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Transformation: What’s Inside?

Change almost always means discomfort, noticing what no longer fits. Like a baby bird pushed to the boundaries of their shell, we can no longer be contained. Uncertainty fills the consciousness, as we notice the feelings of restriction and we grow restless to be released. 

How different – how expansive, really – is the space *outside* the shell? We can’t know. All we can feel is the compression, the strain against the limits of the egg. 

It’s uncomfortable not knowing what’s next. Yet, this moment is as inevitable as the four seasons. We return to it over and over, revolving on a wheel of Evolution, each cycle a chance to take to heart the previous life lessons and prepare again for the new. 

Change, while uncomfortable, is a necessity to Growth. 

I’m reminded of when I gave birth – how, in the throes of labor, all I could experience was the pain. Even with the most supportive and loving birth team and doula, nobody could actually PUSH for me. I returned, with each contraction, to a sense pain and fear that overwhelmed my body.  

Clenching my teeth, I tried to transmute it, to feel pleasure instead of pain. I tried to breathe into it, to focus on what it would feel like to hold my baby in the end – trying to ignore the immense pressure, like a bowling ball suctioning in and out of a buttonhole. I tried to negotiate with The Ancestors, scouring my mind for unclaimed sins that justified this agony, seeking relief through favors I was surely owed. 

Ultimately, I had no choice but to surrender. 

Pain can be so consuming that we’ll do anything to avoid or stop it. And the questions asked by the process of transformation can be excrutiating – Who am I becoming? Will I be OK? What really matters to me? It can be a challenge to really see and accept what we see inside. How can I be less “affected” by the what’s happening? Is that even what I really want? 

Part of the JOY of Life is the ebb and flow – the fevered pitches and the silence. They say you can’t taste the sweet without the bitter. So am I shortchanging my potential to fully experience life when I attempt to avoid or ignore or hide the pain of growth? 

Your story is your greatest gift to the world. Only you can choose whether you fully accept and authentically integrate your pain into the autobiography you’re writing. 

All along, you have had the power. 

Everything that’s ever happened has been an opportunity to GROW. We are not now, nor have we ever been, the victim of our circumstances. Nor are we *just* Survivors. We are The Heroines of our story – and the whole world – every perceived ally and enemy – in their heart of hearts, wants to see you Triumph. 

You matter in such a substantial way that we all wait, timeless and patient, for your Awakening, your commitment to wielding your Power, accepting your role, taking centerstage, and speaking your Truth. 

There is no judgment, only recognition and Love. 

It’s time for you to take your rightful place as Queen in your life. 

If you’d like support on your journey, I can help you get cozy with your most provocative and juicy details so you can share your story, whether that’s for an audience of 1 or 1,000.

Becoming Burlesque is a program that supports you in cultivating your story in your own unique way, so that you can show up more authentically in your business, relationships, and another aspect of your life that matters to you. 

I help womyn be seen and heard so that they can make more money, impact, and connection through their businesses. 

This is your moment of truth – uncensor yourself for good and take the next step.

My Work Isn’t for Everyone

Maybe you’ve been on the fence about signing up for the Becoming Burlesque Masterclass, because even though it sounds like something you’d enjoy doing, but you’re not sure if it’s “for you.” ​ 

And let’s be honest – as artists, our work isn’t for everyone.
My work isn’t for everyone.
I’m not for everyone!
​​ 

As an artist, I focus on the Process. Like everyone, I adore spectacular results – but what I’ve discovered over two decades of being on stage is that focusing on the process liberates me. It allows me to “go for it!” where a lot of artists might hold themselves back. ​​ 

What Do I Do?
My specialty is helping Artists shift and expand their mindset. I love to help beginners and established artists discover and articulate the inspiration within their movement, words, and desires – what makes their work unique – and then take it to the next level by cultivating more of it in a natural, effortless way! ​​ 

My favorite part of what I do is helping artists tune into how they’re playing small and then supporting them as they take bigger risks – whether that’s creating a burlesque act, producing a show, or putting themselves out there via social media – to name just a few. ​​ 

I LOVE helping artists create and implement a creative strategy – a process! – that feels really juicy and courageous – and is easy and fun to execute! ​​ 

What Don’t I do?
Well, I won’t write, speak, or promote you for you. I don’t produce a show. I don’t have a cookie-cutter approach where you do A, B, and C. This is art, afterall! ​​ 

So working with me means that – even though you’ll have life-time access to 12+ hours of tutorials on burlesque choreography, costuming, writing prompts, and meditation – you ultimately have to take personal accountability to create your art! ​​ 

