Monday, May 30, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 33/100 - Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates

I wanted to be sure I got some exercise in today since I have the entire day off from my day job, but I know I have plenty of tasks to accomplish around the house.  I popped on Netflix (whose selection of fitness videos on demand changes) to do a yoga video I spotted last week.  Since that video was gone, I went with "Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates."  I've taken many Pilates classes in my day, so I wanted to see what Crunch Gym's video had to offer.

There are three different workouts -- belly, butt and legs -- and the workouts are short so I did all three.  Ellen Barrett is a gentle instructor, guiding the viewer through the workouts without the motivational grunting and forced pep talks found in so many other fitness videos.  It's not a hard core video, and the fitness folks didn't bastardize any of Joseph Pilates's techniques to make them more exciting or aerobic.  While the workout was simple, I really felt it in my legs.  (Of course, I went to ballet class before hiking up and down and up and down steps at the Forum for the Prince concert on Saturday.  I spent my Sunday on three 20-minute walks, two of them in search of nachos at the street carnival.)  It was the exact right speed for Memorial Day morning.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 32/100 - Beginner Ballet

We've already established that I'm a bit of a bitch with my ballet class expectations from the class I took earlier this year. I really dig a standard barre, across the floor, combination class. I like getting lost from the world as I focus on the technique. I'm by no means a ballerina; I just like technique.

I knew from the Studio A website that Phil's beginner ballet class was a little "off road" for a ballet class. It wasn't as rigid as other classes, and Phil's focus is on fluid movements and proper body alignment. I got a good workout and danced the combination several times (with the agility of a teenage boy during the last half of the routine).

While it wasn't the ballet class that best suits my ballet desires, it was a good class and I may return as my schedule permits. Phil taught me a great stretch at the end of class to help me rebuild strength in my right foot.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011


PLEASE TEASE ME! - A Burlesque Tribute to THE BEATLES

From the people who brought you "Burlesqueland!", "Beneath The Surface", "Beach Blanket Burlesque" and "The Science Of Burlesque!"...

...SEE: Beautiful 'Fab Four' influenced Burlesque Performances!
HEAR: The music of The Beatles
LAUGH: At The Mop Top inspired comedy!

Featuring Burlesque from:

Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008:

Boston Burlesque Expo 2010's
Best Solo Performance & Legends Award Winner"


Comedy and Music from:

Hosted by our Fab Four:

Special Appearance by:

And don't miss our group performance tribute to "I Am The Walrus!"
(Another Group Number possibly to be announced)

All this for only $12? Yes Indeed!

3102 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

21 & Up, Full Bar

$5 Valet Parking / Free Street Parking
(Be sure that you are only being charged $5)


This is a big show and we won't be doing advanced tickets so please get there to line-up early for best seating/viewing area (and more especially to try to get free street parking). We plan to start the BURLESQUE section of the show at 9:45pm as WE WILL NOT HAVE A BAND FOR THIS SHOW.

Watch for more info as it comes as well as following us on facebook.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 31/100 - Dance Off the Inches: Fat Burning Jam

Living the rock and roll lifestyle (bed around 3am after a show, up at the late hour of 8am to start the weekend activities) makes it challenging to make it to dance classes sometimes. I'm trying to schedule at least one night class this week so I can keep up the momentum from my April and May intensive studies. After a morning of chores on very little sleep, I decided to stay in my bedclothes and do a Netflix instant fitness video before starting my splits stretches for the day. (What's great about this option is that Mr. Snapper can work on his Rosetta Stone French in the other room while I dance around the living room like an idiot, his pup Buster nipping at my heels part of the time.)

I found the video by typing 'dance' into the search bar on Netflix. The title is very appealing. (I need to burn off that tiramisu from last night's late show where the mister performed.) I don't do well with intensive cardio because of the asthma, so I was curious to see how they would get the fat burning without psycho aerobics. I was pleased with Michelle Dozois's dance video. It contains three simple dance routines, and she teaches the steps to each routine as you go. You're constantly moving, not breaking from one routine to the next. The moves are pretty simple and she repeats them enough that someone new to dance can succeed and have fun with the moves. I got a gentle sweat going as I did the video, and the instructor doesn't insist that you push your body to the point of cramping or potential injury. It was a good workout and I'd revisit the video again ... if I hadn't set up the rules I have for videos.


