Do I have to wear a bikini?

Do I have to wear a bikini at Carnaval?

You don’t have to wear a bikini at Carnaval

Are you interested in dancing in Carnaval San Francisco but concerned about the costume? Don’t be. Here’s why.

No, you don’t have to wear a bikini.

In short you can wear whatever you want in the parade. I am here to support you feeling good about yourself. We can modify your costume to your comfort level so that you feel confident no matter what.

All bodies are good bodies.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to choose self love but I know that its a challenge. There is literally a multi-billion dollar industry that specifically wants you to feel bad about yourself so they can make money. I encourage everyone to fall deeply in love with themselves and appreciate whatever stage they are at in life.

It’s a celebration!

Carnaval San Francisco is a celebration of the vast and diverse cultures of Latin America. People show up to have a good time and honor the manifold of beauty standards, clothing, art, music and dance. As long as you’re having a good time, everyone will think you look great.

I hope you will be brave this year and dance with BeadSquad because everyone should be able to dance their bundas off.

Exist Loudly! at Carnaval San Francisco

Exist Loudly

Take Up Space

Carnaval San Francisco is less than 4 months away and BeadSquad is getting in gear. This year we want to take up space and be proud of who we are as individuals and as a group so our theme is “Exist Loudly!” This past year has been wild, politically, emotionally and professionally. The lessen I have chosen to focus on is to be my most authentic self.

Someone once told me about Enneagrams, a way of categorizing personalities and described me as type 4, the individualist. She described it as 2 sides of the same coin. When I’m feeling happy I’m ecstatic to be unique and see my individualism as a way to connect with a broad spectrum of people but when I’m sad I get anxious about not fitting in and feel isolated in my distinctness. This idea resonated with me. I have frequently been told “you are the weirdest person I know and the coolest person I know” by many different people and I cant ever take it as a compliment. This year I am owning my quirks and letting go of the part of my ego that wants to fit in.

I have noticed that when I speak my truth I feel more connected to others. The bonds I share with others are strengthened. When I become more clearly defined so does my community. I encourage you to take up space and Exist Loudly!

Want to Dance with BeadSquad? Rehearsals start Wednesday March 6 7-8:30 pm, join us!

Nourishing Our Whole Selves

Nourishing Our Whole Selves

I am a confident and outgoing person, yet I struggle with chronic anxiety and depression. I often wake up at night overwhelmed with worry and doubt. Towards the end of 2017, my depression was near crippling. I laid awake at night running over lists and scenarios in my head and would rise the following morning exhausted. I was uninspired and became irritable. I wasn’t enjoying motherhood or spending time with friends and family. With a little push from a friend and client, I decided to get help.

Less than six months later, I feel like a new person. With a few daily homeopathic supplements recommended by Miriam Mackey of Likewise Homeopathy, whom I highly recommend for all your physical and existential troubles, I continue to practice mindfulness techniques to keep me grounded and present. From the afternoon of our first visit to the following morning I felt the ominous fog that had been usurping my life begin to lift away. My liveliness was still low from months of sleeplessness but I began to have energy for ideas. I was finally able to think again.

My First Dream, Glitter and Sisterhood
I wanted to put together a contingent for Carnaval San Francisco. But I wanted it to be more than just a weekly rehearsal. I wanted to start finding my people, to create a beautiful community where we can support each other through all of our various struggles. Together in a sea of glitter while we practice our Samba. I want to strengthen our bonds, or as a friend once said “tighten the hoop” in a fun and exciting way.

Nourishing Our Bodies
I’m still a holistic personal trainer and cannot negate the fact that the Carnaval Grand Parade is essentially a marathon. And to be able to maintain the same amount of energy and sparkle Sambaing down the first block until 1.7 miles later, you need to train. This means building up endurance, which entails proper nutrition as well as cardio and strength training. I want to support my dancers to be as explosive at 17th and Harrison as 24th and Harrison. So I consulted the talented and deeply generous Executive Chef, Jefferson Sevilla, of the Town Kitchen, a great social enterprise that I suggest you order your next lunch from, to compose a meal plan that is rich in nutrition and delicious. It is designed to enhance your digestion so you can beam from within as you leap, twirl and blow kisses through the decorated streets of San Francisco…or while taking out the trash.

Our bodies are designed for movement, our muscles and joints allow us to pivot, hinge and glide. I constructed a workout series that focuses on using our bodies in ways that will enhance grace and coordination. It centers on core engagement, flexibility and limb isolation. Thank you and rest in power Katherine Dunham, who gave the world a lexicon for Afro-Caribbean dance.

The Event Horizon
Wow. After weeks immersed in social media ad buying, wholesale fringe and listening to an endless amount of Favella Funk, our first rehearsal happened. And I’m so proud. I’m proud of myself for conquering my anxiety. I’m proud to have so many people in my life who support me. I’m proud of the womyn who came out and are as excited as I am about this journey. I am finding my people and spending time with them is empowering. My soul is nourished and I want to share this feeling with others.

Join us
The parade is still many weeks away and you can still join our sisterhood (and potentially brotherhood). Rehearsals are Monday nights at 7:30 at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda.

I Want You to Dance with Us, Apply for a Scholarship.

Dance with BeadSquad

Dance with BeadSquad

The Bay Area is a magical place that inspires artists and innovators. The temperate climate allows one to explore the its glorious mountains and beaches year round. The diversity of people bringing a variety of ingredients  has lead to a cuisine all of its own. The array of qualities that make the San Francisco Bay Area special, also make it hard to live in.

The cost of living is incredibly high and the pressure to make ends meet can be stressful. I want everyone who is as excited about being in Carnaval San Francisco as I am to be able to participate without an economic burden.

If you are struggling to figure out how to afford our holistic dance training package, you can apply for a scholarship. Carnaval is a meant to be an inclusive event, don’t let money prevent you from joining BeadSquad, we want you to dance with us!

Dance Your Truth in Carnaval San Francisco

Rolling along to Carnaval SF

Rolling along to Caranaval San Francisco

I started dancing in Carnaval San Francisco over 10 years ago, however my family has been participating as dancers and musicians since its inception in 1979. There is so much I love about this celebration of multiculturalism. As a mixed-race person I strongly identify with the African Diaspora story, where Black Africans were stolen from West Africa as slaves and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern regions of the Americas. Here Africans mixed with various indigenous groups to form new cultures and traditions. The fusing of cultures resonates with me on a deep, spiritual level.

I see myself as someone who can fluidly move between cultures while being rooted in their individual histories. Like a mermaid swimming through different seas and oceans but always in the same water. That’s why I wanted to lead my own contingent this year. I want to share my love of dance and movement and inspire other’s to get in touch with their bodies. Dancing is one of the few things that quiets my mind and deepens my connection to the universe. It makes me feel at home in my body and I want to encourage other’s to connect with themselves. Carnaval is more than beads, feathers and glitter, to me, it is a chance to uplift others physically, emotionally and spiritually.

This year we will unmask our inner mermaids and dance our truth. As a group, we will reclaim our identities and our bodies as we dance through the streets of San Francisco.

Be a mermaid, connect with yourself and join #BeadSquad!

Train for Carnaval San Franciso and Dance with #BeadSquad

Why train for a marathon when you can train for Carnaval San Francisco! This is a complete training package to get you ready to dance your heart out through the streets during the  Carnaval San Francisco. This dance training package includes: weekly rehearsals of choreographed routines ($120 value) nutrient dense meal plan with recipes ($200 … Continue reading Train for Carnaval San Franciso and Dance with #BeadSquad

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