And you’re going to have to put yourself “out there” – all on your own. ​​ 

Who’s My Ideal Client?
My ideal client is ready to go to the next level. ​ 

​ They’re a beginner – or an established performer – who is ready to make art. They’re ready to set goals and then put in the work to manifest them. They want to be seen and heard – and they’re not afraid of feedback and the occasional hard truth that accompanies sharing. They’re willing to let go of what doesn’t serve. ​​ 

They have ideas and are looking for someone who can help them conceptualize and streamline a plan. My ideal clients are Artists who are ready and willing to uncensor themselves – and to take bigger risks in their personal, professional, and artistic lives. ​​ 

Who Have I Worked With?
I’ve worked with hundreds of burlesque artists all over the world – and many of the best known burlesque artists from Chicago got their start working with me! I’ve been in the cheering section for artists as they produced their first solos, their first shows, taught their first burlesque class, won international competitions, and traveled all over the world to share what they birthed during our collaboration. ​​ 

I have helped new and established performers establish a persona and performance style that is clearly defined and memorable – and I would love to help you, as well. ​​ 

Check out these video testimonials from artists I’ve worked with over the last six months. ​​ 

And remember, this is the week to join my Becoming Burlesque Masterclass!

What’s in Your Underwear Drawer?

Recently, I went through my underwear drawer – and I was horrified! 

​ After being pregnant for most of 2019 and in quarantine for most of 2020, I realized that my “comfy” undies had gotten just a little TOO comfy! I’d told myself that “since I wasn’t really seeing people,” the mismatched, sagging elastic, frayed seams and holes were no big deal. ​ 

So when I took stock this week, I realized that what was left of my unmentionables was really NOT worth mentioning – it was time to Declutter! ​ 

Out with the old,
In with the new. ​ 

Nowadays most people have heard of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method – essentially a process of decluttering your home by letting go – with gratitude, of course – of any possessions that don’t “spark joy.” ​ 

Have you ever tried it? ​ 

Here’s how I do it: Imagine that your home and your possessions are an extension of yourself, your inner world and your evaluation of yourself and what’s possible for you. Go through your home (or just a closet or drawer) and rid yourself of excess baggage – anything unnecessary or related to someone you used to be. This might be anything that hurts your heart when you look at it. It could also be gifts or purchases you’ve made that never really suited you. But it’s also anything that doesn’t fit, is broken, or is just scraping by. ​ 

In short, what’s cluttering your space is a reflection of what’s cluttering your heart! ​ 

Decluttering might look like:
Donating clothing that doesn’t fit
Closing unfinished or failed projects
Tossing trinkets from exes 

​ Since Nature abhors a vacuum, this highly symbolic action is a clear signal to the Universe that you’re ready for “more of the good stuff.” ​ 

When I would put on those old underthings day after day, it reminded me of being pregnant, “making do” when things got really tight during the pandemic, and ultimately, those raggedy drawers reminded me of being isolated and in emergency mode. ​ 

It was time to LET GO. ​ 

It was time to upgrade. ​ 

But upgrades don’t have to be materialist or expensive or unsustainable. Most of the time, it’s better to have a single, high-quality bra that really fits and makes you feel sexy than to have several that are just shuffled around in your drawer. Decluttering has had a powerful impact on purchasing habits and the desire to accumulate “stuff.” 

​ And, remember, it’s not about fitting into someone else’s standards – it’s how you feel. ​ 

What a difference it made to to stand in front of the mirror this week – in matching bra and panties that fit my beautiful post-baby curves. Even after all these years as a burlesque dancer, I still marvel at how feeling a bit more pretty underneath my clothes results in more confidence at work and at home! <3 

​ I’m curious – do your possessions accurately reflect how you value yourself?

Tease & Reveal Tip #3 – Embrace your uniqueness.

​No one is going to do it the way you do. 

Everything you’ve experienced in life, from what you know to who you are is an important (and beautiful) facet of your unique potential. Hold tight to what makes you one-of-a-kind and trust that the universe will guide you towards opportunities that are perfect for you. 

Taking your clothes off in front of strangers is deeply transformative. For most people, it’s one of their biggest fears! ​

But when you’ve survived that, you realize you can do anything you put your mind to. You truly can create the life of your dreams – full of creativity, passion, and honesty. You can overcome feelings of insecurity, you can learn to love your body, you can learn to accept the uncertainty of life. 

