Once a month, we will be highlighting a Qoya dancer in the community. I'll ask a woman who has embodied Qoya and it's philosophy to share what it means to her. Today, I'm delighted to introduce our first interview with Kitty Cavalier, who teaches Qoya in New York City and is the founder of the School of Charm and Cheek
where she shares her gifts teaching Qoya and burlesque classes, Seduction as a Spiritual Practice Workshops and Retreats, as well as other fun things like make-up tricks and magic candle rituals! Enjoy her words here.
How do you describe Qoya in your words?
This is a toughie! To describe Qoya is kind of like trying to describe swimming in the Ocean, you just have to experience it. How can you describe something that brings you bliss beyond words? I usually do so logistically at first: “It is a class that combines yoga, dance, and sensual, free movement.” I also drop in little love bombs like “it has completely changed my relationship to my body and my life” or, “I now look forward to exercise the way I look forward to a massage thanks to Qoya”.
How does Qoya tap you into your wisdom in your life?
Qoya has taught me that my body knows everything. If there is a situation I feel stuck in, or stuck on, I know that as soon as I turn on a song and start to move, everything will suddenly make sense. I remember that (even though this sounds a bit like new age fluff) we are all Divine and eternal. It’s one thing to know that in your head, but Qoya makes that wisdom available to me in my body, any time I want or need to access it.
How does Qoya evoke your wildness in your life?
Well, I’m definitely always the one to start the dancing at a party now! I really think our bodies are like our own little universes. What you can feel in your body exists in your universe. If you know what it feels like to lose yourself in your dance, your sweat, your pounding heart, those are the moments are when the wild, untamed, organic soul is unleashed. Knowing what that feels like on the inside allows me to create it on the outside – in my work life, my home life, my spiritual life, my love life (hubba-hubba), and everything in-between!
How does Qoya help you revel in your choice to be free in your life?
One of the things I am most grateful for the level of freedom I feel in each moment thanks to Qoya. I was in yoga class today remembering all the times that I would try to follow what everyone else was doing, causing myself pain in my body and beating myself up for not being “flexible” or “strong” enough. Through practicing Qoya, I now know that my body is MY BODY. If someone is telling me to move it in a way that doesn’t feel right, I am free to stop and choose what feels good. I don’t have to conform to what others are telling me to do. I choose what I want, and trust that it is always the right choice, because it is my choice.
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.
What do you remember in Qoya?
I often ask this question of my students during stretching at the end of the class so that they can capture the experience they had in class.
The answers are always the same for everyone.
I remember that everything is going to be ok.
I remember that I am divine.
I remember that my life rocks.
I remember that being a woman rocks.
I remember that I am powerful.
I remember that I can do anything.
I remember that my body knows all.
I remember that if it feels good, that means I am doing it right.
Thank you Kitty! So grateful for you shining your light on and through Qoya.