Door Admission - $18
Advance tickets:
$15 / $18 (available at
Full Priced Advanced tickets will get you guaranteed first dibs at snacks created for the event.

...featuring our naked readers:

In this show we read to you from Vintage Cookbooks, Romantic Recipies, Culinary Curiosities, and Funny Foodie Favorites. We also will be serving samples of some of the food we will be reading about. If you buy advance tickets online at full price, you have first dibs on that food.

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 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.


18 & Up - Adults Only
No Cameras Allowed

704 Heliotrope Drive (Just off Melrose)
Los Angeles, CA, 90029

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Change of Plans

I headed downtown this morning to pick up my perfect skirt fabric. I bought a swatch a few weeks ago when shopping with Evie, went out of town a few times, then finally tested the swatch to see it would take a dye and was worth $15 a yard to me. Mr. Snapper and I had brunch then marched into the shop to spend $60 on skirt fabric. They had a roll of black and ...

What the hell happened to the roll of white skirt fabric they had a month ago?! Oh, it was the last roll imported from India and there's no chance they'll get another. Great. No, black won't work for my aqua mint costume, sure as hell won't take the dye I need. Rats, foiled again. What am I going to do?

I searched a couple nearby shops and found nothing like it. The skirt has to be made ASAP since I'm putting the number in front of an audience in six weeks. So we scavenged the fabric district for skirt fabric and trims to build something even better than the perfect skirt fabric could ever be. I bought some dye and started making skirt soup on my stove. It's going to take a little more time, but I will succeed with this creation.

I'm still a little pissed they didn't tell me the fabric would be gone for rapture day.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Biscuits & Gravy Tour: Dancing With the Diamond Dames

Photo by Clarissa Brandeau
I've been waiting for a couple years for burlesque to rear its head in my home state. It's easier for me to return to Arkansas for visits when I can combine business and pleasure, and connecting up with the Diamond Dames from Little Rock provided me that opportunity.

I know Arkansas is "The Natural State," but it would be more appropriate to call it "The DIY State." There's such a strong, stubborn spirit to make things happen, and Arkansans make things happen for themselves. This wonderful group of ladies wanted burlesque in Arkansas so they made it happen. With her troupe primarily based in Little Rock, fearless leader Bre Von Buxxxom also provided performance opportunities for a Fort Smith performer, a gal from Hot Springs, and the debut of my own sister, Periwinkle Lane. The show took place a great venue with a huge backstage, room for merch out front, and an enthusiastic audience. They were wonderful backstage, and I'd gladly perform with them again. (In the photo from L to R: Heaven Lee, one of our wonderful stage kittens, me, Periwinkle Lane and Ro Manic.)

I spent the daylight hours on Saturday teaching in Hot Springs, and the Diamond Dames were there to pick up a few new tricks. We had so much fun in class. A couple gals from Foul Play Cabaret joined us as well. They were all such wonderful students that I'm teaching them fan dancing next time I return to Arkansas.

I love the South. One of the hardest parts of my life right now is trying to figure out when to return to the places I've visited, especially Arkansas and Texas.

Treasure Hunt

I've been hunting for the perfect fabric for my next costume for months: a minty aqua (toothpaste) stretch velvet. I checked so many stores downtown and looked in a fabric store in West LA, visited many JoAnn Fabrics and the fabric store of my youth in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I found something online & made a leap of faith purchase, uncertain the color displayed in the photo was true. It arrived yesterday and matches my feather sample perfectly!

I made a mockup of the outer layer of the costume last night. It wasn't perfect but I can work with it if I must. I'm making a second today. I have to figure out how to turn two patterns into one that works, and I'd rather not make those mistakes with my perfect fabric.

I still haven't unpacked from my latest trip, but I did manage to test dye my skirt fabric sample. The skirt fabric Evie and I found downtown last month will save me the expense (and potential allergy irritation) of having to work solely with feathers for the piece. It really soaked up the green dye I had on hand, so I know it will take whatever color I use very well.

I'm hoping to have the main outer piece figured out by next week so I can have it made by Memorial Day.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Le Francais

I completely refocused my dance career in December when I worked on my five year goals.  I've been fairly quiet about my specific long-term goals, but I will share that I want to return to France in the next five years.  This time I want to go as a performer.