And I can help. ​ 

The mission of my work is to give you a brave space where you can embrace self love and self acceptance. I would love to help you tune into and amplify your incomparable talents, resources, and support – and to do it in a way that feels right for you

The best place to start your journey with me is through introductory course, 7 Days to Burlesque.  

Through this 7 day series, you’ll have access to (7) 20-minute courses intended to help you build confidence and trust in your body while practicing the provocative art of sensual dance. 

Imagine a future where you feel confident sharing your voice and where you revel in the practice of loving yourself and your body. Imagine the benefits at work, home, and in relationships when you know the value of your own command and presence. 

Check it out and join today!

Tease & Reveal Tip #2 – You are perfect. As-is. ​

You don’t need to be like the person in the photo. 

You don’t need to have a certain kind of body or be the world’s greatest dancer.  

You don’t need to look or be like everyone else.  

Some of the best, most well-known artists in the industry look nothing like the high gloss, photoshopped beauties that you see in magazines and movies about burlesque. These real life showgirls have found a way to not only leverage, but revel in their imperfections – and the world loves them for it! 

You are perfectly imperfect.  

Your perceived imperfections are part of what makes you so special. And you deserve to be celebrated – worshipped, even! – for who you are right now…exactly as you are! 

Not when you lose twenty pounds, not when you’ve won an award, not when you have a partner or get a promotion at work.  

You are worthy NOW. 

Accept that you are enough and deserve happiness – just as you are. And voila – the world is yours! 

Feel the power of being completely you:
– Give yourself permission to make mistakes and grow from them
– Take ownership of your own narrative by embracing your story
– Share with confidence knowing that vulnerability is not a flaw 

Wait no more! 

Burlesque is about exploring and carving out your own path. There’s no need to wait until you’ve got everything figured out – you deserve to share your real, messy self without fear of judgment or shame. Your story matters, and it’s the rawness of the real you that will give you the most power in sharing it. 

Let your truth shine on stage and off!​ 

Continue onto Lesson #3…

Tease & Reveal Tip #1 – Never wait for permission to share your greatness.

You never need to play small. ​ ​ ​​

Maybe you feel like it’s all been done before, it’s all been said. Nope! The world is waiting for a message that only you can share. So, be loud. Bold. Show up. Don’t apologize for doing what you love and for filling a space with your one-of-a-kind brilliance. ​ ​ ​​

Your time is now. ​ ​​

​​ 

You don’t need to wait for someone’s permission to share your greatness, to take up space, and to be wildly watchable centerstage. ​​ ​​

​ Are you ready to push past the fear of what could happen? ​​ ​​

It’s time to put yourself out there – because when you stop waiting for people to tell you what to do, to like you, and to think you’re amazing, you can do anything. ​ ​

Start today to take up more space:
– Say what you think
– Walk into the room like you own it
– Don’t say “I’m sorry” when you mean “Excuse me” or “Thank you”
– Raise your hand, raise your voice, raise awareness of your presence in the room
​ ​​

You are a star. ​ ​

​ And if the world isn’t watching, it’s time to change that. You deserve a community that supports you and your art and recognizes just how amazing you are. There is a place for you here. I want to help you get your art in front of the right people – schedule a free 30-minute call with me and walk away ready to stop playing small. ​ ​

Remember, where you are now is a result of where you have been – and where you’ll be tomorrow is a result of where you’re willing to go to day! ​

So, never let someone else dim your light. 

Continue onto Lesson #2…

3 Ways to Let Go of Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like what you’re contributing to burlesque simply isn’t good enough? Like, you wouldn’t want people to see your act, because it’s not really done, yet? Or if “they” knew how much you struggle behind the scenes, there’s no way they’d hire you? Or perhaps, you’ve already got the job, but you feel totally underqualified? ​

The first time I was booked to headline a burlesque festival, I was filled with Imposter Syndrome! I didn’t think my costume, choreography – or really anything – was good enough. In fact, the night before the show, I went out and bought big old stripper shoes to dance in – shoes I could barely walk in! I still remember doing tech rehearsal, wobbling across stage like a newborn baby deer. ​

Fortunately, I came to my senses by the time of the performance! ​

Here are 3 tips I use when I come face-to-face with the insecurity and nagging thoughts that make me want to surrender my power. ​

1. Breathe. It always comes back to the breath. Even in the middle of an indentity crisis (hello, 40’s!), this is a great way to simply BE. Try breathing in, slowly, through the nose. Notice the way the breath expands in your tummy and chest. On the exhale, give a long sigh and release any tension in the jaw, shoulders, and between the eyes. ​ 

