Be Heintzman Hope © Baco Lepage Acosta

Be Heintzman Hope (FULL) — Stripper Gollum: everything is in a state of flux

Nov. 13th to 17th, 2023 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate : $85
Drop-in class rate : $25 – Only on Monday and/or Tuesday (available one month prior)
Language of instruction : English
Questions can also be asked in : French and German
Open to artists of all disciplines
Sex workers are welcome to use the workshop bursary to register, without having to justify their choice.



The mask could be mandatory for some activities as an accessibility measure for our teachers or participants. For more information, click here.


This workshop plays with socialized notions of sexiness + the buddhist concept of the hungry ghost. Stripper Gollum serves as a mutable figure grappling with their feelings of emptiness, longings and the longings others have of them – in order to develop a compassionate humour towards both inner and outer hauntings.

This research asks: Is it possible that we may need to (be more gentle with?)  move away from fixing “broken” parts of ourselves and instead embrace the inherent complexity of our many selves? If being whole doesn’t mean being consistent or predictable…can we embrace the complexity and diversity of our inner worlds, and recognize that everything is in a state of flux!?


The hungry ghost in eastern buddhism represents the insatiable hunger alive in people often associated with craving and addiction. It is represented most popularly by the spirit character “no face” in the Hayao Miyazaki movie Spirited Away and is a focal point in Gabor Maté’s book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. The hungry ghost can also be found in the Gollum/Sméagul character of J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel, The Hobbit and it’s sequel The Lord of the Rings.  


Stripping has roots in many dancing cultures including the ballet, as an exchange between dancer and patron. It is a form of sex work intertwined with complex power dynamics, stigma, secrecy, self-employment, unstable employment, underground economy, the purchasing of pleasure, charm industry and so much more. It’s important to note that this form of indoor sex work sits on a different part of the safety spectrum than outdoor and survival sex work- even if there may be overlap between the two.


This workshop will begin with a work-out that draws from qigong, physiotherapy and wxmb cxre – a practice in breath, voice and movement to warm the body from the inside out. Participants will experience a spine, breath, and voice tuning that extends towards the limbs with a high level of physicality before diving into state based improvisations. 

The research aspect of this workshop plays with the myth of personality and contradiction. We will deep dive into state based research and turn it into a few repeatable movements before creating a group choreography that playfully dances the hypocrisy of human experience. Be prepared to sweat!…and travel through time on your somatic journey as we explore different aspects of the self.


I invite people to be mindful when playing with these movements. I encourage working at the “resilient edge of resistance” – a term named by Chester Mainard. This term was formed in the context of erotic massage to describe a touch that isn’t too hard and isn’t too soft. How can we apply this term as a way of exploring movement? I’m not sure about you, but I imagine it in a way that balances pushing one’s limits while taking care in the social context of a workshop. Take what you need and leave the rest.


Moving between sound and performance, Be Heintzman Hope is a facilitator of music, dance and embodiment ritual based between Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang, colonially known as Montréal and the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (musquem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Wateuth) peoples. 

Their practice bridges dance training with conflict resolution, healing and community arts. They hold workshops in transitional spaces, dance institutions, universities, DIY contexts and festivals that center queer, trans, racialized bodies and sex workers — offering meditation, singing and dance as medicines to those on the front lines of their healing journeys. 

Felt so grateful to be spending time writing about and moving through self-accountability, alongside community.

– Miranda Jones