I’m back! I haven’t blogged forever because I have been muscling my way through the summer. Go mode in full effect. I have been teaching 14 classes a week, training in a new modality, planning my first ever outside-the-gym workshops AND my wedding (81 days to go!!), musing on my brand, and checking off various and sundry boring and incredibly triflin’ tasks to get me closer to conquering my little corner of the world.
And big surprise, I got sick last week. In the middle of teaching my Monday Shanntastic lineup at 63rd and Lex, my body, fighting to booty pop through the last 20 minutes of Hip-Hop on the 1/2, brought me to a screeching halt. The rest of the week was a blur of early nights and home remedies, and as I came out of my cloudy malaise, it was July 1. And I thought, “shit. I have to make up a new intenSati series.”
Creating a new series can be an involved process. You need to feel it, love it, and find the perfect music to support it. You need to make sure the choreography flows and you vary the workout from the month before. I need to love the affirmations because if I don't, I feel like a cheerleader with no soul. And music, as some of you know, is EVERYTHING to me. I DJ it myself on my Mac every month. It takes time. So, I sleepily tucked into a cushy chair near the pool at the Columbus Circle Equinox to begin the process. I asked myself what was going on with me right now that I could share? What can I draw upon for July? My ipod, on shuffle, skipped to a fun mix of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” mashed with Madonna’s “Holiday” (aptly titled “Alejandro’s Holiday” by the amazing DJ Corey Craig) and it hit me. I haven’t been having any fun. I’ve been keeping my head down, pushing through, making the money, doing the work, and it took the age-old, borderline-played-out 80‘s-friendly lyrics to smack me into reality: “If we took a holiday, took some time to celebrate, just one day out of life, it would be so nice!”
And I thought, “Holy shit Erika, you need to relax and have a little fun.”
And a series was born!!!! HOLLA! My commitment for July is to enjoy my freakin’ summer!!! Take time to celebrate this amazing time in my life! I’m marrying the man of my dreams! I am healthy and happy! I love my work! I am in my creative spirit and am surrounded by amazing friends, family, and limitless opportunity! Just writing that feels so much better than “I am tired. I am overworked. Wah wah wah, poor little victim me.” No wonder my body shut down on me! Blech!
So, here I am on week one of Operation: Summer Fun. And it’s making a huge difference in my day to day so far! Last night after teaching, I hopped the Q train with my girl Heather all the way to deep Brooklyn to see my brother John and his band play. Buzzkill Erika would have said “He doesn’t start until 9:30pm and I wouldn’t get home until 1am because I live in Jersey and I’m just going to go home and catch up on So You Think You Can Dance and go to bed, because I have a 9am meeting tomorrow.” BO-RING! Fun Erika said “I love my brother and his music, AND I haven’t seen Heather forevs, and the ride to Ditmas Park will be a great way to catch up!” I went, drank seltzer, loved every minute of it, and was home, sober, by 12:40am....
...at which point Buzzkill Erika taunted me, “You should cancel your in-person meeting tomorrow and see if you can do a phoner instead. It’s so late and you will be going all the way into the city for an hour meeting and then coming home, and you have so much work to do...” FUN Erika replied with “Dude. You LOVE Tom. Every time you see him you get inspired and you laugh and connect with your creativity and feel great. You can still get decent sleep and come right home to do your work. Just go!” And so I did. Not only did I leave my meeting with Tom on a total creative high, but I connected with a new AMAZING mind/body space, where I plan to unleash some awesome workshop action. AND they have acoustic nights once a month, so I connected them with my brother. I came home energized, and inspired to blog!
Fun. It’s a win-win. I’m into it. The Buzzkill persona is a drip. And fat. Wanna see what I looked like when I was letting my Buzzkill persona run the show, in my pre-intenSati, pre-happy, miserable and uninspired life? Here. Don't say I didn't warn ya. 2 1/2 words for you. Chins. Arms. Ew.
Happy feels (and looks) much better. See? An upgrade in so many ways, but that is for another blog :)...
But I digress...So how does my new take on the summer affect YOU? Well, to start, I am taking Fridays off for the rest of the summer. I will do nothing on Fridays or Saturdays but play and rest and bask in the sun and laugh. Away from work. This means I will be a happy, rested, present teacher for you. And I will have a tan. Yay!
I am taking myself off the Equinox schedule on Tuesdays in August (sorry, Tribeca peeps!) to do what I love most and run my OWN workshop at Pearl Studios, called The Sizzle Sessions. Check it:
The SIZZLE SESSIONS are an opportunity to fall in love with your greatest asset: Your hot bod! Celebrate the body you’ve got, get to know it a little better, and shake up your chakras while working up a sweat and having a blast! I will lead you through four fun, freeing movement sessions to help you identify present and potential physical blocks, determine what you want for your body and your health, and shake what your mama gave you! No previous dance training is necessary for this group workshop- all levels are welcome and this series will benefit professional dancers and strictly-in-the-shower dancers alike! All you need is a great attitude, a desire to feel great and deepen your relationship with your body, and a sense of humor! Each week we will explore a different kind of movement practice:
Sizzle Session One: Self Exploration
A fun, exploratory freeform dance session to identify your blocks and boundaries, and discover your favorite form of self expression! Afterward we will do a brief meditation and journal exercise to acknowledge these discoveries and explore them further.
Sizzle Session Two: Sensuality
Sensuality is your enjoyment of the world and your own physicality as perceived by your senses. It is not a special gift or talent- we all have it! We will work with all of the senses in this class to tap into our sensuality, so we can share with others who we are at the height of our enjoyment and bliss.
Sizzle Session Three: Swagga!
Assert your power in movement! In this playful, hip-hop based session, we will start by documenting our successes, attributes, and strengths, and then channel what we find into some dope moves and booty-poppin’ choreography. Feel the power of moving with an edge, connected to the ground, while pulling in a little of last week’s Sensuality.
Sizzle Session Four: Spirituality
For our last session, we will focus on using movement as meditation to reach a higher level of consciousness.
Sound good? Here are the deets!
WHEN: Tuesdays, August 3, 10, 17, and 24, 6:30-8pm (Tuesday 8/10 will be 7:30-9pm)
WHERE: Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, 12th Floor, Penthouse 1, NYC
COST: $100 (includes all four sessions. A la carte sessions are NOT available for this workshop.)
REGISTER: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-742-3204. Space is limited so register today!
I want you there. It will be a blast. Let’s have some FUN, dammit! Are you in???
Love and freeze pops to you all!