“You don’t have to walk in the hurt and pain caused by life,” says Lolita Frazier.
Personal tragedy, unfortunately, is something Frazier is all too familiar with in her life. In 2016, Frazier received devastating news—her youngest son, Jordan, was murdered. His death came after a career high for the former model and current runway trainer, confidence coach, and owner of Loco Strut Productions, a business centered around inspiring young men, women and children to pursue modeling. Weeks earlier, she had visited New York Fashion Week and Frazier did a battle strut, which showcases women who had “strutted” through several different obstacles in life and found confidence.
But Jordan’s death nearly broke Frazier. “I needed an outlet,” she says. “I wasn’t able to move forward without being able to release it.”
During one runway training session, instead of focusing on her students’ form, Frazier asked her class to pull up some chairs to talk.
“I had so many things on my mind. I wanted to just talk about it amongst my peers, my clients, because it made me really start thinking about what other people may be feeling and what they may be walking in,” Frazier says. Others in the class also shared what they had previously been through or were currently experiencing in their own lives. “We used it as runway therapy to talk about the things we were going through, the things that we were feeling, and then look at life with purpose and strut through it,” Frazier recalls.
Strut Talk was born and quickly became a monthly workshop for people to be healed. Creating the workshop was beneficial for the participants as well as for Frazier.
“I wanted people to know that when they saw me and they saw the strength and the confidence and the warrior in me, it was really just me strutting through my pain,” Frazier begins. “I had to make that decision. Am I going to walk in this and allow it to dictate my happiness to make me bitter, or am I going to strut through this and know that this happened on purpose and there is a rainbow at the end of the tunnel? Strut Talk is that conversation with no words.”
Since first launching Strut Talk in 2016, Frazier has begun working with a number of different organizations, including Bosom Buddies Charities, which promotes breast cancer awareness, and the Young Survivors Coalition, an organization which focuses on women ages 40 and under who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Strut Talk has allowed women to feel confident again. To be able to lift their head and roll their shoulders back and tighten up their core and [know] that their life is with purpose,” Frazier says. “In the midst of something as horrible as cancer, I can make them feel like strong, beautiful, confident women again.”
An average Strut Talk experience usually involves a series of exercises. One is titled “Gone for Good.” During the exercise, participants are asked to write down their current troubles without including their name. “Sometimes, when you just write something down and you look at it, it can be gone for good,” says Frazier. Each participant’s writing is placed in a box and at the end of the workshop, Frazier reads a few of them at random “to let them know that everybody in this room is going through something and they’re not alone.”
During “Walk It Out,” another exercise, participants are given a mix of words and feelings (like “depression” or “confidence” or “alone”) and then one person stands up and has to walk out these emotions. Other participants then try to guess what she is walking in at that moment. Another exercise, “Crab in a Bucket,” asks participants to speak their futures into existence.
“It’s easy for people to say all of the negative things about themselves,” Frazier begins, “But if you put someone within a sense of a powerful circle and you ask them to speak life into you, speak [about] what your life will be like as if you already have it, you realize sometimes you don’t even think past today.”
Each class ends with a confidence strut and participants are left transformed. “You actually see the difference in the women from when they first came to my class to when they leave,” Frazier says. “When they leave, they’re standing tall. They never ever just walk again.”
Frazier has big plans to help grow Strut Talk, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She has currently transferred Strut Talk over to the virtual world to ensure itsthe values and lessons of Strut Talk can be accessed by everyone. If Strut Talk is “runway therapy,” there is no better time than the present to book a session.
“Strut Talk is needed for the world,” Frazier adds. “Every one of us has been through something and more than likely, we’re [currently] going through something. Each day, without really knowing it, we have to make the decision if we’re going to walk in it or if we’re going to strut through it.”