Friday, December 30, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 99/100 - Hourglass Workout

Almost there!  Tomorrow I roll over the zeroes in Uncle Dicky's class!

But tonight I did another round of the Hourglass Workout.  I'm getting better on my bicycle, going for longer and raising my heart rate even higher.  I had excess energy after the workout and would hop on the bike for another round if I didn't have a class tomorrow.  I'm not measuring myself until 2012, so I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that I'm starting to whittle down bit by bit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 97/100 - Ballet Conditioning

About ten days ago when I saw the end of the year at my doorstep, I ordered a couple ballet videos from Amazon to help me beat back Father Time in order to reach my goal.  When I purchase fitness or technique videos, I look for things that I'm likely to use more than once.  (Netflix instant is great for just dipping your toe in the water.)  I lucked out when I got a discount for buying this video and the one I did last week.


For slow reps and basic barre work, this was the better video.  If you haven't engaged in much or any ballet training, this will give you some basics of form and benefits of ballet stretches and endurance.  Well-structured, calming, educational, this was a fantastic workout.  It includes some Pilates technique for the abs.

Two days left after today, three classes left after this one.  In a few short hours, I'm tackling another hourglass workout to get closer to my goal.  Here's hoping I can walk tomorrow. :)

Dance Class Challenge: 96/100 - Hourglass Workout

In one year and 95 movement classes, I haven't lost a pound.  Not a damn one.  One of my reasons behind doing this was to lose some weight.  It's time to change things up before the new year.

The first book I bought for my Kindle was this one.  I liked the sample chapters and I liked that there were actual workouts in the book for different body types.

I read the entire book in a matter of days.  I was amazed at how practical everything was and how doable the weight loss seemed.  I also understand why parts of my body have bulked up from dance classes when I've expected them to shrink.

I went out and bought (meaning Andrew went out and bought while I was at the day job) a jump rope and an exercise bicycle yesterday so I could start the program.  With my Kindle handy to refer to the workout program and diagrams for my hourglass body, I worked through everything in a little over an hour.  I have two more things to purchase before I have everything that's ideal for the program: new tennis shoes and a workout bar (my two 2 lb. hand weights are doing that job for now).  After my workout I felt like I really earned the orange chicken I had at lunch and the three chocolate treats I had during the day.

This is going to be my 2012 workout.  I'm still going to take dance classes, but I'm going to focus more on studying specific technique when I leave the house.  Of course, I'm still going to work out with Uncle Dicky as I can.

Dance Class Challenge: 95/100 - Stretch Zone

I took last week off from Bill's Stretch Zone because of my carpal tunnel hand; there are a lot of stretches that require the support and function of the hands and wrists.  Even though I did a couple workouts in the time I've dedicated to Bill's class, I was tight and sore all week.  After Tuesday's class I feel so much better.  My body has gotten used to the hour of focused stretching each week.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 94/100 - Sweat! with Richard Simmons

We already know that I love Richard Simmons.  I was surprised to discover he was having class Christmas Eve.  Andrew and I just had to go, and I made myself a little festive for the occasion.  I made this polar bear hair comb to stick above my ponytail, and I wore a disco ball garland.  Andrew put on a Santa hat and we were ready to work!

I just got my annual physical on Thursday and haven't had a chance to refill my inhaler, so I knew I had to pay close attention to my body during class.  I had to take two breaks in the first twenty minutes of class to get some water and slow my heart down for a moment, and I had one break due to wheezing.  The great thing is that I made it through class without my inhaler, even if I did have to take a breather.

This class ended with Richard giving away two hard-to-find Barbies.  I guess this is what he does every year at Christmas.  And I won the first one.  Holy cow!  I was absolutely tickled.  I had him sign the box after class.  Now I have to figure out where to put her.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 93/100 - Ballet Class for Beginners

When I first challenged myself to do 100 classes in 2012, I knew there would be holidays to interrupt my flow.  I hoped to be done by the first week of December, but that wouldn't be very exciting.  I looked at my tally last week and looked at the calendar.  I knew I'd have to do some DVDs and Netflix instant in addition to in-person classes to reach my goal with those pesky holidays looming.  I went on Amazon last week and ordered two ballet DVDs to help me through the holidays.

I have mixed feelings about this DVD.  I loved the demonstration of basic ballet positions and moves.  While the DVD is about 40 minutes, you have to give yourself extra time to do the barre exercises on both sides of your body.  It is pretty awesome to get a ballet barre class at your fingertips for less than $15.  When they got to the center work, it moved too fast.  At that point it wasn't as instructive for beginners as I had hoped.  I've had some years of beginner/intermediate beginner ballet and I had trouble keeping up with the moves and remembering the names for the things they were doing as they were doing them.  It's definitely not a video to just do once and expect to know ballet.  The pirouttes were impossible on my carpeted living room floor, especially with two wrestling dogs working their way past me.  (We know how much they like to participate.  I managed to kick Buster when I was doing my grand battements to the rear, not seeing him wandering through.)

It's a great deal for some ballet instruction.  If you're brand new to ballet, I recommend you watch each chapter a couple times before trying the moves so you have a better idea of the body mechanics involved.  Try for the ideal and you'll eventually get to your body's ideal with the technique.

Dance Class Challenge: 92/100 - Total Resculpt

Netflix instant to the rescue!  I slapped on my wrist brace and grabbed my two pound toning weights for this Crunch video.  (I don't like to do weights in classes when my trusty beading/crocheting/writing/typing/jewelry-making hand is pained.  Teachers often try to push you to the limits of your physicality, and I don't like having to explain to them that I'm not participating in part of the workout because my right hand is being a pus.)

This video is broken into two parts: upper body and lower body.  I got a nice sweat going and I could feel my muscles working.  I could still feel the impact on my legs when I did ballet last night (next blog on my platter).  Great for toning and strengthening.

Dance Class Challenge: 91/100 - Striptease for Burlesque, Exotic Dance and Every Day

I can't believe it's taken me this long to do Jo "Boobs" Weldon's DVD Striptease for Burlesque, Exotic Dance and Every Day.  I believe I ordered it shortly after it dropped, then watched the theory at the beginning after I got it, unable to get through the entire DVD at the time because of my crazed schedule.  I didn't return to the DVD to go through the entire thing until Tuesday.  I had dance time scheduled but numbing carpal tunnel syndrome so I opted out of stretch class and instead worked with videos.

This is perfect for anyone who wants to be a little sexier.  Great for novices and professionals alike, I suggest you pull together something like the outfits she uses for demonstration so you get the most out of this video. (That's how I managed to count it as my 91st class.)  This 92 minute DVD covers stripping out of sweats, lingerie, skirts and blouses, evening gowns, men's clothing, jeans and turtlenecks, wedding gowns, business suits, corsets and stockings.  Jo really runs the gamut of outfits to teach technique.  She gives lots of advice based on years of striptease experience.

I especially endorse this video for my friends who might not have easy access to classes with Jo in person.  She does teach around the world at festivals, but this puts her wisdom in your living room.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 90/100 - Pilates Essentials

I found one last Pilates video on Netflix instant that I'd never tried before. This one was good but seemed to be more pre-Pilates stretches than full-on Pilates. I got a good stretch and was ready to sleep after.

I have a history of my dogs wanting to participate in Pilates mat work at home. You can see Doodlebug and Buster anchoring the top of my mat. I guess they're part of the reason I'm getting my Pilates mat certification next year. I know they'll be enthusiastic as I study in my living room.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 89/100 - Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting Party

I was all set to head out for yoga and ballet yesterday afternoon, even though Evie was unable to join me, until something happened: it rained.  For those who don't live in LA, this may not seem like a big deal.  We don't get a lot of rain here.  We have frequent flooded streets due to poor drainage when it rains.  We have to replace our wiper blades twice a year because our low humidity and constant sunshine cook the rubber on our blades between seasons.  We have shit (smoggy shit) and dirty roads, making street conditions even less pleasant.  Since this is a driving town, most folks want to just get the hell home when it rains so we don't get stuck someplace and don't spend a couple hours making a commute that usually takes 20 minutes.  We're really damn impatient.

I found myself at home, enjoying the smell of the rain for a few moments when I took my dogs out before rushing in to warm up by the heater.  I decided to hit "Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting Party" on Netflix instant.  I did break a sweat and could mark another hash in my tally.

