Sarah Flynn, also known as Lady Grey, has spent a lot of energy trying to change the conversation around body positivity, empowerment and inclusion — and breaking out of the boxes that others put us in or that we sometimes construct around ourselves.
She was a dance teacher for more than 30 years and five years ago founded Lady Grey’s Lovelies, a vintage dance and vaudeville group that pre-coronavirus performed intimate cabarets in The Attic at The State Theatre.
After facing a second battle with breast cancer and deciding to have a double mastectomy, she says she realized that there was a greater legacy question facing her. “Cancer really re-prioritizes your life. That’s it. It just does.” She was asking herself why she was still here and focusing her attention on figuring out what the universe was trying to tell her.
It led her to launch Live Outrageously, a life coaching business, during the summer. “It’s this idea,” she says, “to live in a way where you really just don’t care what other people think of you.”
 What’s your favorite way to relieve stress?
I have two great playlists that I use as mood shifters — one for being happy and energized and one for calming down and finding my center. I also swear by long-form affirmations when you really need a brain reset. The use of a 5-minute affirmation can be powerful when I need to truly let go of what I can’t control.
 What’s your go-to healthy snack?
Oh my word. I love food. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say avocados and hard-boiled eggs.
 What’s your favorite unhealthy indulgence?
The (long) list includes dirty martinis, macarons and excellent cheese.
 How are you feeling right now?
I’m energized and ready for an incredibly rewarding week. My new online course, “Journey to Authenticity,” launches on Friday (Sept. 4), so I am hard at work putting the finishing touches on everything.
 Name one health-related goal you’re working toward.
Recovering from two major surgeries (including a double mastectomy), my goal this month is to do ballet barre and abs/arms work six days a week.
 Is there a fitness- or health-related accessory/piece of equipment you couldn’t live without?
My very large pile of custom tap shoes is my most cherished physical equipment, but massage therapy and trigger point work have been invaluable for my overall wellness. For life balance, my planner helps me carve out time for prayer, self-care and goal-setting — and it helps identify places I could use connection time with family and friends.
 Favorite athlete or sports team?
I’m a Chicago girl. The only rule in this house is that you don’t like the Green Bay Packers.
 Run or walk? Why?
Stop and smell the roses. It isn’t a race. Don’t let other people’s lives be your roadmap. You do you. Take the time that you want and need to enjoy life at your own pace.
 Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Ask my family: I don’t do mornings. My very best creative work happens between 8 p.m. and midnight. I direct the vaudlesque ensemble Lady Grey’s Lovelies. Our “Late Night Cabaret” puts us home and in bed around 3 a.m.!
 If you could be the best in the world at any sport, which would you choose?
100 percent figure skating!
 Do you have a mantra that helps you through the tough times?
It’s the mantra many of my Live Outrageously clients use when they brush their hair or their teeth every day: “I am loved. I am beautiful. I am valued.” After my second fight with breast cancer, feeling beautiful has been an immense challenge. This mantra has helped me continue to rewire my brain to see beauty when I look in the mirror, to embrace my new body.
 What or who is your biggest motivator?
Frankly put, cancer re-prioritizes life for you and makes you ask yourself why you’re still alive. Since the beginning of the year, I have been building Live Outrageously to help people live authentically. I’m motivated every time I see a brave client begin discovering their authentic self, deconstructing their limiting beliefs and finding their circle of true friends. My fierce clients are my motivators — their strength and determination to design a life they love reminds me to do the same.
[+] What is the best advice you’ve ever received? From whom?
Honestly, most of my advice is from outrageous women. However, my favorite pearl of wisdom is from the Dr. Jimmy Slyde, the grandfather of tap dance: “If you don’t ever fall, then you’re not really dancing.”
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