The thing about long-term goals is that something has to happen this year, this month, this week, today to put one in the position to attain said goals over time.  If I want to dance in France with no pants in a few years, I should probably brush up on my French and learn a bit more, especially if I want to be able to intelligently talk business with producers.  I invested in Rosetta Stone French for this very reason.  I started the lessons last week and absolutely love the program. Since I'm a crazy person, I'm going to try to get through all five units by October.  I don't have plans to visit France this year, but I like being prepared. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Biscuits & Gravy Tour: Naturally Naughty Burlesque

Are you ready for Naturally Naughty Burlesque?
...'Cause you know we are! ;)

Featuring Los Angeles burlesque sensation:

Red Snapper, "The Go All The Way Girl!"

And Arkansas' Premiere Burlesque Troupe, the Diamond Dames!

Bre Von Buxxxom
Heaven Lee
Ro Manic
Tia La Topps

With very special guest performances by:

Beatnic Betty, Fort Smith femme fatale!
Lucy Tart, the sweet Spa City sensation!
and the debut of Periwinkle Lane!

Doors open @ 9pm. Show starts @ 10pm.

Sponsored by the Arkansas Pin Up & Burlesque Society!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shimmy Costume Components

Since I'm teaching a simple shimmy costume class next Saturday in Hot Springs, I'm putting together a sinmple costume with the same components they'll have available in class. I made a shimmy belt before I left for Chicago. I'm finishing the costume before I leave on Thursday for Arkansas.

I recommend students use a hard cupped bra for ease in embellishing. I got this bra at Target for $15. I found matching panties (plus a bonus panty) for $10. Since the only panties I could find were lacy, I spent $4 on a nude thong to go under the panties. Understructure cost just under $30. The rest of the supplies for the class are about $15. Simple shimmy costume that can be embellished even more or left as-is = $45.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 30/100 - Act Review at Stripper's Holiday

Our last official class was yesterday afternoon. We performed our revamped numbers for one another and for feedback from Michelle. Everyone's number was tighter. Her suggestions were spot on. Everything paid off in both shows tonight.
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Dance Class Challenge: 29/100 - Fan Technique at Stripper's Holiday

I have Michelle's fan video at home and I've studied fan with a few people, but I did pick up a few tricks to polish up my fan acts that I didn't have before. Rosie Bitts and I split a pair of fans between us so those who've had less fan training could work with full sets. This resulted in some hilarity with the two of us acting like siamese twins with fans. It was a great time.
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Dance Class Challenge: 28/100 - Independent Study at Stripper's Holiday

I can only imagine what you're thinking. 'Cheater! Independent study as a class?!' We worked long enough and hard enough on implementing our notes from the act review sessions for it to count. (Michelle reworked the schedule to give us this time to work.) We all went to the studio, found a corner or a space in the mirror, and put the notes on their feet. It was great working through it with giant mirror.
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Studio L'amour presents the Third Annual Stripper's Holiday

Don’t miss the Third Annual STRIPPER’S HOLIDAY Star-Studded Burlesque Revue hosted by Michelle L’amour and featuring the Chicago Starlets, Rosie Bitts, Jolee Blon’, Ginger Valentine, Ruby Joule, Red Snapper, Elisa, Dolly Derringer and GlamAmour.  This extravaganza is a gala benefit to raise money for the Burlesque Hall of Fame.  Your money could not go to a better cause than keeping the glittery ta-ta flame alive. There will be two shows on May7th – 8:00pm and 10:30pm (sold out).  The event will be held at the intimate Everleigh Social Club so seating is extremely limited.  We will only sell 75 tickets to each show so a sell-out is virtually guaranteed.  Get your tickets now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 27/100 - Choreography Technique at Stripper's Holiday

This particular class can be summed up nicely as such: burlesque obstacle course. I learned not to race through my actions, totally applicable outside of class.
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Dance Class Challenge: 26/100 - Tease Technique at Stripper's Holiday

Yesterday we had another round of Tease Technique after a nice stretch. The choreography was easier the second day. I'm still working to correct some of my bad habits but at least I recognize them when I do them. Today is our last round. I hope my tiredness doesn't prevent me from rocking it.
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Stripper's Holiday: Music Theory with Franky Vivid

While we got an abbreviated version of Franky's class, it was amazing. He talked about how to select a song and the the song choice guide the choreography. He talked about the blues scale and beats. We listened to some great examples of music they used in burlesque clubs back in the day. It was perfect for the music nerd in me, and really helped me figure out where to go with a couple of my newer numbers.

