"I am a feminist. I've been female for a long time now. It'd be stupid not to be on my own side.” ~ Maya Angelou

Something very special for me about being on tour is that I am lucky enough to perform across the country with a group of wonderfully talented people and among them is some incredibly strong and powerful women. We are all so different and yet what we have in common connects us in the most human way. We listen to one another, empower each other, stand up for each other and above all learn from each other. My DWTS journey may have been the first opportunity I had to experience the richness and importance of honest, positive female relationships in my life. 

You might ask, what was different about this experience with this group of ladies? Mostly, I'd say I was ready for it. The universe tends to provide you things in time, when you are ready for them and whether you want them or not. In this case the universe gave me what I wanted and needed but wasn't sure how to get. A group of women that would soon become some of my dearest friends. At the time, I had just gone through a break up from a long term relationship, and even though I'm constantly surrounded by people, I felt very alone. Being a part of DWTS, sitting in the dressing rooms getting ready with these women became a form of therapy for me, talking about women things and relating to each other in ways that only women can. In the end, it was what we had in common that brought out the best in me as an individual. Through moments like these, my circle grew ... these ladies became my true, honest friends that healed parts of me that were wounded after my break up. Looking back, I'm not sure how I would have healed and grown the same without my ladies to support me.  

Let's be real ladies... we can be ... bitchy, judgmental, competitive and envious... we've all come across it, or at least I certainly did in my teens. I mean come on, Sex in the City who doesn't want that in their life!? But, bad experiences with girls in school made it difficult to form genuine female friendships. For me, the Sex in the City kind of friendships seemed to only live in the world of fiction.

Is the problem that a few bad early adolescent experiences had somehow made me build emotional walls to keep my heart safe and potential life-changing friends out…? Yes. Did those experiences make me feel like i had to shelter myself or be less open…?  Definitely. Did they make me compete with and compare myself to the other women in my life? Absolutely.

When we are feeling insecure and the women around us are different to us, we then feel some type of way about them. That only leads us all to judge and be judged, to discriminate and to alienate each other and ourselves. Its a learned behavior beginning from how we treat ourselves. I grew up being very hard on myself, criticizing and judging myself for not being better in the ways I thought I lacked or fell short. I only grew out of that when i learned to appreciate myself in ALL THE WAYS i was normally taking myself for granted. Instead of passing judgment I chose to challenge myself and encourage myself through the hard times. Instead of punishing myself I channeled that passion into dance, I made the pain something beautiful. I learned I needed to love and accept the differences in all of us by starting with myself. That's the only person I could truly change. 

Today as an adult, I appreciate the presence of all the hard-working, passionate women 

I am surrounded by everyday. As different as we appear to be on the outside, at our core we are very much the same. We are infinite. We are women. Strong, gentle, intelligent, understanding and compassionate. My co-stars on DWTS are just a few of the outstanding examples of women in my life that I appreciate, admire and learn from every day. The universe has put these people in my path to travel some part of my journey with. I don't take that for granted anymore. 

It makes me wonder how many other incredible women and friendships I missed out on because I wasn't ready to openly love and appreciate our differences. Maybe I wasn't ready or maybe the other person wasn't either. We are all learning, I want to learn more about love and how to give it, for me that's where it all starts...

We notice what is so special about someone else when we acknowledge what's so special about ourselves. 

What do you admire about yourself? 

How about today you spread a little love to the incredible women in your life, including yourself and let them (and you) know how special they are.

powerful women