Alicia Archer @kinkysweat Dance, Movement, & Fitness / by daphne youree

Here is the story of @kinkysweat - Alicia Archer. I met her while shooting her for We hit it off right away and I plan on working with her as much as possible. She's a phenomenal woman!!!! Here is her journey:

"MY FLEXIBILITY STORY Where do I begin—I feel like I’ve been stretching my entire life.  When I accomplish one goal, another is ready to take on.  It remains a process, and the flow of work and discipline is never-ending.

The most profound memory from my timeline is when I slid into my first front split…on the right side! It was during a blackout we had one summer.  I was DEAD SET on getting my front and middle splits by the end Alvin AIley’s Summer program—this was around 2003. I’ve been stretching everyday for months, and felt as if I hit a plateau.  I was’t getting more flexible, I suck, why is this so hard…the usual unhealthy dialogue.  Despite having zero electricity, I still made myself stretch.  Then it happened—I did my warmup, attempted a front split, AND MY HIPS TOUCHED THE FLOOR!  It was so surreal, I thought “Is this happening?!?!” Happiness can be recognized, felt, accepted in several ways—getting my hips to touch the floor was one of them.  

After that major accomplishment, I didn’t stop—I was afraid if I did, that I would lose my splits forever! I still didn’t get my middle.  Middle splits have been excruciatingly painful for me.  I am 33 years old—it took me 10 years to ease into a middle split without feeling like my hip sockets were going to burst.  

Come 2007, I started working as a front desk associate at Equinox, and just graduated with a BFA in Dance from Fordham University/The Ailey School.  Before I was introduced to the world of fitness, I only knew Ballet, Horton, and Modern several times a week.  And the only fitness we cross trained with was Pilates, yoga, and floor barre.  I met my weaknesses face to face on the day Kirsten showed me a chaturanga low pushup position.  I could not for the life of me, figure out how someone could push themselves up without dying.  BEYOND ME! I remembered that moment when I took my first group fitness class—If I were to say that my life flashed before my eyes, it would be on the lighter side of exaggeration HA! I didn’t realize how weak I was—how much upper body strength I lacked. From then on for the next 2-3 years, I went group fitness crazy and turned into a two class a day fiend. I dove in when I began to feel stronger and felt accomplished when I pushed out one more rep or stayed in a sprint for the whole 30 seconds.  These changes became addictive, and it was as if I was earning daily medals!

Despite my class obsession, I missed dancing and always wanted to try aerial silks.  I finally signed up for an intro class at Body and Pole, and boy did my life change!  I was met with a whole new agenda of skills I wanted to accomplish!  It was no longer about abs or a lifted booty—it was getting an overspilt and an immaculate backbend!  Funny how I was aesthetic obsessed for a long period of my life.  I didn’t think twice about building a skill, improving my flexibility, and movement mechanics. I didn’t think of those as goals!  Now it’s all I think about and work on a daily basis. I attended as many flexibility classes as I could and moved onto working with contortion coaches.  

I was back in stretch mode at a whole different level.  I am doing things I couldn’t come close to as a 20 year old.  I am 33, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Whatever you want to accomplish, know it should be for yourself and no one else!  If your friends and co-workers think it weird, then oh well.  If you want to perform, or just keep training it’s all a collaborative effort to keep rising. Anything is possible, and if there’s one thing I would never regret is not giving up on myself." - Alicia Archer