A few months ago at a workshop in New York, in a lineup for the bathroom, I was thrilled to bump into Sheila Kelly, our guest speaker for the weekend. I had watched her Ted talk (Let’s Get Naked: Men, Women & the Erotic Creature) a few months back, and excitedly explored more about her work. And here she was, in the flesh!  I thanked her for being such an inspiration to me.  This incredible woman, who identifies with ‘fourth wave feminism’, is the creator of S Factor, an empowering body movement for women.  S Factor has been called a ‘stripper workout’ and the advanced classes involve pole dancing, but it’s about so much more.  I experimented with an introductory ‘Fluid Feminine Movement’ class earlier this year, and loved it! It was just me, a yoga mat and music, moving in a way that felt true and good.

You cannot think your way into the feminine. You have to move your way into the feminine.” SHEILA KELLY

I had the privilege of seeing Sheila in action that weekend on stage, participating in a class and watching women be guided by her.  Sheila Kelly calls herself an ‘animal trainer’ and a body whisperer. I agree with her that our feminine essence lives in our bodies. Sheila brings out a woman’s unique, innate sensual movement. Her gift is to coax out the sensual, sexual self that lives in every woman’s body, what she calls our ‘erotic creature’.


A woman’s erotic creature has many facets: shy, playful, challenging, icy, sacred, raw, sweet, bold…  When that erotic creature is allowed to move, to be seen, to unfold, it is a thing of beauty.  When a woman lets out her erotic creature, she is being sexy and sensual for her own pleasure, living not from her head but from inside her body.

As she lets herself move as her body wants to move, she uncoils what has been, for so many of us, too long suppressed.

As women in our culture, we’ve had to tamp down so much of our sexuality and sensuality. We’ve had little or no opportunity to completely enjoy our feminine bodies without shame or restriction.

It took my breath away to witness the feminine unfurled, fully embodied. I was awed by the grace and power and vulnerability of women moving, whole and connected to all parts of themselves.

Beach Veil by Catherine McMahon CROP WEB

With more than 20 years of bellydancing experience, I‘ve tasted what it’s like to feel this grace and power and vulnerability.  However, because bellydance is an art form, it is contained and codified. I am bound to move a certain way for it to be recognizable as that dance form.  The fluid feminine movement curriculum that Sheila Kelley has developed unleashes a woman’s natural movement, releasing the unique erotic creature that lives inside every one of us.

Since that weekend, I’ve taken my dance experience and my erotic creature explorations and created Essensualité, a form of joyful sensual movement that allows women to experience and embody their feminine essence.

Don’t miss this amazing interview with Sheila Kelley: http://womenforone.com/interview-with-sheila-kelley/

Or her beautiful Ted talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFsUv2SDMq8


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