Loving the F
Episode 50 - Loving the F with Countess Jodi Bingham - Forbidden Dance
Countess Jodi Bingham works for a non-profit, speaks internationally, has a refinement course she offers free of charge, volunteers as a mermaid, raises money for people in India and that's just to start. In this conversation, she talks about dance, societies misconceptions about it and the power and beauty of owning your story.
Mermaids of the Great Salt Lake
- I was told that I wasn’t any good at dancing because I was short…I would dance by myself in solitude.
- I decided to find out what would happen to me if I decided to dance.
- It (dance) was something I immediately found an attachment to and a love for and a respect for - there was a sisterhood there.
- Dancing for me, and I think others in general, is a very powerful thing…it’s a human right that we have to dance and we should, we absolutely should.
- I was in India with a colleague at night and some boys were showing us their drumming skills. We couldn’t help but dance and the people looked at us like we had five heads.
- Its fascinating when you say, “dance” what that image is – the word that brings up in people’s minds.
- I wanted to be out there, I wanted to move, to feel that freedom and not necessarily have someone there with me.
- To find that confidence, that freedom – there was no reason I couldn’t do that.
- Do I think I’ve made it to the absolute top? No, certainly not, but I don’t need to. I’m having a good time where I’m at.
- When my body is moving well, it is beautiful, even if I’m not perfect in technique. I feel that is something that makes me confident, it makes me beautiful and it makes me a stronger person in general.
- I think the number one thing women find who are taking pole dancing – is finding their body.
- You’re moving your body in new ways that to you might seem strange. And then one day you get it and you have this grace, and you have this beauty that comes with the confidence of movement.
- The thing I love about it is its kind of opposing to everything I was told growing up. I’m moving, I’m shaking all these things – essentially fat, loose skin and all of those things you’re told to keep under wrap with girdles and control hose. Those things are what you put out there and it’s the experience of femininity and womanhood.
- It was liberating to be told to shake your fat. To embrace all our curves and to find the beauty of that. – Melissa Allison
- If you’re doing it right, you’re going to find yourself in that journey.
- With men, confidence is sexy. In women, its almost taught out of us to not show off anything about our bodies. What we have to do is find that spark again, that place inside us, nurture it and let it grow.
- There may be that voice that says you shouldn’t be showing “that” to anyone. You cannot get old, you cannot gain weight and you cannot speak your truth and you cannot get mad cause all of those things are going to make people uncomfortable. Well, all those things are going to happen, there’s no way around that.
- We have to tell ourselves a different story that just because a representation of me, what I look like, is not what is shown in the mainstream media, that does not mean that I am not gorgeous, that does not mean that I am not sexy.
- What about those qualifiers “she looks good for her age.” How about, “She looks good?” That’s it. Here’s what’s very important, that you appreciate yourself. We say, “I look good for 40” or “I look good for 60.” No, you just look good. You can get up in the morning, look in the mirror or any time of day, and flirt with yourself in the mirror. You should love yourself, the body you have, cause it has taken you through everything that has come along.
- You don’t have to subscribe to anyone’s version of who you need to be. You know what you need to be and you just need to go out there and live it.
- When you’re young you have this privilege of your body working great but there are things that happen ahead of you…you’re hormones could shift, your chemistry could throw itself off, your metabolism could go completely out of whack, there are things within that privilege that you don’t understand.
- I had to stand up for myself, I had to stand up for my dance, I had to stand up for my sisters I had to stand up in so may small ways at first, ending up in bigger ways. I learned what I really wanted, who I really was and what beautiful really was. Its not what’s in the magazines and its not what’s on t.v. and its not what’s being shown to you all the time on everybody’s Facebook or on Instagram where everybody only shows their best pictures. It’s the real. It’s somebody’s truth that is shown through their body, through that experience, its life. It’s life that has been lived and every one of those bodies…it tells a story and that story is beautiful.
- I am not that person anymore. I have earned this maturity, I can walk away from things. Here are things I’ve developed and become confident in myself. Things I won’t tolerate that I used to. Things I’ve learned to say, “no” to and how to accept a compliment. There are things you have done and enjoyed, lessons you’ve not enjoyed that has made you this fantastic person.
- You have more to say, your body has more to say and that’s a story you should let your body tell and feel, “This is who I am today.”
- I can reinvent myself any day of the week and be something else – even a mermaid.
- Be the person today that you want to be.
- The number one misconception people have about dance is that you have to look a certain way. If you want to do it, just do it. Don’t put off your life.
- Anything you think is holding you back, you can make it your strength.
- This is what beautiful looks like and that is the most important thing, that you get out there and show them what beauty is because you found it.
- All I wanted to be was a good housewife because I didn’t know what other options were out there.