I'm generally terrible with aerobics and fitness dance.  I think a grapevine should be called a grapevine and not a 'crosswalk.'  A step-ball-change needn't be dumbed down to a 'rock & roll.'  I'm also not a fan of the faux best buds friendship that some instructors try to use in their videos (like "we're having such a party, girlfriend!".  There were things I didn't quite get and I looked like a total dork.  I did burn calories and get my heart rate up, but this is not a favorite video.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Panic!

Photo by Chris Beyond 2011

Photo by Chris Beyond 2011

Photo by Chris Beyond 2011
Here are photos from last week's Monday Night Tease! presents The Hitchhiker's Guide to Burlesque.  You can see our lovely missiles in the first photo and the pot of petunias and sperm whale in the second.  I think the third one would make a great holiday card, but I don't know that my grandmother would get it.  I don't think she's read any Douglas Adams.  Oh, and she may be a little shocked by Andrew's sperm whale.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rumpus Revue and No Panties Required

Photo by Markus Alias
I do love dancing in theaters because the vice laws aren't there.  This is from "Flower Duet" at the last Rumpus Revue.  I had to wear a panty with sides beneath my sideless panty last time I did this number in Los Angeles because of the pesky vice laws.  It's funny that I can do the number in other cities with no problem because I have the required 1" of buttcrack covered; they don't care so much about my sexy, sexy hip bones and sides of my upper legs.

Dance Class Challenge: 88/100 - Stretch Zone

My quads were aching yesterday from Sunday's Kundalini class, but Evie kept me motivated to go to class anyway.  I'm glad I went because I was less sore.  Bill led the exact stretches my body needed, and the soundtrack was seasonal and amusing.  (One of my criteria for a good dance class is the teacher's thoughtfulness in actually selecting a soundtrack for the class and not running over to the stereo after every song to find the song they really want to hear for the next section of the lesson.  Do your preparation at home, teachers.)

Sixteen days left this month, two of which are holidays.  Twelve classes to go.  I have my eyes on two classes with Evie Thursday, a class on my own and one with the mister on Saturday, another class Sunday, and a class Tuesday.  That's 94 before my holiday commitments.  I wonder which studios are open Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 87/100 - Kundalini Yoga

This was my second of twenty classes on my Groupon.  Evie joined me.  It really helps to have a workout buddy, but you should know that by now.

Kundalini yoga isn't so much about flexibility as it is about endurance and getting in touch with yourself.  I really need the endurance training.  With my asthma, I get winded when I dance hard.  I have an inhaler to use before I do high energy numbers so I don't have an attack.  That works fine and all, but I'd rather not have to worry about taking medicine within a week of using my inhaler for fear of death.  (It's some pretty toxic shit so I use it very rarely.)  Today's exercises helped me control my breathing and slow my heart rate after doing something intense.  I need to work on that more because I have a high energy number up my sleeve that's itching to break free.

Dance Class Challenge: 86/100 - 10 Minute Solution: Target Toning

I had all these fantastic plans to hit yoga then jazz class yesterday before my laser appointment, growler refills and crochet class.  My wardrobe, however, had other plans.  It was laundry day, and it wasn't done drying in time for me to go to class.  (One of these days I'll feel grown up enough to buy a washer and dryer instead of spending my money on rhinestones and tiny panties.  Today is not that day.)  So I buckled down with a Netflix instant video.

This works the same as the other 10 Minute Solution videos with six different sections.  The instructor was very enthusiastic and used the perfect words of encouragement; I think she's be an amazing personal trainer if she isn't already one.  I got a solid workout and didn't feel so guilty about the dent I had yet to make in my growler of hefeweisen.

Not all videos on Netflix are equal.  I did The Situation Workout since I'm willing to try anything, but I started a second video yesterday and abandoned ship after the first twenty minutes.  I absolutely hated 10 Minute Solution: Carb Burner.  That video is not for me.  I'm taking no credit for the twenty minutes I spent doing it because I hated it.  I wish I would've walked out of a couple classes I've taken this year as easily as I could shut off that video.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 85/100 - Happy Hour Barre

Champ Evie Lovelle joined me for both classes today.  I love that girl.  I'm hoping she's with me for most of the last fifteen since she's in town and down for whatever.

I'm glad I went to this class.  The teacher was very nice, but the class wasn't a fit for me.  I'm used to Miss Riesch from LACC: friendly but firm, hands on, standard barre in every class.  I'm still hunting for a ballet class that fits my ideal.  I understand why some studios have a policy where people can watch the first 30 minutes of a class to see if it's for them.  While I may return to this class over the coming weeks to round out my 100 (if I can't find an alternate ballet class), I still haven't found the perfect class.

Dance Class Challenge: 84/100 - Kundalini Yoga

I started the year with a couple Kundalini classes, so it's somehow fitting that I'm ending the year with them.

Behold the power of the almighty Groupon! A few weeks ago I bought a pass for 20 classes (to be used within 60 days of my first class) at Golden Bridge Yoga for a whopping $20.  If I take every class I can, that's $1 per yoga class.  Of course, we all know I don't have the time to take all twenty classes in the next sixty days.  Sure, I have sixteen classes to take after this Kundalini class before the end of the year, but I doubt I can get through all twenty.  I'm okay with taking ten because that's $2 a class.  Not too shabby.

That's the thing to keep in mind when you buy these half price deals.  How much will you actually use and is it worth the expense to you?  There are a lot of deals on yoga classes and dance classes through the various discount websites.  I always check to see if I can realistically make it to enough of their classes on my schedule to make it worthwhile.  If I can't, I don't spend the money.  If it takes me forty-five minutes to drive to the studio right after a full day of office work and that's the only time I can take the class, I don't spend the money.  If there are no weekend classes on these deals, I don't spend the money.

Class was good and odd.  I plan to take another Kundalini class Saturday morning before jazz dance and a crochet class.  I'll talk more about Kundalini after a different class.  The important takeaway today is to hit up those discount websites because it is expensive to be an entertainer.

Dance Class Challenge: 83/100 - Argentine Tango 6 of 6

"I feel like Amelie, my heart is beating so fast." - Mr. Snapper

Why would he say that?  Last night was the best night of class.  We reviewed everything that was covered in the series.  More importantly, the teacher corrected us twice.  No wonder Mr. Snapper felt like Amelie when her father touched her and her heart sped up.  We've been waiting for those corrections for a while.

"I will not go to prison tonight.  I will not go to prison tonight.  I will not go to prison tonight." - Mr. Snapper

At the beginning of class, we were the only couple on the dance floor.  We took advantage and stepped to cover ground.  As other students trickled in, our steps became smaller.  There were two lonely ladies in the class at each rotation, so my mate refused to swap partners.  We glided around the line of dance, avoiding collisions gracefully, trying to find the rhythm of the music and its connection to the moves.  Andrew steered me confidently, changing up the steps as needed to keep moving but avoid crashing into other students, still using the dance steps as taught in the class.  I was impressed.  It's like we were actually dancing and tango wasn't so pointless after all.

Bumper Cars arrived late.  They strode in a good twenty minutes into class.  They're careless dancers that chase us down and run into us.  I warned Andrew that they arrived and was pleased they found a spot in our dance circle on the opposite side of the room.  We danced and danced and danced and somehow they jumped their spot on the opposite side of the circle.  I started singing the Jaws theme.  Andrew muttered about how he wouldn't go to prison for popping them.  A few long basic steps later, we were on the other side of the room from them, taking up their former position in the circle. We danced and danced and danced and at the end of class they were up on us again.  WTF?  Big basic steps returned us to our original place in the circle.  Whew!  No jail time for us.

I wish all the classes were like the first class and the last class.  Those two were more focused and we got more technique from them than from the other two we attended during the series.  Our teacher is a skilled dancer, but he's not as hands on as I would like.  I don't think we'll be continuing with this style, at least from this instructor.  Of course, we may just take the tango musicality workshop next year so all the moves make sense.  Who knows what will happen after that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 82/100 - Stretch Zone

My life has been a little hectic sine BurlyCon with travel, teaching, late nights, early mornings, and a house trashed with show crafts. Exhausted from the weekend shows and crafts, I almost didn't make it to Bill's class yesterday. My sole motivation for leaving the bliss of my bed dogpile was picking up my buddy, the angelic Evie Lovelle. She and I were out of commission at different times over the last few weeks, so we both have an agenda to get our butts in classes. I'm so glad to have a workout buddy, especially for these early mornings after shows.

