Sunday’s workout was a new one for me. I always thought that Bollywood style dancing was cool, but cheeky. I thought of it in the same light at say, ABBA and Mama Mia, the Musical – fun but not exactly high brow culture. That all changed when Kiran Easwarachandran walked into the room Sunday morning. Her breezy energy and sweet voice filled the room with calm.
She started us off by sitting in a circle. She placed some small cards in a smaller circle in the center of the room. She asked each of us to first take a card from the stack and then go around the room saying our names. We could also set an intention for the class, based either on what the card said or on how we were feeling.
This was a really fun experience and gave each of us a chance to speak up.
Then she explained a bit about Bollywood dancing and encouraged us to go with what we were feeling. Kiran’s soft approach and gentleness were apparent throughout the “workout” but her vigor made its appearance once we started dancing! Her dance moves are beautiful and flowing but combined with her hysterical narration – we were all nearly in hysterics. We shimmied our “boobies” and flaunted our booties. We answered the phone, “hellooo!” and we gestured “kiss muh ass!”
In the middle of the workout with a smile bursting across her face, the woman next to me said, “Where do you find these people?” I have no idea but I love it!
What I loved most about the Bollywood dance experience we shared on Sunday was the femininity. It feels like in much of our lives, it’s not really ok to demonstrate outright femininity. We’re careful not to be slutty, sexy or provocative lest we provoke someone’s untoward advances. As a woman, as a mother, even as an athlete, it’s truly rare that I get a chance to just feel feminine and celebrate my body. If I let myself really think about it, I’m pretty in love with my body. Like an old Toyota, it starts up right away each morning. This body doesn’t give me any trouble with breathing, walking, eating, running, chasing children, picking up toys, loving my husband. Expressing the feminine nature of who I am was a luxury that I’d like the chance to explore.
What could possibly be more powerful than a room full of strong beautiful women dancing barefoot and expressing their sass? It was GREAT!
Speaking of femininity, once our heart rates settled down after all that female power, Andi Wickman, a life coach who works with working moms and new moms transitioning back to the workplace, shared some of her thoughts on masculine and feminine energy. Andi talked to us about how the working world is still a male-dominated realm but that feminine energy doesn’t have to be checked at the door. While men look at the world in its individual parts and sub-projects, women generally see the whole picture. Women communicate and work more collaboratively than men, which means that when a consensus is necessary, a woman might be the one for the job!
As a woman who worked for many years in male-dominated professions and industries (Enterprise Software Sales and Project Management), I know that it was often easier for me to take on more masculine approaches to problem solving. Andi asked us to consider a scenario where we’d prepared a presentation for a high level (male) executive, on which we’d worked for months. During the presentation, the executive never looks up from his phone and seems unengaged. “How would you handle that situation?” Andi asked us.
The most response?
Ask this man a direct question about the material. Engage him. I actually have no idea if this is a masculine or feminine approach to a problem, but I know it takes a lot of guts to confront someone in that kind of situation. Given what I saw on Sunday morning, I’m CONFIDENT that the fierce force of women in that room could have held that man’s attention AND gotten him on their side.
If you’re interested in trying out Bollywood dance, you can find Kiran at http://kirane.yolasite.com.
For more about Andi Wickman and her Life Coaching Practice, check out her website: http://andiwickman.com.