I stan for Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter and I live for Kelly Rowland and her fountain of chocolate skin. Over the years, their music has been the soundtrack to so much of my life with turn-up anthems, self-acceptance gems and no nonsense jams. Each song has an array of dance moves that are beyond anything I can fathom successfully attempting. But today, I found myself in a class with the man behind some of their most iconic dance moments and it. was. everything.
Frank Gatson, the legendary choreographic mind behind Beyonce's videos—and co-host, with Kelly, of BET's new singing competition Chasing Destiny—taught me four things about confidence and commanding a room (all while I learned the choreography to “Love on Top”).
1. Walk like you're holding onto a secret and be confident about it.
Having a killer walk is something both Queen Bey and Kelly Rowland have down! Their secret? Walking like they have a tampon in, Gatson shared. This was certainly a clutch the pearls analogy—but darn it, I’m trying it. If you walk like you’re holding onto something precious, your walk will reflect it and be oh-so dynamic.
2. Try things that scare you
Dance is all about movement, but in the class, Gatson reiterated that dance is really about embracing expression, trying something new and not being afraid to fail. If I’m being honest, I struggled through the first few minutes of this dance class. The 8-counts, the snaps, the steps (whew, too fast for me) but I remained resilient and got my Black Girl Magic on and in the end, well it was (seemingly) flawless.
3. Spread your light, sparkle bright
Always, always, always own your potential and don’t dare sell yourself short. Being a Black woman—and a chocolate one at that—I have a responsibility to myself to own my worth and embrace what I have to offer, flaws and all. Snaps!
4. Be authentic. Always.
Gatson shared that one of the keys to making it is authenticity and being true to yourself. Kelly and Bey made it this far by being their authentic selves. People constantly and often unnecessarily come for Michelle Williams but she simply swirls on her haters and walks in her truth. Yaass sis!
Be sure to check out Frank Gatson and Kelly Rowland on BET's Chasing Destiny, premiering next Tuesday, April 5, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Lauren Porter (@LJSP_writes) is the editorial intern for ESSENCE.com and a recent graduate of Syracuse University. She reports on entertainment and lifestyle news.