Bill's class is magical for stretching things you didn't realize needed stretching. I really felt it in my arms and legs this week. I wish I could take this class every morning.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Night Tease! presents The Hitchhiker's Guide to Burlesque

Monday Night Tease! presents:

The Hitchhikers Guide To Burlesque
Mostly Naked!

Join us as we celebrate Funny Eddie Dot Com’s 42nd birthday in a way only half naked girls dressed as aliens can!

Zaphod Beeblebrox, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, Trillian, A Whale And A Bowl of Pansies, The Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six, Vogon poetry and a chorus line of dancing dolphins? The book that launched a million imaginations is re-imagined as a burlesque show.
Join us for a parody of galactic burlesque.

Hosted by the time and space traveler Funny Eddie

with performances by:

Dizzy Von Damn!
Prix de Beauté
Dia Blow
Nova Sparks
Glama Sutra
Lili VonSchtupp
Red Snapper
Mr Snapper
Rex The Impossible
Scarlet O'Keljus
Quinn T Sensual

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for December 5th, 2011
$15 advance tickets
https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/212687
$15 (tickets available at the door - seating may not be available)

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice. Plenty of free street parking.

21+, full bar, no food.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy Rumpus Revue in "Krampusnacht"

We cordially invite you to an evening of Holiday song, variety and frivolity! Mr. Snapper a ukulele playing songster and his silent foil, Mr. Buddy are your hosts, making a barely capable attempt at maintaining order as the libidinous human passions of a group of ragtag performers rage wildly out of control!

In this episode, Mr. Snapper is fed up with Mr. Buddy's out-of-control antics, so he's gotten the rest of the cast involved on a practical joke to teach Buddy a Holiday lesson. But making Buddy think Krampus, the Christmas Demon, has come to punish him is only the beginning!

Happy Krampusnacht!!

Follow us at:
http://www.facebook.com/snapperbuddy

Doors open at 8:00pm
Show starts at 8:30pm

$12.00 at the door!
BYOB!

Hosts for the evening
Mr. Snapper
Mr. Buddy

Chase McKenna as Billy Kiddo
Jacob Smith as Pistachio the Mime

Burlesque Performances by
Red Snapper
Honey Ima Home

Dope Rhymes by
Jayk Gallagher

Music and Comedy by
The Amazingly Odious Ari and the Capable Miss Puddles

With Special Guest
Scot Nery

and
The Craigslist Wildcard!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 81/100 - Argentine Tango 5 of 6

"Too many dicks on the dance floor." - Mr. Snapper (quoting Flight of the Conchords)

The first night of class there were so many women without partners.  We missed the second night because I flew to Arkansas the next morning.  The third night of class I was one of a few partners willing to swap and I was left in the corner pleasuring myself for a while.  We missed the fourth night because of cooties.  Last night there were three to five strange men waiting outside the door to the classroom with roughly three couples.  I heard one of them say, "I heard there are a lot of women in this class."  Apparently not all those women showed up.  I don't know if these fellows were recruited from the upper level classes or if they put on their best khakis and slipped past the studio assistant at check-in.  I do know that they were lined up in the back of the room at the beginning of the class like it was a junior high school ball.  Somehow the ratio shifted over the past few weeks so there were more bros than hos.

"I'm stopping so I don't punch someone in the face." - Mr. Snapper

We didn't swap partners last night.  I'm still coughing from last week's cooties invasion, and I felt it would be socially awkward to cough and then expect strange to want to dance with me.  The class doubled in size from the beginning of the hour to the end.  However, we were being hunted by other couples as we tried to work on the steps we learned two weeks ago.  I don't know that anyone else was paying attention to where they were steering, but Mr. Snapper was hit twice and I was hit once and urged to dance within inches of the mirror because couples were coming at us from all directions.  They weren't necessarily following the line of dance, just chasing us down like so many ghosts after the Pac Mans.  Bumper Cars, the couple chasing us down in the past two classes, almost bumped into him at the end of the night.  Just two more bars of music and the lady in the purple sweater would've been punched in the mouth by my partner.

Something else hilarious about last night's class was how difficult it was to get corrected as a couple by the instructor.  I guess we were standing on the wrong side of the room for most of the class to get correction.  (We weren't missing out on correction as a result of being amazing at the dance; the teacher was gone for the first ten or fifteen minutes of class while we "practiced what we learned" from previous weeks.  Then he was just correcting people on the opposite side of the room no matter where we were.  Maybe my coughing scared him away.  Of course, that's not why we missed out on correction in the last class we attended since neither of us was sick.)  The moment my beloved stopped because everyone was seemingly dancing at us was the moment the teacher decided to ask us if we had a question. Ha!  We had a question about forty-five minutes earlier, then five minutes after that, then five minutes after that.  What timing!

I'm so glad I have him to take along with me.  I wonder what I'll need to do to bribe him to come to the last class with me.  Maybe if I buy him some brass knuckles ...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 80/100 - Hip Hop 4 of 4

For my final hip hop class in this series, I convinced Evie to be part of my posse.  Remember, Evie and I were served nearly one year ago.  I knew we wouldn't get served in this class, even if she laughed the entire class.  I also dragged her along because she's a great workout partner, and she's been in enough dance class with me to know what I'm talking about when I say the teacher doesn't start on the one.

When I was a girl and we first had segregated physical education classes, I remember the girls teaching one another the Running Man in the locker room one day when we were supposed to be changing.  I watched and considered learning, somehow sensing it would be useful to know for survival later in life.  I ignored my Spidey sense, threw on my leather jacket, and walked cool all the way out of the gym.

Last night the Running Man appeared in our warm up.  I guess that's something I should've taken the time to learn over half a lifetime ago.  Since it was in the warm up, there was no explanation of how to do it; we were just supposed to know it.  Oops.  I thought I'd get remedial Running Man lessons in the series since it is hip hop for beginners.

Like the last hip hop class I attended (pre-cooties), I laughed, had fun and burned calories.  I can't say I'd recommend this as a series since the weekly content doesn't build.  Each class is self-contained.  It's fine for a workout, but it's not a class for learning technique you can mix and match to apply in the real world.

I think if Evie and I got served on the street we'd look like a couple ridiculous cheerleaders after last night's combination.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 79/100 - Stretch Zone

I was out of commission for nearly a week from the sinus flu.  I missed hip hop, tango and Slimmons last week, setting me back significantly in my hundred classes and not helping my waistline during the biggest eating holiday of the year.  I think I may finally commit to a flu shot this year.

Through hard work and careful negotiating, I managed to get my day job schedule to accommodate my need for dance classes and costume time.  This morning was the first day of my new schedule, so gal pal Evie Lovelle and I hit Bill's Stretch Zone.  I've talked about Bill many times before.  He's just an amazing guy.

Doing little more than drinking, eating and blowing my nose for a week, I really needed a good stretch.  Bill has incredible taste in music, so the selections playing the the background make me feel longer and leaner.  I felt much brighter and much happier after class.  I'm hoping I can keep this on my weekly schedule.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Set Phasers to NONE!

This may seem a bit intimate, but I share this with you, dear reader, because I know people have questions and don't always have the easiest time getting answers.  This is especially pertinent for entertainers.

For many years, I've gone to waxers so I'd have a clean "canvas."  I had a wonderful aesthetician named Jenik in the Valley for a few years, but I changed jobs and the Valley was no longer convenient.  For the past year or so, I've been visiting Simona, a delightful and efficient gal.  But the money adds up over time, and I'd rather spend that money on costumes or travel.  I started considering laser hair removal.

I have a friend with light skin and dark hair (perfect for lasering) who has had great success with it.  I have another friend whose skin and hair tones are close to my own, and she said she's noticed a significant difference.  When the Groupon deal came up for a groovy laser deal, I jumped on it.  It would cost less than four Brazilians to get six laser treatments on the same area with the deal.  I recognize that I may have to purchase additional treatments to be completely hairless, but I also might be smooth as a cue ball within my six sessions.

