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Filipina women learning to ‘feel sexy’ through dance

Filipina women defy societal norms through chairlesque, a liberating dance form fostering confidence and body positivity in Manila's empowering studios.

Empowering Filipina Women: Chairlesque as a Journey to Self-Confidence and Body Positivity

In the bustling city of Manila, Filipina women embrace a unique form of self-expression and empowerment through chairlesque—a fusion of burlesque and chair dancing. In this unconventional dance style, women adorned in bold attire, like 29-year-old call centre agent Chriselle Guno, are learning to unlock their sensuality and celebrate their bodies. Chairlesque is not just a dance form; it’s a transformative journey for women seeking self-confidence and body positivity.

 Read  more: Jacqueline Fernandez shimmers in a sexy little black dress

Discovering Confidence Through Chairlesque:

Guno, a victim of childhood bullying due to her body size, found solace in chairlesque. She boldly dons a black bikini, a lacy bra, and knee protectors as she moves gracefully to the beats of Britney Spears’s “Toxic.” For Guno and other participants, chairlesque provides a safe space to express emotions and overcome insecurities. It’s a dance style that encourages them to embrace their bodies, fostering a sense of confidence that may have been elusive in a society that often dictates narrow beauty standards.

Noreen Claire Efondo: Pioneering Chairlesque in Manila:

Noreen Claire Efondo, the driving force behind chairlesque classes in Manila, introduced this dance form in 2017 with a mission—to help women “feel sexy” and challenge societal taboos surrounding sexuality in the Philippines. Efondo believes that feeling sexy or sensual is crucial for women, offering a release from societal inhibitions. Her classes cater to women of all ages, with participants as mature as 50, creating a supportive environment where women share insecurities and learn to move their bodies confidently to sultry music.

Healing and Exploration: Stories from the Studio:

Henna So, a 50-year-old single mother, enrolled in chairlesque classes to embark on a journey of self-discovery after her child had grown up. “After everything I’ve given, taking care of my son, I think it’s time to love myself. You need to love yourself first before everything else,” So shared. Similarly, 38-year-old Bianca Alvarez joined to nourish her sensual side, often neglected in her roles as a wife and mother of two. These stories underscore chairlesque as a healing and exploratory experience for women seeking to prioritise their well-being.

Filipina women learning to 'feel sexy' through dance | Philstar.com

Challenging Societal Norms: The Role of Chairlesque in the Philippines:

Clinical sexologist Rica Cruz sheds light on the societal challenges faced by women in the Philippines, where discussions on sex are deemed “shameful” and taboo. Nearly 80 per cent of the population adheres to Catholicism, further influencing societal perceptions. Chairlesque, with its provocative choreography and attire, challenges these norms. Efondo, despite facing criticism on social media, continues to post choreographed videos, attracting both support and negativity. The dance style becomes a rebellious act, promoting self-love and defying societal expectations.

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From Inhibition to Liberation: Transformative Impact:

Guno’s journey from watching a chairlesque video on TikTok to confidently dancing in a bra and bikini bottoms exemplifies the transformative impact of this dance form. What began as a personal journey for Guno has evolved into a mission to become a chairlesque instructor, aiming to help other women embrace themselves. In a society that often marginalizes those who do not fit conventional beauty standards, chairlesque emerges as a powerful tool for Filipina women to break free from societal constraints and rediscover their sense of sexiness.

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Conclusion: Embracing Empowerment Through Chairlesque:

Chairlesque is more than just a dance form; it is a movement that challenges societal norms, encourages body positivity, and empowers Filipina women to embrace their sensuality. In a country where discussions on sex are often stifled, chairlesque stands as a symbol of liberation and self-love. As women like Chriselle Guno and others continue to share their stories, chairlesque becomes a transformative journey for those seeking confidence, acceptance, and a celebration of their unique beauty.

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