Salty Woman: Kaela Faloon
Teacher, entertainer, performer, mentor, fighter, and leading lady of Sensual Heeling, Kaela Faloon reveals how she found her purpose in life by celebrating women through dance.
Sensual Heeling is more than just dancing in heels. Kaela will give you the steps and the music, but then it's all up to you to express yourself with those tools. Although she's often criticized that what she does is overtly "stripper-ish or "sexual" she wants to change the perception of what dancing in heels is all about.
Heels are just an expression. You're literally just wearing a different shoe. Nothing else changes. She makes sure to emphasize that she is not teaching a class where everyone has to demonstrate "sexy" in one specific way. She'll push you, but only because she cares and wishes you could see yourself the way she sees you, through her eyes. She recognizes that we all have so much to offer, but we're holding ourselves back. We're the ones in our own way.
"We can be angry, we can be sad, we can be aggressive, we can be vulnerable, we can be sexy, we can be sensual - it’s just a percentage of who we are as a person and we should be able to freely express that without judgement."
Looking through a window at a Sensual Heeling class, jam packed with excited and enthusiastic people you would never think Kaela had difficulty bringing people in. She is such a warm and bright spirit you can't help but get sucked into her thirst for life and the beauty within it.
But she spent 6-7 years building this up, before Sensual Heeling even had its name. She had a lot of days where no one would show up to her class, but she wouldn't let it break her spirit. She thought, "if I give up now then nothing will be possible."
Kaela's always been a hard worker and believed with persistence you'll achieve success. But she had a breaking point when she entered the dance program at Ryerson University and didn't fit the stereotypical "Ballerina" type.
"It didn’t matter how hard I tried or how passionate I was, I just wasn’t good enough for them and that killed me."
Kaela left the Ryerson University dance program after a year and a half. Defeated, she went home to Ottawa to study business and apparently said goodbye to dance altogether thinking that it just wasn't meant to be.
Yet somehow she had enough fight left in her to audition for So You Think You Can Dance, taking her to the Top 100 in Canada, and bringing her back to Toronto. Since then, she's never left the city and feels so grateful now to see her hard work and persistence pay off.
"We've been trained, especially as females, that we’re supposed to be competitive, supposed to always compare ourselves, supposed to bring each other down because there’s only room for one of us. That won't be the case if we all work together and support each other."
As women we already have so many doubts, fears, insecurities, whatever in our lives on a daily basis, we don't need to contribute to the noise by being nasty to ourselves and to others. Kaela's workshops have always left students feeling rejuvenated with a new outlook toward life from her positive teaching structure.
Kaela realized that she wanted to be in an environment that didn't feel toxic, that didn't make her feel shitty. Having instructors before her work on a very mean and condescending approach to teaching, she's made sure to bring forward a unique approach to dance and celebrating people for being able to dig deep into themselves and own themselves in their own skin.
"My classroom is filed with so many different women and men and no one really knows each other. I make sure right at the start of class to tell them that this environment is safe, that we all support each other and that we all encourage each other. And that we vocalize our compliments."
For too long we've only heard the success stories, making it seem impossible to achieve. Kaela wants to acknowledge that we hurt on a daily basis, and that we need to cry. That we need to tell people we're not doing ok and we have off days and we're human. This is a huge part of what makes you uniquely you, and that is powerful.
She says she always tells people to embrace the struggle in life. Some of the most horrible times in her life have pushed her to be the best version of herself, and in her own self growth, she is able to lead and help others around her grow and rise as well.
"You should always feel like an underdog. You should always treat people with respect and remember where you came from and who helped you along the way. Sure, I'm very happy with myself right now but it can all be gone tomorrow. And then what, who is Kaela Faloon?"
Kaela truly believes that anything and everything is achievable as long as you work hard and stay persistent. Come out and meet her April 2nd at our first-ever Salty Woman event! Get your tickets now.