2. Keep it Simple. When we feel undeserving, we sometimes over-compensate by over complicating and adding steps to prove our worth and help us feel we’ve “earned it.” Chances are, you already have the skills and expertise to do what you’ve been hired to do, so try a practice like EFT Tapping or 500 Things I Love About Me to release blocks. ​

3. Make Mistakes. You don’t have to be perfect. Without mistakes and wrong turns, we never get the chance to really experience the Joy of Life. Give yourself permission to enjoy the moment, because it’s all that there really is. If you fall, get back up. Being wildly watchable onstage means being will to take risks, to fall flat on your face, to not get the job/relationship, to not be liked. Remember, Now is the most priceless moment there is. ​ 

​ Remember, where you are now is a result of where you have been – and where you’ll be tomorrow is a result of where you’re willing to go to day! Tiny changes in how you Love on yourself will eventually compound over time to create a reliable sense of Confidence you can tap into at any time!

The Big Reveal: Creating a Memorable Burlesque Act

When you’re just starting out in burlesque, one of the hardest things to do is to create a solo burlesque act from scratch. 

There are million of questions to answer!

What song should you use?
What style of act should it be?
What kind of movement will fit with that style?
And if you already have costumes picked out, how you can you meld them with the movement and the music?

If all of this seems a little overwhelming, have no fear.

In The Big Reveal, we’ll talk about how to get started in burlesque, and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process I have used with hundreds of artists over 13 years to create memorable first acts.

You’ll learn some of the basics of creating and memorizing choreography – and musicality!

You’ll walk away ready to leverage skills you already have to build a one-of-a-kind act that you can perform for an audience of 1 or 1,000.

Plus you’ll learn the three most common mistakes to avoid. 

Real Life Burlesque Interview: Kiam Marcelo Junio

Kiam will be appearing as part of the Thriving Virtual Summit

Thursday, Feb 4
12pm – 6pm est


2020 was about surviving. 2021 is about THRIVING! Taking all the lessons you’ve learned and using that to increase your impact, positive influence and income. This virtual summit is for conscious entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals who want to have holistic success in their lives, businesses/careers and relationships. 

Limited availability! Sign up and save your seat for free now!
SIGN UP HERE


The role of the artist, the magician, the prophet, and each individual, is to bring about change in the world through one’s own personal transformations, revolutions, and revelations. 

As an artist who is also a person of color, Asian American, Filipino immigrant, US Navy veteran, gender-fluid, and decidedly queer, my work exists within these contexts but is not bound by them. I use a multidisciplinary approach in my research and art making. I develop a conceptual ecosystem in which my works function in myriad ways, informing one another. I create photos, installations, videos, and performances. I work collaboratively with local artists, dancers, musicians, and organizers. I foster relationships within my communities, and relish in our blossoming. By working with others, we come to know and become more ourselves. 

I look towards the future and feel its inertia – the momentum that propels us into infinite uncharted moments, carrying the past forward. 

– Kiam Marcelo Junio

Real Life Burlesque Interview: Chicava

Chicava is presenting I Am My Valentine, an afternoon workshop to unlock, unblock and open to the love you are by Undoing Romanticism. 

Sunday, February 14
11am-3pm CST


We live in an age of Romanticism which is only one kind of love. It’s really the most dangerous if you think about it, because your experience of its existence relies on another human being who’s just as beautiful, hurt, damaged, ambitions, confused, busy, overwhelmed, and hopeful as you are. 

We don’t see ourselves as ambitious about love, after all we’re just endeavoring to get what we were taught we were supposed to have so we can be who we’re supposed to be in the eyes of society that have seeped into the reflection we see in the mirror. Only after a major heartbreaking catastrophe (or ya know, like 80) do we start to question what’s up with this whole deal? How can we let LOVE be itself in the midst of partnerships of all kinds. 

Let’s explore what happens when we Let Love Be Love 

SIGN UP HERE


The role of the artist, the magician, the prophet, and each individual, is to bring about change in the world through one’s own personal transformations, revolutions, and revelations. 

Chicava is the proprietress of New York City’s Brown Girls Burlesque and lead teacher of The Broad Squad Institute. A scholar of performance art, women of color in burlesque heritage, and sacred sexuality and spirituality, she received her MFA from Goddard College. 

This blend of academic study, dance and burlesque performance, as well as deep immersion in several spiritual disciplines, gives Chicava a unique palette of knowledge and experience to work with. Not only does she evoke profound experience in her students, she also shares the wisdom and understanding she’s gleaned throughout her journey. Chicava.com