As part of the preparation, I had to shave my lady junk.  I've never shaved my lady junk, so I took my time and had two excellent tools on my side.  First, I followed the advice of Pin Curl Magazine to get the perfect shave.  (I skipped the anti-perspirant step at the end because I was going to get lasered an hour later.)  Second, I used a Noxema bikini razor for the tenderest of my lady bits.  It has a bit of a safety guard below the blades so you don't get important parts caught in the razor.  The shaving was the scariest part of the entire procedure for me.  Thankfully, I should only have to do it a few more times.

When I was seated by the nurse, she asked if I burned in the sun.  Since I do, they were able to set the phasers -- er, lasers -- on a high setting for most of the procedure.  I was slathered with aloe gel and she started the procedure.  It felt like rubber band snaps but the discomfort didn't linger as it sometimes does with waxing.  The most sensitive parts were the conventional postage stamp area, the inch and a half they reference in Team America World Police, and the backdoor.  It took about ten minutes for the procedure, and I was out the door as if nothing happened.  Sure, I'll be intimate with the antibacterial ointment for a few days to promote healing, but that's it.  I go back in four to six weeks for my second round.

Now I just have to keep my eyes out for more deals for the other areas that need to be hairless.  It would be wonderful to never have to shave my legs again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Final Touches on Debut Costume From 2007

This is it.  The costume in its final glory with all the changes I made.

Updating the Snapper Suit

I made a few more updates to my Red Snapper costume. Let us first take a look at the new panties. In truth, they're the old panties -- really old panties. I bought these from Victoria's Secret when I was in college and wore them maybe three times before I decided I needed cotton only next to my most sacred bits. They've been in a drawer since. (Ignore the white boy shorts with black trim beneath them as best you can. I didn't bother with nude safety panties for rehearsals in the living room.) I used some rhinestones on the front before. They just weren't flashy enough so I used the same trim as on the bra around the waistband. I also took some of the beaded trim and glued the swirly trim on top of it before hand stitching a little noisy trim band around each leg opening. Now they make lots of noise when I shake them. I think this is my favorite new feature on the new costume.

I also added a real skirt. The elastic skirt I had before was more of a temporary solution. Without a running car, I haven't been able to go to the fabric store to pick up some shiny fabric. Instead, I took my belly dance skirt that had the same fabric that the bra once had as a covering, and I shortened it. It's above my knee now. I removed the zipper and added ribbons to tie it closed. I trimmed the hem and little tease slits with the same fringe as I used on the bra. It's easy to remove and has nice movement when I shake my tush.

Something that's been really useful in this process is rehearsing in the costume pieces I plan to use for performance. I've had time to work with each piece, make mistakes with it and improve it. I'm so familiar with my costume that I'm very confident that I'll pull of this performance Saturday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Final Reveal: Alternative Shoes

I spent an hour looking for replacement shoes.  The shoes I sent back were too big and they were too dark for what I wanted.  I looked for the same style in a smaller size and in nude (easier to paint) but had no luck.  Because I liked the platform and heel height, I hunted for a shoe by the same company.  I found a lovely nude platform pump that I can paint and rhinestone as appropriate.  I'd share a photo. but my work computer sucks and I have to blog from my phone.  I'll share a pic when they arrive.

Total spent so far: $107.67 and 11:25.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Night Tease! presents The 4th Annual Muppet of Burlesque Show

Monday Night Tease! presents:

The 4th Annual Muppet of Burlesque Show

Hosted by: Rex The Impossible & Tuba

Burlesque performances:

Isabella Starr is Miss Piggy
Prix du Beaute & Ari are Bert and Ernie
Anastasia Von Teaserhausen is the Swedish Chef
Kate Fox is Rolf the Dog
Funny Eddie & Rob The Balloon Guy as Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker
Dizzy Von Damn! is Gonzo
Dia Blow is Animal
Red Snapper
Mr Snapper sings the Rainbow Connection
Vixen Magdalene presents the Dr Steel Show
Jewel of Denial and Emmit Otter’s Jug Band

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for November 21st, 2011
$15 advance tickets
http://www.meetup.com/MondayNightTease/events/39273462
$15 (tickets available at the door - seating may not be available)

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice. Plenty of free street parking.

21+, full bar, no food.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Sunday, November 20, 2011

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents NAKED GIRLS READING "ROCK OUT!"

As Peepshow Menagerie is celebrating the music of DEVO this month in their burlesque show, we've decided to do a show dedicated to music. From band and musician essays to song lyrics, join the L.A. chapter of NAKED GIRLS READING as they rock out with their books out! Great for fans of music and smart naked beautiful women alike!

Live at VLAD THE RETAILER
704 Heliotrope Drive (Just off Melrose)
Los Angeles, CA, 90029

Doors: 7pm
Sunday,November 20th
$18 door/ $15 advance
(advance discount tickets available via paypal from http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/)

Featuring our readers:

SCARLETT LETTER
RED SNAPPER (you know I'm going to read awesome stuff because I grew up with music)
SPY KITTEN
ANGELITA PURRVERTINA

(Miss Josie Bunnie who is featured on the card will not be able to do the event this weekend so Spy Kitten had taken her place. If Advance Ticket Sales are strong, we will add another reader)

An intimate wine reception will follow the reading.

Naked Girls Reading is a group of beautiful ladies who love to read…naked. That’s really it. There’s not a whole lot more to it. Should there be?

There’s something beautiful, something altogether more intimate, about a woman reading to you pretty much anything in her, well, altogether. It’s just that simple. So why are we still talking about it? Because people can’t seem to accept its simplicity.

Naked Girls. Reading.

or Girls Reading. Naked.

However you need to explain it to yourself is fine. And while you do, we’ll be over here…reading.

Naked.

18 & Up - Adults Only
No Cameras Allowed

“The best thing to happen to books since they were put on tape.”
– Last Call with Carson Daly

“The most provocative literary series in the world.”
– The Globe and Mail

Show Posters:
http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/1111NGRposter1MM.jpg

Advance Discount Tickets available NOW at:
http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stunning! at Hamburger Mary's

Tonight I'm one of two burlesque dancers in this fantastic drag show at Hamburger Mary's in West Hollywood.  (I believe there's a $5 or $10 cover.)  Fun show, great food, and you get to tip the performers.  For more details, go here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Performance Costume From 2007

From my boring ol' regular person blog on this date in 2007.  You can see the changes I made to the costume for my solo debut (unpaid) in December 2007.  I performed in this costume once, made some repairs then sold it.  I didn't love it as much as the things that came later.


Everything Old Is New Again

As I mentioned a few days ago, I've made some changes to my first burlesque costume. In fact, there have been so many changes that you could probably call it my second burlesque costume except that I never really performed in the first costume.

I'll start with the changes to the bra. The bra had the same trim at the top (squiggles) and rhinestones. I removed the back strap and shoulder straps and gave it ties for the back and a halter. It's easier to untie clothes and let them fall off than it is to fidget with those tiny bra hooks. I then added fringe and beaded trim to the bottom half of the bra cups. I recall hearing in one class or another: "If you think you may have gone too far [with costume embellishments], do more." The bra is now a heavier but more glorious beast than before.

The corset I had before was unmanageable. I didn't want to spend $50+ on a beautiful new corset with laces to embellish. Let's face it -- I've already spent a handful of dollars on costumes for the pole show. I don't need to spend that much more right now. Instead, I went on eBay and found a cupless bustier with a zipper on the front. I took my $1 package of black sequined trim and glued it to each of the stays. I put Swarovski crystals on the lace on the front. I took the trim from the bottom of the other corset and put it on this one, leaving the zipper free and clear. It looks great. If I have too many cookies, I have a hard time zipping it up. Guess I'll have to lay off for a little while. I used the same trim on the tops of my gloves to fancy them up a little more.

More costume bits to come.

Dance Class Challenge: 78/100 - Argentine Tango 3 of 6

"I wouldn't swap partners if I knew you'd be left alone in the corner to pleasure yourself." - Mr. Snapper

We missed last week's class since I had a lot of preparation to do and I was flying out early the next morning for a whirlwind tour of Arkansas.  Since it was the second class, I didn't anticipate we'd miss out on much.  We reviewed the dance hold versus the student  hold and worked on our basic at the beginning of class.  It seems like there were five to ten less people in the class than the first week.  Mr. Snapper and I did our round of dance at the very beginning of class.  Then it was time to switch partners.  (Of course, we had a couple trying to ram into us for that first round of dance, chasing us across the floor like they were ghosts in a game of Pac Man.)

