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How Kelechi Okafor Is Helping Women Heal Through Dance And Fitness

   

Many black women have taken up careers and started businesses abroad because they felt that they were not well-represented and that is the same reason, Kelechi Okafor started a fitness career in the UK.

Kelechi Okafor is the founder of Kelechnekoff Fitness, her love for fitness pushed her into pole dancing.

When the owners of the studio where she taught approached her and asked if she knew how to twerk, she decided to study the dance and link it with other traditional dances.

Although, Kelechi had always loved dancing and performing, they were therapeutic for her. Kelechi had been abused as a child, so, dancing and fitness was a way to heal.

“I just didn’t think there was a way to heal. People talk about therapy, and therapy’s wonderful. I definitely advocate having a therapist, but I felt for me that there was something else. There was a kind of cathartic release that was necessary for me,” she told OkayAfrica in an interview.

With this realization, she decided to share her story and it resonated with many. As she continued with those conversations, she structured her classes more to help the emotional and the spiritual, so it could meet the physical.

Meanwhile, in Kelechi’s quest to  reclaim twerking, she realized that  many African women were raised to suppress their emotions with the use of the word, ‘strong.’

“People love to talk about us as strong. That’s the adjective that we always get. Now, there’s nothing wrong with strength, and vulnerability is a part of strength, but not the kind of strong that they label us with. They label us with a kind of strong that’s void of emotion.”

Thankfully, she’s changing that and helping the women in her class, which has grown to accommodate many African women, to understand that it is okay to be vulnerable.

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