Feminine Energy: Knowing Your Boundaries

My Rules

A common misconception about burlesque is that it’s “just” sexy dancing – but omg, it’s so much more than that. 

Almost anyone who’s danced burlesque could speak to the behind the scenes work like costuming, the on-stage elements like presence and connection with the audience, and the real life benefits of taking risks on stage.

But I like to take it a step further…

Burlesque celebrates one’s self-ownership.

Instead of accepting social assertions about femininity, sensuality, and self-expression, we make choices about what we prefer – each person asks themself:

What makes me feel sexy, confident, and liberated?

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!

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!

2020 Interview with artist and healer 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

Happy New Year! Making a Vision Board that Works

It’s the beginning of the year, and you’ve already made your New Years Resolution!


A vision board is a fun and powerful tool to bring awareness to what it is that you intend to create in this great big world. And lucky for you, I’ve created a totally FREE “how to” video to get you cutting and pasting!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

How To Make a Vision Board and Why They Work for Manifesting

You may discover, over time, that some things on your vision board evolve. Never be afraid to take a part of it off and replace it with something that more truly represents where you’ve grown.

I’d love to see some images of your vision boards! Please feel free to make a video and tag me @redhotannie 

And until next time, I’m sending you blessings of Courage, Creativity, and Connection.

xo

Red Hot Annie

7 Days to Burlesque

In this online burlesque intro to the art of tease, you’ll learn the essential dance moves to choreograph your own burlesque bump and grind.

Shimmy your way into loving your body a little more in this heart-centered, sexy virtual workshop series

Integrating The Law of Correspondence into Your Performance Discipline

As Above, So Below.
I have to say that, in a way, this is my favorite of the Universal Laws. Most people get it up for the Law of Vibration (popularly cited as Law of Attraction), but there’s something about this one that has always just resonated with me in a visceral way. 

What this law is referring to is how what we think (aka our internal life experience) is reflected back to us through our external life experience. Meaning that there is a fundamental harmony between the physical, mental, and spiritual realms. 

Imagine that your thoughts shoot upward into the universe, shifting and aligning the course of All That Is, and then are returned back to you via what happens to you. To me, that says that the power to be, do, and have anything lives within you – within your ability to focus your thoughts. 

God is within you.  

And while it sometimes seems that we are a reflection of what happens to us, the Truth is that we are actually a mirror image of what we spend our time thinking about. 

Holy Paradigm Shift! 

It reminds me of one of my favorite Wayne Dyer quotes, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  

What I love about this Universal Law is that it gives me back the power to shift my circumstances. If I focus on other people’s expectations of me, I’ll get a reality full of other people’s expectations – and if I focus on what I’m grateful for, I’ll get a reality full of things to be grateful for. 

So, as a performer and teacher, I see this law reflected in the idea of discipline. And not just physical discipline (although based on my experience, the law can work both ways), but mental!

Sometimes people share thoughts like, “I’m not a good enough dancer,” or “No one wants to hear my ideas.” And then, not surprisingly, they see this reflected back to them in their reality. 

This is why the idea of affirmations are so powerful. When you notice that you are ruminating (having a recurring negative thought), take a breath. Notice where you feel this in your body, and give permission to that part of your body to relax and release. 

Then – and this is important – find a more empowering thought and commit to the practice of replacing the rumination. That’s discipline! And it’s just as necessary as practicing your tendu and/or vocal scales! 

So, for example, instead of “I’m not a good enough dancer,” you’d use a present-tense (I am, I do, I have) affirmation – for example, “I choose to focus on my strengths as a dancer,” and then take a moment to make a short gratitude list reflecting your new affirmation. It’s that easy – and it’s extremely powerful! 

Within a short period of time, you’ll notice that your mood will lift and that your external experiences will indeed begin to reflect your new mental paradigm shift! 

The Power of Grace

This holiday season, I invite you to focus on the power of Grace. 

We have all felt the longing to be, have, and do more with our precious time on this earth. And regardless of whether it’s outside constraints or self-imposed limitations, when it comes to feeling complete freedom to become who we want to be, sometimes we find ourselves coming up short.

The Story about how your life has unfolded can be a source of great joy and sorrow. Perhaps there have been many people in your life who have not valued the beauty contained in the full spectrum of your life experience, and you have felt stifled – like you are “too much” or what you have to contribute is “not enough.” 

Because of how many of us have been socialized, we can hide away the juiciest, most potent aspects of ourselves.

Those hidden facets live in our bodies as Emotion.

When you are afraid to look at (or share) these emotions, a feeling of “Stuckness” is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to take a chance – to do something different, to try an experience that will shift your perspective. Tell a loved one how you really feel. Take a dance class. Try meditation. 

Do something new. 

Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to reveal what has been hidden. 

Over the years, I’ve been amazed at how, when someone takes even the smallest step toward their purpose, miraculous things can occur.

When you take a step toward your Truth, your Truth takes a step toward you. 

And when you’ve gone as far as you can go, it is Grace that fills the gap – giving us access to the deepest, most essential, most lovable parts of our Self – our own, true, unique inner beauty.

Your Story is your greatest gift to the World. And, in spite of what anyone’s ever told you, your experience with how you’ve fallen short is integral to that story. A Hero’s journey isn’t complete without a challenge and the resulting transformation.  

That’s Grace. 

I want to help you free your Self and Body and cultivate Your Story in your own unique way, so that you can show up more fully in your business, relationships, and any other aspect of your life that matters to you. 

I’m Red Hot Annie and for 12 years, I’ve been working with people from all over the world to uncensor themselves, to overcome body shame, and to share their most provocative, juicy, and authentic inner self with others – whether that’s for an audience of 1 or 1,000. 

And today I’m inviting you to join Becoming Burlesque Masterclass, a community of liberated womyn, to release fears around not being enough and addiction to outside validation, while learning to unconditionally love your Self, Body, and Life – and to step into the role of creator in a life you’ve always dreamed of. 

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

It’s time for your Life to be nothing short of magical! I’m inviting you to join our community of creative, heart-centered, empowering artists. This is your moment of truth – uncensor yourself for good and take the next step.

Plan a Girls Weekend in Chicago – Burlesque Party

Bachelorette Parties in Chicago

Each New Year, I get a surge of interest in the art of burlesque – whether it’s people signing up for classes or artists gathering together for girls night out, a burlesque party is one helluva way to honor the creativity, sensuality, complexity and solidarity that is so essential to sisterhood.

While we spend the majority of class dancing to uplifting retro-themed music, it’s in my burlesque parties that I bring you the creme de la creme, the most potent lessons I’ve experienced while performing for audiences of thousands abroad. It’s a sexy 60-minute lesson that will leave you feeling charged up and ready to share the true potential of the Goddess energy within.

Schedule yours. 

Burlesque Bachelorette Parties Girls Weekend Chicago