19 Highlights from 2019

It’s nearing the end of the year and the part of me that is able to see things in perspective and gain empowerment is catching up to the last season of episodes, absurdities, tenderness, and balance.

I drove through this long, winding road at night and don’t I feel that at a spiritual level.

Arriving to LA was INCREDIBLY HARD.

In many regards, I pushed myself harder than I ever have, in many moments well beyond my capacity I’m used to and I’m learning about the discipline it takes to not only sustain the practice I am building, but to really protect the deep and spacious time I need for my own healing work.

And I’ve been gone from Philly for 6 whole months but I haven’t stopped LIVING.

I admire the ways I rise to the challenge of being my authentic self amidst the rhythms of my new context. It certainly hasn’t been easy.

I have the utmost compassion for the challenges I faced over the past 4 months. I have a newfound sense of dedication to the path of growth and expansion I am on. Each day, I am actively laying down every cause of stress, reminding myself the ways in which I know how to stand in my resilience, and allowing for my body’s cycles of learning, rest, grounding, and empowerment to cycle through its rhythms just like it knows how to. I am grateful for the teachers whose weekly classes are full of rigor, soul, community. I feel tender towards the new friends that held space for my vulnerability and I am filled with joy in the process of (re)discovering affinity and camaraderie. I am excited for the dancer and maker I am becoming.

With all that in mind, here my year in recap. The rest of this month will be dedicated to rest and personal visioning for the year ahead, as I assess where I am artistically and build my capacity for where I’d like to go.

  1. Cultivating with close friends and collaborators in Philly
    • I’m in awe of the ways imagination becomes reality, and how the things my friends and I deeply long for become actualized.
  2. Traveling to Mexico City
    • This past spring, I visited CDMX to spend time with my dear friend Eli. I got to see the city, visit Teotihuacan, and experience my first temazcal.
  3. Earning scholarships to all my summer training programs
    • I applied for three summer intensive scholarships and I was awarded all of them and wow, I was so proud of myself especially after having been turned down twice from one of the programs. I raised money through a personal fundraiser/parting gift from my Philly community to cover a plane ticket and my remaining half tuition, and was fully funded for all my training.
  4. Performing at the PGM ONE conference
    • This was such an epic experience and I will always be grateful to my dear friend Sterling Duns who sees and believes in me, and extended the opportunity to share my work for this conference audience.
  5. Studying and becoming atuned in energy healing
    • I did a weekend intensive at Learn Reiki Philadelphia and I remember feeling like I felt officially ready to leave because I felt empowered to heal myself through anything. Right now I’m definitely still doing a lot of self practice, but with time I absolutely intend to build a healing arts practice centered on womxn/femmes/queer POC.
  6. My house cooling ceremony
    • I had an intimate gathering with less than a dozen friends I’ve cultivated super closely with, to affirm and bless my transition and it filled my spirit all the way up with deep, grounding joy.
  7. Getting my first tattoo
    • And it won’t be my last.
  8. My epic goodbye party
    • Sankofa House was PACKED with some of the best people in Philly and it was such an honor to bring together the rich community I’ve cultivated with over 9 years.
  9. Meeting my niece
    • Be still, my heart…
  10. The Mystic Soul Conference
    • And the sweetness of radical homegrown projects in the family. I met Jade, co-founder of MSP when I was 18 in Philly and I am so proud to see the ways they are building a movement that truly centers the spiritual insight and mystic traditions of POC, especially the voices of queer black and brown womxn and femmes.
  11. Training with Ananya Dance Theatre
    • Out of all the summer intensive training I did, ADT was my favorite program. I loved my three week visit to Minneapolis-St Paul. It was long enough of a time period and small enough of a city that I really felt like I got to experience good social and community life apart from training, and I loved the relationships built throughout the duration of the intensive.
  12. Hospitality from friends literally all over the country
    • Hospitality is a discipline of community building that I take really seriously – offering it, and having the humility and grace to receive it. Hospitality builds strong relationships and strong spirits.
  13. An epic road trip with Lina
  14. New roommates
    • I live in a magical home with three delightful cats with two chingona artistas.
  15. Getting to know the LA house community: Open House and Soul Source
    • Did I mention there is magic in LA? I’ve had some deep dive reflections on house as a spiritual practice and emergent strategy organizing principle.
  16. Learning Afro-Brazilian Orixá dances
    • And I can tell the journey has only started.
  17. Hip hop and house training through Versastyle
    • Seriously, it’s a powerful and sacred space that makes me feel safe to claim house as a practice and build my technique.
  18. Making new friends/collaborators in LA
    • It’s the best feeling to find people you just click and vibe with. Irvin, I’m looking at you. And if you’re from LA and reading this, believe me I am in constant awe of you.
  19. Planning a trip to Honduras
    • Motherland Medicine will be so good and just what this poor little empath needs for the last two weeks of December.

LA Glossary

ride or die (n.) – your homie, comadre, partner, confidante

hella (adj.) – truly, profoundly, wholeheartedly, sincerely

chingona (n./adj.) – badass. fierce.

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