Race, Dance and Sexuality: Inside Burlesque – with Chicava HoneyChild

Race, Dance and Sexuality: Inside Burlesque - with Chicava HoneyChild

In this episode Chicava HoneyChild talks about the history of black women in burlesque, the impact of burlesque on self-perceptions, and how to push female appreciation beyond “that which is pretty, sparkly, sexy and fertile”.

Chicava HoneyChild is the producer of New York City’s Brown Girls Burlesque. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College

Episode Highlights

• 0:25 – Chicava shares what Brown Girl’s Burlesque is really about; activism, sensuality and body positivity
• 4:00 – Race, dance and sexuality: the rich history of black women in burlesque
• 8:00 – Chicava talks growing up in Boulder, Colorado and how the notion of “women of color” has changed over time and what it really means for black women
• 8:45 – Brown Girl’s Burlesque is a petri dish and part of intersection of white and black feminism
• 12:00 – How burlesque is about determination and having something to say, as much as it’s about being sexy
• 15:15 – Does burlesque really objectify or empower women?
• 24:00 – Chicava talks what it was like her first time on stage
• 25:50 – Beauty as a blood sport: why we need for “women to be appreciated above and beyond that which is pretty, sparkly, sexy and fertile”
• 32:06 – How burlesque impacts women of color and how we perceive our bodies
• 34:18 – The toughest part of her journey with Brown Girl’s Burlesque
• 36:00 – Chicava sets the record straight: “Gossiping is bullying”

1. Favorite book for women?

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Putting body oil into a spray bottle to put on after getting out of the shower

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “Don’t let them say no. Always ask for what you want” (her mother’s advice)

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your 5 years younger self?

  • “Drop everything, leave and go be a soloist, Girl!”

Resources and People Mentioned

• Chicava’s website
• Brown Girls Burlesque website
• Chicava’s performance of Ring The Alarm (video)
• PBS article on Chicava and How Women of Color Are Revolutionizing Burlesque

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