I passed over two couples who wouldn't swap partners and wound up with a nice guy.  We did the basic for a few minutes and laughed.  Switch.

My next partner was a lady.  She was sweet but a bit frail.  I was afraid I'd hurt her in the student hold, and I didn't feel like I was being lead.  (As a dance partner, I require a firm hand so I don't have to back lead.)  Time to work on the front ochos.  Awesome.  So we briefly learned our forward ochos.  This sweet lady wouldn't let me complete my ochos so I wound up just twisting in place.  Switch.

No partner this time.  Great.  I brought my own partner and now I'm stuck without one.  Oh, and this part really required a partner.  Awesome.  So I tried working on my ochos but I don't have a partner to help support my weight for the turns.  I'm also potentially developing bad habits.  Great.  Switch.

I passed the girl who had the outfit in the first class and her partner.  (She looked pretty worn out last night and wasn't wearing an outfit.  I was surprised.)  Back to my nice guy partner for another round.  So we did forward ochos briefly.  Switch.

My next partner was an older fellow who knew how to lead a woman.  He gave me some good pointers for my back ochos.  The bumper car couple from the beginning of the evening didn't notice there were other students in the class and nearly crashed into us.  We also had a couple late-comers who seemed to be making love on the dance floor and they almost got their love juices on us.  (I really hate when people aren't even making an attempt at being conscientious of other people's space.  They didn't even apologize for the crashing at the beginning of the night.)  I was sad when my dance ended with the older fellow because he was a great partner.  Switch.

Back to the same nice guy.  What the hell?  I mean, he was nice and all, but where did all the partners go and how did he wind up in my path three times?!  He wasn't sure how to switch me from front ochos to back ochos and the teacher disappeared so we couldn't ask any questions.  Laughing our way through back ochos, we were hoping to get the teacher's attention when he returned to the classroom.  I almost told my partner we needed to look as remedial as possible so we could get some help, but that might have made  him feel bad so I didn't.  (Of course, looking remedial was still no guarantee we would've gotten the teacher's attention.)  Switch.

Finally, back to my beloved.  We danced and crashed into the bumper car couple.  (Mr. Snapper said it wasn't on purpose, but it sure did seem like it.)  He was frustrated from all the limp noodle partners and the lack of correction and assistance from the teacher during the class.  He was also frustrated that nice girls who permit others to dance with their partners wind up pleasuring themselves in the corner alone.  We had one good dance with each other before class was over.

What will next week hold?  Will I be a bitch and refuse to swap partners so I don't wind up in the corner?  Will I wear an outfit?  Will the teacher correct us as necessary?  Only time will tell.

Dance Class Challenge: 77/100 - Hip Hop 2 of 4

Tuesday night's class was significantly better. While there were only half the students of the first class, the moves were clearer and easier to follow. We did just enough counts for it to be fun, challenging and doable.

I think my outfit helped. I need to get a hip hop outfit so I can attach a picture to my next blog. It also helped that we danced to Snoop.
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fantastic Femmes: A Burlesque Fan Dance Extravaganza

Starring:

MS. RED SNAPPER
L.A.'s "Go All the Way Girl," returns to Little Rock to fascinate us with her fabulous fan dancing!

And Featuring:

Little Rock's very own DIAMOND DAMES!
Your favorite hometown burly-q girlies will tickle your fancy with their dazzling displays of feathers & tassels!

With Special Guest Appearances By:

LOLA VEE & SADIE J. BYRD of the MEMPHIS BELLES!

CINNAMON TWIRL, Spa City's Red Hot Mama of Burlesque!

PUSS POWERBOTTOM, the best butler in boylesque!

Hosted By:

Comedian AMY PANNELL!

All these lovely ladies are together on the awesome new Juanita's Cantina stage in the happening River Market district in Little Rock!!!

Doors at 9pm/Show at 10pm.
$10 at the door.
18+ (That means all you underage kiddos that never get to come out & see us, this is your chance to show your support for burlesque in Arkansas!)

Brought to you by the Arkansas Pin Up & Burlesque Society.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Foul Play Cabaret Show

Miranda is turning 30!!

Join us at Low Key to celebrate with boobs, booze, and birthday cake! The always wonderful, Blue Screen Skyline will be on stage to melt your hearts and your faces. Foul Play Cabaret will be shaking up the stage with a very special guest, RED SNAPPER!!


Doors open at 8:00
Blue Screen Skyline at 9:00
Girls, Girls, Girls 10:30
$10 at the door

Alcohol will be available for purchase so find a D.D. and bring your I.D.'s!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Arkansas Gets Press!

Go read this article about burlesque in my birth state!  Way to go, kids!

Arkansas: A Day of Snapper Classes

Sign up now on my class page. :)

My First Burlesque Costume From 2007

This is another gem from my regular ol' boring person blog from this date in 2007.  I post this to show you what I went through as a baby dancer, how I struggled with costumes and found solutions.  I hope this helps you feel less alone in your endeavors. :)



Ch-ch-changes

I worked really hard a few months ago on my Red Snapper costume. The goal was for it to be my first performance costume and become something of a signature piece. I had to slap it together because I needed some sort of costume for burlesque camp back in August. The bra was a challenge to unhook and the corset was laden with problems. While I made it from scratch, I didn't use stretchy fabric so it didn't fit like it needed to. I also had to add an extra panel so I could close it since the finished form was so tight. The boning would poke out and scratch me. It was lovely, but I needed something else. My little ruffle skirt has an elastic waist and isn't as easy to pull off as I need.

I decided to do some revamping. A couple classes with burlesque costumers taught me to put ties on the bra so it's easier to remove. I bought an underbust corset that zips up the front (also for ease of removal). I have a wrap-around skirt to bang out some time this weekend so I can cover my tail but easy removal. I'm removing the trim from this outfit and I've taken the rhinestones and already put them on the new get-up. In one class, I was told that if you look at the costume and wonder if you've decorated it too much, then it's time to decorate it even more. I used the same bra, gloves and panties but they're embellished with fringe, beads, ruffles and rhinestones. I'll post new pictures as soon as I can take them.

Note from 2011: This number did not become a signature anything.  I find that a signature piece winds up being something you're known for doing all the time.  I abandoned the song I originally wanted to use because it didn't quite feel right for this outfit.  With this costume I wanted to make a costume that said "burlesque!" very obviously.  I later found that was unnecessary.  I still use the crinoline, hacked up the bustier for parts and sold the gloves as part of the next edition of this costume.  I also sold the wig.  My small forehead doesn't lend itself to wigs without bangs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 76/100 - Hip Hop 1 of 4

Hip hop challenges me, and I've been served before.  I want to be able to hold my own for half a round of getting served, so I enrolled in a four-week hip hop class.  Tonight was the first night.

The hip hop class I took last year ("sexy" hip hop) gave me an idea of what to expect from a hip hop class: a good sweat, a dorky feeling, and some new moves that don't really have names.  I definitely got that from tonight's class.  I was dorking it up, front and center, in my pigtails and lime green track pants.  I got sweaty, laughed through class, and learned some stuff (even if my gangsta fists look like ballerina hands).

This is the first hip hop series at this studio, and I think they're still trying to find the best format for the class.  I don't want to be unfair in my review of the class.  That being said, the class was listed as beginner friendly.  I was challenged but picked up the choreography okay; I've taken hundreds of hours of dance classes so I can pick up a minute or so of choreography with a low percentage of dropped steps.  I'm not new to dance classes and I was in the front of the class.  Other students were more challenged than me, and I could see some frustration among my classmates from my position near the mirror.  Our teacher, enthusiastic and skilled, wasn't teaching us in 4- or 8-count sections.  He'd count a little then give wordless, onomatopoetic cues.  It was hard to know when to start and stop, to know how long each move should take, and to land from a turn or a step at the correct time.  I started playing follow-the-leader because my music counting skills weren't helping me.  As much fun as I had, I know my husband wouldn't return to finish the series after the first class because he would be frustrated.  Good thing I didn't talk him into taking this one with me.

