In my adult life, I have become what seems like a grocery list of mental/emotional issues. everyday is a new adventure down the rabbit hole of what has become me. everyday is a new endeavor managing and evading side effects of mental illness. with that being said, the last two weeks of February were the absolute hardest. Mercury was in retrograde, I was full of phlegm, and having a major depressive episode. It was the worst I have had in a long time, almost resulting in suicide. I laid in my bed, tears falling, throat sore, and soul hurt. In thought long and hard about the reasons why my life just wasn’t worth it anymore. I thought about how easy it would be for people to move on if I died.
I’ve had this feeling before, where everything would be better if I wasn’t. I’ve teetered the line between life & death before but I haven’t since 2015. I called that progress until Feb. 2020. Maybe it was the flu, dealing with other people children daily, and the constant worry about the future. Either way, I was going through the blues. The surprising thing that kept me somewhat steady was an upcoming Vixen Camp.
Vixen Camp is a class or more like a series of classes exploring sensuality and manifestation through body movement. The instructor, Ciera Adair is a vibrant sunburst with a soothing aura. Ciera has crafted a traveling dance company that promotes getting to know the body, redefining sensuality, and using the power of movement to manifest.
The class started with Adair explaining that choreography wasn’t important-step by step to the “T”. She said, “Y’all know I don’t give a fuck about choreography.” The important thing was doing what felt right to the body, my body was important, for once my body mattered. The movement, the wants of what my body needed was important. The room was dimly lit with a single spotlight. We began with simple movement. Our bodies were getting used to the space. This was a constant theme throughout the entire class as well as be present in the moment. Two things I am rarely ever able to do. The class lasted about two hours.
From the moment I agreed to go, I was biting my nails and gulping hard because I have the sensuality of a rotten dragon fruit and trauma related to my body. For years, I neglected understanding my body and how it relates to my feelings/ mental-emotional issues. Vixen camp brought that to the forefront of my mind but in a subtle and delicate way.I spent time in the class slowly chipping away at a shell that has been built. The class challenged me to move- from simply walking with my chest out to a backwards twerk move on the floor. Adair said something about sensuality- “it’s not super femme.”It doesn’t have to be sexual or for other people. She said, “We dance for ourselves. I’m no t here to show you how to dance for a man. You dance for you.”
In the two hours I spent I learned to move to music, spoken word (surprise performance from the Jennifer Eden), and to let my guard down. I gained a small appreciation for my body and doing what feels right for my body in the moment. It was a therapeutic experience for me. I felt re-balanced afterwards. It helped me think differently. It helped in anchoring my depression and anticipating opportunities to come. I am anticipating taking another class but I’d have to be alive for that. At the end of the previous month, I was sick, suicidal, and searching for happiness. On the last Friday of the month, I regained my strength, my energy, and a new curiosity for life. Whether or not you have depression or body issues, I would suggest taking a workshop. It’s fun, restorative, and gets you in touch with your body.
Routine we practiced, ^^ above.
*Photos and Videos courtesy of Ciera Adair.