embark on a journey of reclamation and declaration that my sex belonged to me and that I got to choose how to express it, how to protect it, how to love it, and how to honor it in its entirety. It was a spiritual experience of finding sanctuary within my body.

Lakiah R.