For a beginner class, we tackled too much material for the first night.  I look forward to next week's class to see how it evolves after the first class.  I was expecting basic steps and choreography to put those steps to use, but I'm down for learning chunks of choreography.  I hope my fellow students return and have some degree of success in the series.  If there were definite counts, I would've nailed the choreography.  I didn't do too bad tonight, but I'm hoping none of us gets served before next Tuesday night.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Final Reveal: Goodbye, Shoes

I returned my shoes because they were too big.  I was about to set out and buy another pair in white, a size smaller, ready to floral spray paint them and embellish them, but I found myself at BurlyCon with a hold on my debit card for possible hotel incidentals so I haven't ordered them yet.  Evie and I are going to have a bit of a craft-a-thon in December, so I don't have to have them before my Arkansas trip.

The good news: I was refunded $46.32 for the shoes.  The shipper kept the cost of shipping them to me, which is totally fair.

I haven't worked on the costume since before BurlyCon because I had to finish revamping my "Flower Duet" costume for my Arkansas trip.  (And speaking of "Flower Duet," it's making its debut at Monday Night Tease this week.  It's never been there before.)  I'll be back at the blue gown around Thanksgiving; we're making snappers for the Muppet of Burlesque Show on the 21st.

Total so far: $59.89 and 10:25.

Dance Class Challenge: 75/100 - Slimmons

Have I mentioned how much I love Richard Simmons?  Look at that wicked grin.  That should tell you how much I love Richard Simmons.  (And look at that incredible Diamond Dames tee!)

Today's soundtrack was disco, so Mr. Snapper and I were delighted.  Fellow burlesque friends Dia Blow and Estella Detroit were in class as well.  We had a good, thorough workout.  I left the class with one of Uncle Dicky's books for my next reading project; his mother was a fan dancer in New Orleans and I'd love to know more about her.

Over all the years of my life, I never did crunches correctly until I started the postnatal Tracy Anderson workout and started taking classes with Uncle Dicky.  That's decades of strain on my neck and upper back.  I feel my abs working in every class requiring ab work now, not just his class.  The correct training makes a huge difference.

With all the movement classes I've been taking, I'm not losing any weight.  That's a sad confession for me.  On the bright side, my clothes are looser.  I feel slimmer and my body feels tighter.  I know I'm finally regaining muscle.

Twenty-five classes to go and seven weeks to get them done.  Can I do it, folks?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 74/100 - Argentine Tango 1 of 6

In a move of general awesomeness, Mr. Snapper agreed to take this six-week series with me.  Since this is a social dance, it helps that we'll both be able to do it socially.  He also has the ass of a dancer and takes his clothes off for pay, so it makes sense that he'd at least take a few dance classes here and there.

The classes at Third Street Dance start right on time and end right on time.  We got a late start and walked in moments before our instructor started the lesson.  Our first class addressed posture, the basic steps, leading and following.  As social and ballroom classes urge the changing of partners continuously during class, I only danced with him once and worked my way to the opposite side of the room by quitting time.

I try to be a pleasant dance partner.  It took some work for me, modern woman and all, to be willing to follow.  (Men, don't lead with apologies in partner dances.  Just take a firm hand and guide your partner.  That's what will make you stand out as a good dancer.)  I still find myself trying to lead into the next step of the basic when my partner is uncertain, but at least I catch myself and stop trying to guide the dance.  I look my partner in the eyes and smile, even if my partner is looking at the floor or at the upper left corner of the room for the next move.  (I'm surprised how many people won't look me in the damn eye!)  I danced with two ladies since there were five women without partners in class, and they led me better than some men.

Women are fierce about not rotating away from the partner they brought to class.  The one swing class I stayed with Mr. Snapper the entire time was the week I was in a hand brace; I knew he would handle my injury appropriately.  Some women seem to liken swapping dance partners to being promiscuous.  I tried to rotate to the first man on my right at the beginning of the class and it was apparently a problem for his lady.  I asked if she was rotating or if they were just dancing together and she looked at him and said, "It's up to you," as if daring him to "cheat."  He didn't know what to do, tossed the decision back to her, then it was back to him, and she decided to sit that round out while I danced with her partner.  We smiled, we laughed, we learned a step, then we rotated.  No, I rotated; she stepped back in and didn't leave his side for the rest of the class. (You know those television episodes where the couple takes ballroom dance because she's trying to save the relationship by showing how sexy she is and her thought is to be the sexiest person in the room to him?  Yeah, I think that was her goal based on her outfit.  This girl hammered the instructor with questions on how to be technically perfect with this relaxed social dance; I get a feeling that it was seriously important to her, not just a fun way to spend her time.)  There were four or five other couples that refused to rotate on my way to the other side of the room.  I'm sure some of them will be more comfortable with partner-swapping around class five, but last night they wouldn't budge.

Let me just add for my single male readers that partner dance classes are a great way to meet women and learn how to handle them.  Five ladies without partners.  Five.  Sure, you don't get to really engage them in conversation in the first class because you're so busy learning the moves, but you can in later classes.  You may wind up with a coffee date later in the session.  You may just wind up knowing how to handle a woman on the dance floor so you become known as a good dancer and ladies line up to be in your arms.  Either way, take my advice and enroll in one of these classes.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 73/100 - "Thriller" Workshop with Kim Blank

I wanted to learn the "Thriller" choreography last year for fun (and I was trying to take ten dance classes a month), but I missed out.  When Jewel of Denial posted something online about this workshop with original "Thriller" video dancer Kim Blank, I signed up immediately.  I was delighted to find fellow dancer Cece Cum Laude in the class as well.

Kim is an amazing instructor.  The warm-up was short but fun, and she really knew how to break down the moves so we'd have a good time with them and understand them.  Sure, there were things I got wrong and steps I hadn't perfected in this 90-minute class, but I had a great time and worked off the brownies I made and ate the night before.

We ended the class with a zombie entrance followed by the choreography.  It was delightfully fun.  Some random student videoed the last few runs in the class so you may be able to find it online somehow.  I don't feel secure enough with the choreography to do it without rehearsing it more, but it was a 90-minute class and we learned the moves that the original dancers spent a week learning and perfecting.  I will continue to work on it.  You never know when someone will play the full version of "Thriller."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 72/100 - Raising the Bar in Striptease with Jo Boobs at BurlyCon 2011

This was my last class of the day. I had hoped to make it to a hair workshop, but I was very drained when I got to this class. Jo discussed how to improve the artistry in burlesque, to make acts more crisp, and to surprise and delight the audience. Jo is the perfect teacher for this because she loves striptease and has lots of experience as an exotic dancer.

After an hour of theory, the class got up to do some movement. I wasn't mentally present enough to fully participate in the class so I left early. My mind and body were gelatin. I needed a beer, some BBQ pork potstickers, and a chance to process all the information from the day.

This was also my last class of BurlyCon. We're flying home tomorrow morning to relieve dear Spy Kitten of her pupsitting responsibilites. I'm hopeful we can return next year. It is a brilliant convention.
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 71/100 - Eye Contact & Sensual Movement with Peekaboo Pointe at BurlyCon 2011

I think I took every class she offered this weekend because the content appealed to me. This class was outside some folks' comfort zones. We learned a way to harness our own sexual energy and use it for entertainment. We drilled techniques to make people feel special and connected to the performer. It was phenomenal.

For those in the burlesque world who are anti-stripper stripper stripper, you're missing out on a world of applicable education from fellow striptease artists. Get over it already.
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Dance Class Challenge: 70/100 - Advanced Chair Dance with Lux LaCroix at BurlyCon 2011

Lux was one of my earliest teachers. She's an ass-kicker of a teacher, and this class was no exception. We worked on our core strength since we need a strong core for extensions with the chair. We also did some stuff that engaged my weary quads.

