The lyrics to the latest Beyonce song, Drunk in Love, bounce off the walls of the fourteen hundred square studio causing the sound activated strobe lights to ricochet across the wood dance floor. Sparks of red, blue, and green illuminate an audience of thirty plus women who gather on the far side of the room watching wide-eyed as nine performers take their places along the floor to ceiling mirrors and perform the routine they practiced every Thursday night for the past eight weeks.
The dancers are completely synchronized in their moves as well as their attire. Each one wearing black leggings and custom black tees that read, Vixen Chicks. Hair extensions flip and bounce. Chests pulsate. Fingers caress legs to the beat. Stilettos clank across the floor. The song continues to play as the Vixen Chicks of all shapes and sizes sachet to the beat, not a drop of sweat of the room. These women glisten. The sexy performance is stellar from beginning to end and the thirty women who watch squeal with excitement when they realize this is the dance they will learn before the night is over.
When the music stops, these thirty plus group of women who had paid their $25 entry fee for the monthly after hours event, K.I.S.S. After Dark, scramble to the floor to learn the dance routine. Fifteen minutes later they are clamouring for a break.
“This is real exercise.” They all say.
“I’m getting a workout.” One exclaims.
“We didn’t come for exercise.” A lady with a full glass of champagne comments.
“I need to get in shape,”a portly woman states.
Amidst cackles and crows, the women pour out of the studio and find their way to the pink champagne and appetizers. Many of them kick off their high heels and rub their feet. While others sip and giggle at the name tags each one wears. Tonight they relish in the anonymity of their stripper names. They take on the personalities of Kandy Kisses, Chocolate Drop, and Wet Dream.
“Would you like more champagne?” I ask. Cups fly into the air. I tip around in my black with red-rhinestone flame design, five-inch stripper heels refilling drinks.
I hear whispers of “is she the owner?” and “Where did she get those shoes?” or my favorite of all, “I want a booty like her’s.”
I am the owner of K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio and although by nature I am quiet homebody, I am required to be fire for ladies who need some spark. After all my stripper name is Cherry Fyre. My role is to keep the excitement and energy of the evening high. I refill drinks and mingle with the ladies. Even after hosting these events for five years straight, I never tire of them. The K.I.S.S. After Dark Ladies Night Out is the heartbeat of Keep It Sexy Sistas Fitness.
Monique ‘Quietstorm’ Weatherspoon, mental health therapist by day, lead sexy dance choreographer by night, starts the music.
“5-6, 5-6-7-8.” She yells out.
The women snap into position and follow along. The nine dancers who are members of K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio, assist her in corralling the women and helping them find their spots. The three nurses, one stay-at-home mom, a customer service manager, a parole officer, a school teacher, and a medical practitioner float around the room making sure hips sway, necks roll, and fingers pop with the beat.
Finally, it’s time for the performance.
C A D E N C E
Tempo and Beat. 5-6-7-8 and Go.
Concentration. Left arm twist-right foot slide.
Pop! Swing. Now Roll~~~~.
Rise on 3 and Fall on 7.
E L A T I O N.
The celebration is cacophony of ecstasy enveloped in screams of delight. This sentimental moment is captured by a group iPhone shot and dismissal. The room is clear. Eager participants head home to conduct private performances of their own.
Energized, I clean the building. I’m pouring out leftover drinks and emptying half-eaten chicken drumettes into the trash. Tonight, I have saved someone from depression, restored another’s zest for life, encouraged women who want to become business owners. This life is not easy but every second is worth it.
The introvert in me is drained, spent, and alone. Yet, I cannot wait until we K.I.S.S. After Dark again.