As a side note, Frankie is one of the nicest people. I'm glad we got a photo with him at Lucha last night.
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Naked Girls ROCK

It’s that time of year again, our third annual NAKED GIRLS ROCK Event at Naked Girls Reading.  Ever wondered what it would be like to live the rock-n-roll lifestyle full of debauchery and naked chicks?  What if those chicks were remarkably literate and well-read?  Well, wonder no more.  The Chicago Naked Girls are going to Rock-n-Roll all night and Read Naked every day.
Biographies, Liner Notes, Lyrics and a few cocaine-addled rants are sure to be the number one hit of the day as the girls get “unplugged’ from their clothes and turn the sexy up to eleven.
And yes, we WILL be playing Guitar Hero once again.  Challenge a Naked Girl to an ax-slinging battle and win a collector’s edition “Naked Girls Rock” poster by TJ Rappel of Krushervision.
Reservations are required, get yours now and receive a limited edition “Naked Girls Reading” Guitar Pick.

(I'll be on the Everleigh swing with backless panties.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I had a blast with Elisa, Ruby Joule and Ginger Valentine this evening. We took over the photo booth before serving as ring girls. Crazy awesome fun.
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Lucha VaVoom presents Cinco de Mayo Spectacular

Lucha VaVOOM presents

Lucha Libre, Burlesque, Comedy

Win a shot at the DIRTY SANCHEZ Pinata!
Tamales!  Tequila!
Salsa Dancers!  Aztec Dancers! Folklorica Dancers!
World's biggest Zumba dance INCLUDING YOU!

Lucha Superstar CASSANDRO
Super Caliente MICHELLE L’AMOUR!
Hula Hoop Hottie KARIS!  Singin’ n’ Strippin URSULINA
Fighting Sugar Skulls THE CALAVERAS PLUS a tiny MINI CALAVERA!

General Admission - 18 & Over

(You'll see me running around as a ring girl.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 25/100 - Boa Work at Stripper's Holiday

Our boa class was short and full of tricks. I have Michelle's boa DVD. She taught different tricks in class. It was awesome. Great way to end the day of classes. We've all been pow-wowing the business of burlesque since.
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Dance Class Challenge: 24/100 - Act Review at Stripper's Holiday

Four of us had our acts reviewed today. It was nice hearing feedback on the other acts. Michelle's notes on my number were exactly what I needed. I ran my number again when I got back to the apartment to implement the notes. Watch out, kids. Shit's about to get real. :)
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Dance Class Challenge: 23/100 - Choreography Technique at Stripper's Holiday

Dear reader, you're only getting little teasers of the classes I'm taking. We addressed musicality in this class, and Michelle pointed out some of our bad habits to be corrected. I learned in acting class not to rely too heavily on my bag of tricks. I guess I should do the same as a dancer.
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Dance Class Challenge: 22/100 - Tease Technique at Stripper's Holiday

The first class today was Tease Technique. Without giving away the farm, I can tell you I learned some tricks for working a big stage and creating pretty, confident body lines. Also Michelle is a fun teacher.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 21/100 - Rachel Brice: Bellydance Arms & Posture

I'm changing the rules a little bit on this challenge. When I first came up with it, I was working half days at the office and had planned to accomplish all the touring I've done in the past few months in a full year's time. With the schedule changes, I have to squeeze in the dancing where I can. I'm going to now include dance videos as classes under these conditions: 1) finishing the entire video in one sitting as an active participant, and 2) only counting each video the first time doing the video.

I put Rachel Brice: Bellydance Arms & Posture in my Netflix queue a few years ago when I was trying to get beautiful hands in my belly dancing. (I would tense my hands as if I had some kind of palsy in an attempt to 'extend energy' through my fingertips. I've learned since that's not what the phrase meant.) While the video was a great workout for the arms and back, it didn't cover as much as I expected when I put it in the queue all those years ago. Rachel Brice is legendary in the world of tribal belly dancing, and her technique is explained abd demonstrated very well. I felt like I got a good workout from the DVD, even if it wasn't quite what I expected.
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Dance Class Challenge: 20/100 - Intermediate/Advanced Burlesque at Stripper's Holiday

I took Michelle's class on the spur of the moment, freshly dressed between the arrival of my flight and the evening Naked Girls Reading Book Club. Sure, I was dressed like a 1950s housewife, but I did the entire class.

I love the way Michelle teaches. I look forward to tomorrow.
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