Lux has been a good source of advice for me re: dancer training and ballet in the past since she's been dancing for nearly as long as she's been alive. One particularly relevent bit of advice for me she gave in class today was about strengthening the arches of the foot. I took a ballet class earlier this year from a guy who gave me advice on stretches for the popping sound in my right foot, but the stretches don't necessarily improve the muscles. When I get home, I'm totally working out my feet with tennis balls.
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Dance Class Challenge: 69/100 - How to Wear & Tease With a Kimono with Cherry Typhoon at BurlyCon 2011

I was already dragging ass from the full weekend and almost didn't make it to class. I'm so glad I made it. Cherry Typhoon is fun and hilarious. It's interesting to me that she wants Americans to dress up like geishas and strip, particularly because I've been in classes and conversations about cultural appropriation.

We all learned how to wear kimonos to signify if we are living or dead. (The difference is what side of kimono is on top in the front.) We also learned how to wear a kimono like a "bitchy or casual" geisha or like a pretty girl. We ended the class with some cute and simple choreography to tease and strip out of the kimonos. It was delightful and energizing.
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BurlyCon 2011: Produce & Plan the Perfect Event with Baby Doe


Baby Doe is a phenomenal event planner. My small part in the Keep-A-Breast project for Tiki Oasis made that abundantly clear. Tiki Oasis knocked my socks off for the few hours I was there last year, and this year I wanted to go while my finances disagreed with me. As the genius behind Tease-O-Rama and Tiki Oasis, I knew this class would be jam-packed with valuable info.

Baby Doe is adorable and efficient. Her presentation is easy to follow and practical. Mr. Snapper and I took pages and pages of notes. It filled in gaps I had to truly make events successful. Holy cow. If you get the opportunity to take this class from her, do it. It's perfect for events of any size.
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UPDATE 11/05/11: I didn't even explain the accompanying photo in my phone blog!  Baby Doe gets sponsors for her big events like Tiki Oasis.  People don't just get to throw business cards in the goodie bags if they're sponsors.  They have to pony up some cash and something of value to give away.  At the end of the class, all the fellows got Tiki Oasis 2012 calendars and the ladies got hair flowers -- leftovers from Tiki Oasis goodie bags.  Perfect punctuation for the class.

Dance Class Challenge: 68/100 - Pilates with Peekaboo Pointe at BurlyCon 2011

First of five planned movement classes for the Snap today. I love Pilates. As I had hoped, she gave us a gentle workout as a nice start to the day. My quads are still cranky from my other movement classes. Unlike the other movement classes I've taken during BurlyCon, this early morning class had relatively few attendees; I didn't have to worry about popping my neighbor in the face when I stretched. There's something to be said about being an early bird at these things.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 67/100 - Tassels, Assels & Anarchy with Jo Boobs at BurlyCon 2011

Funnily, this class took place in a lecture room. Jo addressed the sparse history of tassel twirling and how to add some musicality to the twirl. She gave a wonderful definition of musicality -- the music appearing to come from the performer.

We then spent a nice chunk of class twirling. The more experienced twirlers worked with the less experienced twirlers to pass along tricks and tips to improve technique. It was a very communal experience.

I skipped out on my last movement class of the day because I was so sore, tired and bruised from asseling on my knees. No treadmill for this girl tonight. I have five movement classes in my sights for tomorrow.
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Dance Class Challenge: 66/100 - BQ Booty Bounce with Peekaboo Pointe at BurlyCon 2011

I made these pasties in summer of 2008 for the first run of Monday Night Tease's Tarantino burlesque tribute. I've worn them with nets and without. I've never lost one of them on stage. The lining is caked with spirit gum and the buckram is losing its shape. I can't easily count how many times I've performed in these pasties. Today I shook one of the tassels free in Peekaboo Pointe's class. It was that intense.

I think asseling and booty clapping are both hilarious, so I had to take this class to try to pick up more asstacular skills. I had both kneepads handy so I could booty clap & twirl while scooting backwards across the floor. (Freya West has some video footage that I'll have to share.) I hope I make my strippy teacher proud.
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BurlyCon 2011: Panel - Taking Your Show on the Road

I do a little bit of touring - just enough to get a taste of the road, meet new people and make new friends while maintaining my home life. There are more places I'd like to visit (and revisit) in a year, but there are significant financial hurdles to overcome to survive off touring alone.

One major point that I took from the panel was to get as much sleep on the road as I can. When I travel, I'm working from dawn until 1 or 2 the following morning. I have to promote, stay fresh to teach/travel, perform, gladhand fans, remember names, and make sure I'm prepared to get up and do it again the next day. It is fun to go out and party with the locals, but they don't have to get up early the next morning for another high stress, high activity day away from home. I do nap on the plane, but I need to be sure I rest.

Another really great tip was to get to know the locals and make friends with people in other towns. If you want to tour, apply to festivals and meet people. I love meeting people at festivals and have booked some cool stuff through those people.
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Dance Class Challenge: 65/100 - Dance of the Seven Veils with Delilah Flynn at BurlyCon 2011

I've done a little veil work in belly dance classes before, but I am by no means a veil expert. I was glad to take this class and give my arms a good workout. Veil moves translate to cloaks, drapes and jackets. I learned a couple cool new tricks.
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BurlyCon 2011: History of the Boylesk with Scott Ewalt

So much history to this art form, dating all the way back to 1884. I have a much greater appreciation for WeHo's participation in the history of boylesque. Scott's class had lots of photos and video clips. I took so many notes. Mens and mens afficianados, take this class if you ever get the chance.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 64/100 - Floor Work with Peekaboo Pointe at BurlyCon 2011

I went into class with a few issues. I'd been sitting on the floor for a few hours from my past two classes after spending sedentary hours on airplanes. I also left one of my knee pads in my room. The class was very popular (full) and the dance space was a hardwood ballroom dance floor. These conditions all contributed to muscle soreness in my knee that put me on the sidelines an hour into the class. Oh, and I did floor work in my number on Monday.

Now that we got that out of the way, Peekaboo is an adorable teacher. She's very skilled at graceful transitions to and from the floor. She taught an abbreviated floor routine that I anticipate will weave its way into the performance vocabularies of many cities. It was fun.
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BurlyCon 2011: Bringing Sexy Back - Art of Arousal with Kristina Nekyia

Based on the location of the class, I assumed this would be a movement class. I was half right; the second class is movement. Today's class was a discussion of sexuality, statements made by expression of sexuality, performer intention, and the age old debate about the differences between stripping and burlesque.

Something to consider based on the talking points of the class: Is it wrong to caused sexual arousal in your audience? (You can play along at home by pondering this. Hell, you can ponder in the comments section if you want.)
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BurlyCon 2011: Shimmying Up the BQ Ladder with Darlinda Just Darlinda

My first class of my first BurlyCon! Darlinda's class was full of practical advice for newer performers (good stuff for the older set as well). It was also full of students; I had to sit on the floor against the back wall because all the seats, counters, and wall space by the door were taken.

While I'm not going to give away the farm (i.e., her livelihood by means of divulging all of her class content), I will share a few things I learned.

First, Darlinda recommends against picking fights with other troupes in your town. I agree. It's better to work together to cultivate a stronger community and fanbase. Working together would make it easier to put on bigger events and cross-promote.

Second, Darlinda said to be sure your web presence isn't larger than your stage presence. Makes sense. You don't want your audience to be disappointed that you're not the big shit you pretend to be on the interwebs.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 63/100 - Dance Off the Inches: Tummy Tone Party Zone

This was a good workout and I could see how if might make a fun workout party video. The biggest problem I had as a dancer was that I'm not great with the touch-step move. My body anticipates weight transfer. That was really obvious when I did this video.

I appreciate how on point the instructor is with counting out the moves and reps. She's very skilled. The video starts with the cardio dance party followed by an ab workout. The video (via Netflix instant) ends with a tutorial on the moves she combines in the cardio dance party. Not the best order, but that's probably the fault of Netflix.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 62/100 - Slimmons!

"I love Uncle Dicky's outfits, but my heart's desire is that he wears a spotty tank top and the classic stripey shorts of my youth." - me in the car on the way to class Saturday

I got my wish. Beloved and delightful "Uncle Dicky" arrived in a tank top embellished with little disco balls and the classic stripey shorts, and he wore sunglasses that would make the Elton John of my youth green with envy.

I took the motivational class before the workout class. As a dance teacher, there is a weight sensitivity for many students and I wanted to see how Richard worked with his baby chicks. (Note: I don't specifically address weight issues in my burlesque students, but I find many of my students are not satisfied with their current physical condition. Sometimes it comes up.) It's a wonderful class that will get you to look at what you're actually doing to achieve your body goals.

