Spin & Pose

December 28, 2012

<Hey Beautiful!!  Wanna come dance with me in 2013? Hipline has some new specials out, including $13 for 4 classes for new ladies. Purchase by Jan 1st!.  Also, if we are connected on facebook, be sure to spin & pose & post it for the New Year!>

As all of us Hipline Ladies know, every class ends with a spin & pose.  It marks the ending to our journey travelled through class for the performance that day.  It’s like an exclamation mark at the end of an exciting sentence.  The perfect last bite of a delicious meal.  The ending O of bedroom playtime.  The spin & pose is signature & fabulously unique to each of us.

Our poses represent our appreciation to ourselves, first & foremost.  For showing up that day.  For giving our 100%.  For dancing our hearts out.  In addition, our poses also allow us to acknowledge the ladies in the room that just shared the space & experience for the show that we all just starred in.  That’s right, Ladies, we truly are the superstars we always wanted to be! Lastly, our spin & pose acts as a symbol, a representation, a reminder that the energy that we just created both individually & as a group can be taken outside of our Hipline community to bring to the East Bay & the world at large.

During our delicious journey leading up to this final moment, we, as choreographers, ask you to do things like flirt with yourself in the mirror, raise an eyebrow to Shakira’s fierceness, snap your fingers in an imaginary big box in front of you.  We encourage & promote expressing ourselves through body language.  Granted, it can feel crazy to take what society says about being a ‘lady’ & doing something the opposite.  It can seem uncanny initially to frame your Goodies when we are dancing & singing to Gwen Stefani when she belts out “That’s my $hit, that’s my $hit.” (Aside: personally, I like to add in: That’s my $hit & I love it & I respect it & you should respect it, too!) Sometimes, we need to ask ourselves to take a step or two beyond our comfort zone, in order to push back some of the layers, with the intention of getting to a deeper place of authenticity.

I have shared with many of you Lovely Ladies that I spent the majority of my life being shy.  While I started ‘outgrowing’ my shyness when I moved to the Bay Area after college, I have noticed the most changes in my body language & what I say to the world when I started taking & teaching Shimmy Pop.  What about this dance form is so powerful?

Besides the fabulousness of letting go of perfectionism, freestyling without being judged & freeing ourselves to sing, Shimmy Pop asks us to take up & own our space. (Even in Rockridge, where we are sometimes packed in. ; )) Similarly, our final spin & pose is to say with our bodies what we need to say in that moment.

It is estimated that 60-90% of what we communicate is through body language rather than speech.  Take a moment to marinate on that.  60-90% of what we share with others is done without words.  The vast majority of how we “talk” to each other is revealed through such things as eye contact, gesturing, body positioning & facial expressions.  All things we work on during our Hipline performances.

I was recently chatting with my my friend & career consultant, Britt, about this dynamic topic of body language.  She turned me on to a TED talk with on social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, who has done work specifically around power poses.

Imagine the powerful poses that are demonstrated by our favorite celebrities.  Beyoncé with her hands confidently on her hips.  Athletes with there hands raised to the sky, chin slightly lifted to the sky, after winning a race.  You can see them in all their sassy-ness & confidence, right?  Here are some related tidbits I thought you would find juicy from the Amy Cuddy’s work on power posing:

  • Our body language is judged by other people. We make decisions about important things like employment & dating based on body language; often times even more than what people actually say.
  • Body language is often gender influenced.
  • Our body language also affects ourselves in terms of how we feel & what we think of ourselves!
  • Within our bodies, when we feel confident & express ourselves in a way that takes up space, our testosterone is higher & our cortisol (stress hormone) is lowered.  Conversely, when we use body language that makes our body smaller, the opposite is true.
  • Our bodies can change our minds.
  • A small change like holding a power pose for 2 minutes (i.e., hands on the hips like Wonder Woman) can make a big difference.  It can change the levels of hormones in your body!
  • Rather than faking it ’til you make it; practice it until you become it.

Isn’t the connection between body & brain ahhhhmazing?  SO, hands up, y’all!  Even if you have to pretend you are in a deodorant commercial until you believe yourself fully.  Or, if you need to practice your mantra “I am freakin’ fly & fabulous” on repeat while you stand with your hands on hips before leaving your house in the morning for work.  Practice in small increments to change your mind & your life.  Give yourself permission to let go & be authentically you. Oh, and by the way, there’s room for all of us to be bold, fabulous, confident & fully alive.  Go ahead, now…3, 2,1…spin & <power> pose!

In peace, love & shimmies,
Heather Alaine

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Heather is an advocate of embracing your inner superstar & loving life.  You can find more inspiration on how to Live Life Lusciously through her website, CreateYourOwnBeautiful.com.

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