Beyonce Teams up With Topshop to Release Athletic Gear

Beyonce Visual Album

Beyonce teamed up with Topshop to release an athletic streetwear brand, and if the items look anything like I imagine I am excited. The brand is in the works but nothing has actually been created yet, and there aren’t many more details that what I just mentioned but check out Topshop’s CEO Sir Philip Green explaining why he chose King Bey.

I hope we see lots of sequins, because I sure would go to the gym, yoga and especially pole class (the latter is a given, though) in sequin shorts, a sweatshirt, sneakers, pants, whatever! Other imagery in my mind about what this collaboration could look like takes me back to Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” video, which was inspired by African dance and style.

Beyonce x West African Dance Workouts For Killer Abs

Beyonce Abs

I am professing my love for West African dance in this digital space, and hopefully convincing you to take some classes in the genre. I have been obsessed with body isolations and rhythm since I was a child (it’s in my blood), so I was thrilled when I finally started taking African dance classes at age nine. I was a stiff wannabe ballerina until then.

There’s something about drums (especially the djembe) that just moves my soul. I like all types of music but I really need drums to feel it entirely.  A lot of my feelings about West African dance (and music) makes so much more sense to me after having gotten a DNA test that showed me to have ancestry from Ghana/Ivory Coast (the latter being the birthplace of mapouka). Now that I know, I want everyone else to know it too.

Speaking of knowing, I found myself in a conversation with a pole dancing colleague who lamented the fact that she couldn’t twerk and I suggested that she take some African dance classes. Not only is it a fun workout as long as you get out of your head (because there is no counting, you just dance until you hear the break), but it’s great for the abs, for creating better body isolations (which is great for hip-hop and break dancing), and also for your rhythm.

Don’t believe me? Then take it from Beyonce. It has been months since the video for “Grown Woman” began circulating but I am still in love with it because of the African influence (Beyonce also did this with “Run the World Girls”) and I’m sad that no one (outside of my friends and I) seems to care enough to talk about it. So…

Watch the entire video, or skip to the part with the beat switches at 2:35.

Pepsi Exclusive Premiere: Beyoncé Grown Woman… by elhadji91

I got my entire life at 3:50. That type of isolation is not easy, and a reminder that I still have some work to do.

In related news, check out these ladies from the Congo killing it with contemporary-style African dance.

It’s bigger than “twerking.”

Man, listen…

Do this for a few months, eat well and see if your waist doesn’t almost disappear with abs poking out, to boot.

This Beyonce Tap Dance Tribute is Everything!

Chloe Arnold Choreographer

I haven’t tap danced since college but let me tell you, when I did it, I was pretty darn good. Not tooting my horn, just stating the facts! And let me tell you, I think it worked wonders on my calf muscles. But I digress. Enough about me.

These ladies right here…


A choreographer named Chloe Arnold, who seems popular on YouTube, was inspired by Beyonce enough to gather a troupe of women whom she calls “Syncopated Ladies” to tap it out “End of Time.” This is a bad ass tribute. iLive.

There was even a little African in there and someone made wings her bitch–wings is no easy move. I’m beside myself. It’s rare that you see female tap dancers killing it on some contemporary, all up in yo face ish.

I’ve been all pole dance everything lately but this really makes me want to find a tap class and get back in the groove. Pun intended.

Beyonce Talks Sexuality, Being Inspired by Parisian Cabaret Dancers

Beyonce, Partition, Crazy Horse

Beyonce´ released the latest vignette in a video series where she explains various elements that went into creating the audio and visuals for her latest album. In “Self-Titled Part 4 -Liberation,” she talks about putting her sexuality on display and coming into herself as a new mom who still wants to feel confident and sexy, and as a woman who still has dreams. So many people have had opinions about her work and her motives that it’s nice to hear where her head was during the creative process.

The video opens with Bey talking about the process for “Partition” (one of my favorite songs). Assuming you’ve heard her album by now, and I really hope you did, a lot of the songs and corresponding visuals are sexually suggestive and racy but not raunchy just for the sake of getting attention. Beyonce´revealed that while she is comfortable with being sexual, it was embarrassing to be so open about it during the recording process but she got over it.

Beyonce - Partition Video

For the video, she recreated a Crazy Horse routine that inspired her years ago. She and Jay-Z went to a Crazy Horse show (in Paris) on the night they got engaged and she was so inspired by the sexiness of the dancers that she wanted to be a part of it, so she enlisted them for the video.

Get into cabaret style entertainment!

Crazy Horse

She also addressed changes she went through once she gave birth to Blue Ivy and working hard to feel normal again postpartum. She doesn’t believe that mom’s should be frumpy and boring and I agree. I’m not a mother but there also seems to be similar belief systems in place when it comes to wives. I’ve seen a lot of women lose themselves to relationships whether it’s marriage or motherhood. They let their bodies go, they give up on their happiness and don’t nurture their own desires, and become people who are constantly saying “I wish I could,” or “Coulda, woulda, shoulda.” I realize that the aforementioned life changes are critical aspects of a woman’s life but I feel it’s also important to maintain elements of your individuality to help foster optimal happiness for all parties involved.

Beyonce´talks about this toward the end of her video when she explains her 195 lb weight gain during pregnancy. She lost 65 lbs following the baby and she felt proud and accomplished, like anyone who loses weight or achieves their optimal physique should.

Beyonce Visual Album

“I wanted to show my body. I wanted to show that you can have a child and you can work hard and you can get your body back. I know finding my sensuality, getting back into my body, being proud of growing up, it was important to me that I expressed that in this music, because i know that there are so many women that feel the same thing after they give birth,” she says. “You can have your child and you can sill have fun and still be sexy, and still have dreams and still live for yourself. I don’t at all have any shame about being sexual and  I’m not embarrassed and I don’t feel like I have to protect that side of me because I do believe that sexuality is a power that we all have.”

Say that again, please!

What she’s saying speaks to me as a 31-year-old. One of the changes I’m experiencing in my 30s is a new found sense of confidence that I didn’t have in my 20s. I heard a lot of women mention this transformation in the past but there’s nothing like experiencing it.

I love her album because it exudes self-confidence, embraces femininity and represents the power of sensuality. I’m still quirky and awkward at times but I’m a work in progress. Again, if you haven’t heard Bey’s new album yet (assuming you’re a fan of pop music) then you should. There’s a lot of good material on there for dance playlists and it’s especially pole dancing gold.

In related news, I may have to make that trip to Paris so I can check out Crazy Horse. However, in the meantime, I guess I could check out some local cabaret and burlesque classes.