The workout class was packed, but Mr. Snapper and I still got a great workout. Our plan is to return every Saturday we are able. If you'd like to join us, shoot me an email via my website www.snapperburlesque.com.

Richard is a dear, generous, charismatic man. It made my day when he shouted in the middle of class, "Snapper, I love you!"
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Night Tease! presents Venus A Go-Go

Monday Night Tease! presents Venus A-Go-Go

Join us for an evening of swinging 60’s burlesque with LA’s premier GoGo Gals.

Venus A Go-Go
Starring:
Panama Red
Sioux Du Jour
Ali Oops

featuring:
Jewel of Denial
Red Snapper
Prix de Beaute
Kate Fox

hosted by:
Lili VonSchtupp &
Patrick The Bank Robber

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for October 17th, 2011
$15 advance tickets
http://www.meetup.com/MondayNightTease/events/35378822
$15 (tickets available at the door - seating may not be available)

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice. Plenty of free street parking.

21+, full bar, no food.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or lili@burlesque411.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Final Reveal: Ripping Time

I'm currently in the waiting room while the mister sees the doctor. I decided to bring along a project since appointments always seem to take longer than estimated. I spent 35 minutes removing the boning and the zipper. I'm ready to install the new zipper as soon as it arrives. Fingers crossed it works.

Total so far: $106.21 and 10:25.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Final Reveal: Boning Didn't Help

Because my dress has a little bit of room and is something of an A-line, the zipper still buckles and looks strange on the side.  I hand stitched boning to one side of the zipper and there are still lumps and bumps.  I spent forty minutes on the boning and the rest of my evening and the next morning thinking about how to fix my problem.  (I didn't include think time in my total.)  I decided to buy two new zippers in different and shorter lengths and a handful of large snaps to address the area that won't be covered with the new zipper.  (Five minutes below is for my online shopping.)  I may just take the gown with me tomorrow to remove the zipper and boning.

My shoes arrived yesterday, a bit too dark and apparently a size too big.  I've graduated to a 7 in most shoes in my old age, finding the 6.5 too tight most of the time.  Not with this shoe!  While the silhouette is fantastic, they're too big.  I spent $5.90 to ship the shoes back for store credit.  Should have credit in a week or so.  I hope to get the same style of shoe but a bit smaller, and maybe in white so I can just paint them. I spent about five minutes at the post office to return the shoes.

Total so far: $106.21 and 9:50.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Final Reveal: Someone Needs a Good Boning

I installed the zipper on the outside of the dress; I'll have to handstitch the lining to the zipper later. I wanted to see how well everything would work so I could make alterations before the gown was totally stitched together. I tried it on and noticed the zipper was buckling. It's not a flattering silhoutte with buckling on the side. I can't slap appliques over the bumps. The fabric wasn't stretched when I was sewing and I built the gown with a little room inside for underthings. I told the mister my problem and used him as my idea sounding board.

I'm going to install plastic boning along both sides of the zipper to hold everything in its proper place. This has to happen before I can handstitch the lining and close the dress.

Total so far: $100.31 and 9 hours.
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Dance Class Challenge: 61/100 - Work It Out with Satan's Angel

I love Satan's Angel. This may sound funny, but she reminds me a lot of my dad but in female form. I think the two of them would be great pals. Anyway, Lili brought Angel to town for some classes and a show, and I had to take advantage.

Act review is scary for me. I get nervous about act review, but I know I need to get feedback to improve. (I'm also a fan of not having too many cooks in the kitchen, so I don't put the same act before every instructor because I don't need a muddled pile of feedback to sift through.) I took my newest act to present to my peers (a supportive audience) and Angel. I got great feedback and excellent pointers. I feel great about her rating of 7.5 out of 10, particularly because I know the act needs work. (I was also first to present after fighting bicycle race traffic to get there, nervous and dancing in a studio to music played on a laptop. I feel really damn good about 7.5 out of 10 under those circumstances.)

I chose not to workshop an act that doesn't need significant work or one that I'm unwilling to change. I expected to get something out of the critique to improve the act. I don't expect a love fest telling me it's perfect. If you ever take the opportunity for an act review (especially by a legend), keep these things in mind.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 60/100 - Elegant Sensual Striptease with Shannon Doah

We've established that I'm a huge fan of continuing education. I consider burlesque a profession, not a hobby, so I take classes from legends whenever I have the chance.

Shannon Doah is delightful. We covered boas, panel skirts, gloves and dusters. She makes her own costumes and I marvelled at the brilliant craftsmanship. This class was exactly what I needed to figure out my underthings for my blue gown.
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Dance Class Challenge: 59/100 - Slimmons!

I love Richard Simmons. What a pure heart! I love this class and I'm so glad I had the chance to return today. Even better, Mr. Snapper went with me.

I oriented him to how the class works and where to find the weights, mats and bathrooms before they opened the doors. There's only so much warning you can give a person. Class started right away and Mr. S jumped in with both feet. "Uncle Dicky" pulled me into the center of the workout circle and told me he missed me. Wow. (You have to go just to experience this incredibly supportive and encouraging thing.) He then pulled Mr. S into the circle, pulled off his shirt and had him help lead a set of exercises. (I didn't warn him about that part, but he had a big smile on his face the whole time.)

We had a great time and thoroughly exhausted ourselves. We plan to return next weekend for more.

If you're into "Dancing With the Stars," be sure to catch it Monday night to support Uncle Dicky's guest appearance.

Anyone want to join the Snappers for Slimmons next week?
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Friday, October 7, 2011

My Final Reveal: Shoes Shoes Shoes

I won my shoes on eBay!  I'm really hopeful that they work.  I went through a two pairs for the last costume.  If they don't work, I'm still keeping the time spent searching for them and the money spent in my grand total ... unless I sell them.  If they're duds and I sell them, I'll deduct what I get for them from my total costume spendings.  (Sometimes you buy things that just don't work while trying to create an amazing costume.)  My goal is to be a little bit taller with these so I have a sleeker silhouette.

I still haven't decided whether or not to rhinestone them.

Total spent: 8.75 hours and $100.31.  I have an incomplete gown and a pair of shoes to go with it, no unders and no embellishments or accessories.

Dance Class Challenge: 58/100 - 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates

I really enjoy these ten minute collections because I get five concentrated workouts in short spurts.  They're perfect early morning or late night workouts.  Lara Hudson is a skilled and efficient instructor.  I highly recommend all of her videos.

The plan for tomorrow is two dance classes.  Let's see if the world has other plans.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Final Reveal: One Piece & Shopping

I spent another hour and a half attaching the skirt and stitching the bodice lining down over the weekend.  I also ordered a zipper from the ultimate zipper place in that time.  I held my iPod with color samples of zippers up to my gown to try to get a perfect match.

Last night I started the hunt for shoes.  I was confined to my home not feeling well, so I figured I'd use my downtime to cruise the internet for shoes.  I want some platform heels so I can get more of a Lili St. Cyr silhouette with this gown.  (Sure, I'm not that tall, blonde or thin, but I do want that statuesque elegance.)  I found the perfect sparkly shoes but they're not available in my size.  After an hour of hunting, I bid on a pair of shoes I can gussy up on eBay for $45.  It's a little expensive for me for show shoes.  We'll see if I win them.

Total so far: 8.5 hours and $49.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Night Tease: Death by Burlesque

Monday Night Tease! and Juicy Burlesque present:

Murder. Mystery. Monday Night Tease!.
Death By Burlesque

Dress to undress...And bring a weapon.

When Lili "The Body" VonSchtupp unveils her latest killer act, jaws and drawers aren't the only things dropping as murder ensues. Find out who, with what and what they didn't wear.

Burlesque by:
Patrick the Bank Robber, Honey Ima Home, Iza La Vamp, Jack Dagger, Red Snapper, Mr. Snapper, Scarlet O'Keljus,
Quinn T Sensual, Funny Eddie and Lili VonSchtupp

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for Oct 3rd, 2011
$15 advance tickets though BPTickts
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/201811
$15 (tickets available at the door - seating is not guaranteed)


3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice. Plenty of free street parking.

21+, full bar, no food.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease