Body positivity is something I constantly bring up on the show – not only because it’s an important part of my own story, but because I’m constantly getting questions from listeners about their own body shame and struggles.
That’s why I am so excited by this unapologetic and energizing look into pole dancing and burlesque with Kaila Prins. Not only did she use both to help her work through an eating disorder, but she has also discovered what it means to be embodied and to live in a deeply consensual place, as a result.
From controlling the gaze of the audience to sharing what it’s like to get naked on stage for the first time, we roll around in gender, safe spaces, embracing ‘ugly’ as a by-product of feeling empowered and attuned to your body, and so so much more.
In this episode, Kaila and Dawn:
- Dig into the difference between pole dancing and burlesque, or as Kaila does, pole-esque. We also give a nod to the strippers who pioneered the sport – as pole dancing has its roots in sex work.
- Explore the history of burlesque and how it was largely about parody and having this tongue-in-cheek quality of humor. Now, burlesque is actually neo burlesque – you can make a political statement or drown yourself in crystals like Dita Von Teese. You name it, there’s a way to do burlesque, as long as it still has that element of the tease and controlling the audience.
- Discuss Kaila’s journey to her own self acceptance and sexual awakening through pole dancing and burlesque after a religious upbringing that valued conformity. While some people deny that pole dancing is not sex work when they do it, we also talk about the importance of staying aware of the privilege and understanding where it comes from.
- Talk about how to be a better consumer of sex work and sexual performances. Also, how can we remove the shame from sexualized spaces like strip clubs?
- Throw down over sexual trauma and body trauma and the culture we live in that tells us our bodies are unsafe and undesirable places. Plus, we touch on Kaila’s eating disorder – what lead to it and how she now manages it through pole dancing and burlesque.
- Discuss what consent means at a deep, embodied level – including recognizing what parts of your body and experience you DO NOT want to engage with.
- Dive into how to own the gaze, how to masterfully tease someone with slow movements and delaying the release. It all sounds so yummy.
Resources discussed in this episode
Stripcast: True Stories of a Stripper with a PhD by Lux ATL.
About Kaila Prins
I’m a drag queen trapped in a cis-woman’s body. A ditcher of diet culture—after recovering from EDNOS/orthorexia, exercise addiction, and anorexia. A voiceover actor who is no longer afraid to use her voice. A burlesque and pole performer who found body acceptance and body positivity through dance. A certified health and wellness coach who teaches (and podcasts about) health at every size and discovery, not recovery.
Kaila Prins is Performing Woman, a motivational speaker, workshop leader, wellness coach, and dance teacher.
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