Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 43/100 - Tracy Anderson's Post-Pregnancy Workout

A post-pregnancy workout?! Let me explain.  I've been feeling self-conscious about my low abs for a few months, particularly after seeing them folded in an unflattering way in some photos.  I'm all about doing what I can to change the things I don't like about myself, so I put out a call for suggestions on toning my low abs on my Facebook page.  A fellow dancer friend (with wonderfully tight abs) told me her secret was this DVD.  It makes perfect sense; the low abs get pretty flabby after pregnancy.  I got my hands on a copy and gave it a whirl.

I like that Tracy Anderson is a former professional dancer, that she shed the 60 lbs. she gained during her pregnancy with this technique, and that she likes to eat.  The nearly hour-long workout has an extensive ab workout and some stuff for the butt, arms and legs.  Don't let the classical soundtrack or slow moves fool you; it is an ass kicker.  There were things I couldn't do, and I used to have amazing core strength.  She recommends you do this workout four to six times a week to really see the results.  I've done it about three times so far.  (The first time I tried it was shortly after my oral surgery so I didn't get very far.  Last night I had Buster dropping a ball in my crotch to play fetch and Doodlebug licking my face with her garlicky tongue while I was working out.  Add that to the two full rounds and it's been about three times.)  I'm going to try to do it at least three times a week as I cram in my other dance classes so I can make 100 this year.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


An Unnecessary Burlesque Tribute to Monty Python!

Admission: $10
...21 & Up, Full Bar
$5 Valet Parking / Free Street Parking

ENTRANCE is in the back from the Parking Lot!

(Llamas and Moose welcome outside)

From the people who brought you "BURLESQUELAND!" and "THE SCIENCE OF BURLESQUE!"...

See Peepshow Menagerie take on one of the biggest and best comedy troupes of all time. With a show filled with Dead Parrots, mostly alive Knights, quite alive near Messiahs, and all sorts of half naked silly people that happen to be quite sexy too.

Hasn't Monty Python been through enough? One of them is forced to pilot one of his many yachts all around the seven seas, another is enslaved to a life traveling around the world hosting a television show, one is a successful director, another a successful actor, still another a famous Broadway producer.

Oh, and one is quite dead. He is indeed no more.

Ok, maybe it's a little ok to do a parody show of the old boys yet...but better to do it with pretty burlesque ladies, right?

Featuring Burlesque from:

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


and on tour from Italy
and our 37th 'Peepshow Pin-Up'


With comedy bits by


3102 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90005

On the corner of Wilshire and Westmoreland.
(2 blocks east of Vermont)
Entrance is in the back from parking lot, off Westmoreland.

Watch http://www.peepshowmenager​ for more info as it comes as well as following us on facebook.​rlesquepeepshow

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Swap Meet, Anyone?

When I was a Girl Scout many years ago, we'd always have an event during the day near the founder's birth to celebrate her birthday and network (more or less) with other girls in the district. I think the event was two to four hours, had contests and trials to test our knot tying skills and ability to read trail markers.  My favorite part of the entire day was the swap meet.

In the weeks leading up to the event, our troop decided on some sort of handcrafted pin to make.  Sometimes the pins referenced the Scouts (I think we made a really ugly uniform from felt one year); sometimes the pins referenced nothing in particular (my favorite was the year we made felt teddy bears that everyone wanted).  Since everything was budgeted in Scouts and came from either the dues or fundraising money, the swaps were always inexpensively made in our meetings.  The design (swap front, usually felt with other crafty stuff glued on) was glued to a safety pin and our troop name and number were on a tag on the back.  We made enough swaps so there was one to trade with someone from each troop in our district.  We pinned the swaps to sashes and approached girls to swap swaps at the appropriate point in the day.  I loved everything about swaps, except the ugly designs the troop leaders would sometimes dream up and make us do.

I would love to do swaps with other performers in the community.  Maybe at some festival or other we could do a swap meet.  Everybody brings 20 matching pins with their name and city on the back, then they trade with people from other cities.  I'm still trying to work out the perfect way to do it in burlesque.  The wonderful thing is that people walk away from the swap meet with memoirs of the people they met, little treasures for their burlesque treasure chest.  I think it's brilliant.  (Of course, it's my idea and I am a genius. Ha!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CBF: Ultimate Self Confidence with World Famous *BOB*

When I saw Jo Boobs in Boston, she told me I absolutely had to take this class if I had the opportunity.  Since I consider WWJBD when I'm faced with challenges as a performer, I hopped right on it when I saw *BOB* was teaching at Colorado Burlesque Festival.  I'm pretty confident in life and as a performer, but I know there's always room to improve and more to learn.  Maybe I'd pick something up to help other people in my life that are having trouble.  And to tell you the truth, the people who've taken the class were very tight lipped about the content but very enthusiastic about the class.

Here is exactly what happens in this super secretive class: Twelve (and only twelve) students are guided through exercises to improve self confidence.  There's theory, practical and discussion, much like any good informational class.  There is a movement portion, but I wouldn't classify it as a dance class since you don't spend any of the class rolling around on the floor stretching and you can wear a dress to class.  I came out of the class understanding my own confidence Kryptonite and I got some tools to draw strength from a metaphorical sun.  I noticed my fellow students left the class brighter and happier than when we were queued up before class.  *BOB* provides a very safe and nurturing environment for students to consider their personal confidence Kryptonite, whether it's performance-related or real world-based.

This class is perfect for women who interact with people.  There's not a coed class or a class for men currently.  You can tell in the class that *BOB* really loves what she does.  Caring, warm, approachable and genuine, she's the perfect instructor for a class like this.  If you see it offered anywhere, sign up ASAP because it does sell out.

One specific thing I can share that I learned is the definition of courage.  In order to have courage and be brave, you have to face something that scares you.  As a performer, I'm not courageous with the numbers I do.  I've been entertaining people for over 30 years so I have nothing on getting up in front of people.  I do, however, have courage in other parts of life.  I have to be brave this Thursday since I'm getting IV sedation for the first time ever  when I get my remaining wisdom teeth removed; this seriously freaks the crap out of me.  I'm sure all will be fine and I can look back on that moment as a courage reference when something in the future is scary.  This class helped me figure out how to regard moments of bravery and what courage actually is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Night Tease! presents DETROIT ROCKS

Monday Night Tease! presents: Detroit Rocks
Join us for an evening of burlesque inspired by the city that brought us The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Jackson Five, Alice Cooper, Stevie Wonder, and The White Stripes!

(it's also Miss Estella Detroit's birthday. )

$15 advance tickets:

Hosted by: Randy Stallion

with burlesque by:

Dizzy Von Damn!, Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008
Red Snapper
Jessabelle Thunder
Miss Angie Cakes
Kate Fox
Mr Snapper
Iona Vibrator
Ali Oops
Estella Detroit

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

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:

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 42/100 - Tease Technique

I've taken Michelle's Tease Technique before but it's always good. It's perfect for beginners and seasoned professionals. I'm hoping that my treadmill time last night, city hike and two dance classes today give me a healthy glow for my performance tonight.
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Dance Class Challenge: 41/100 - The Art of the Shimmy

I think it's pretty obvious that I love Michelle L'amour. She's an incredible teacher with great aesthetic tastes. When I saw she was offering two classes at Colorado Burlesque Festival, I jumped on the chance to take both.

This class addressed shoulder shimmies and hip shimmies. While I've been shimmying for years, I was enthusiastic about taking this class to get some new tricks. You see, a number has presented itself to me, as if a gift from the very fabric of the universe. I'm going to need industrial shimmy power for this number, particularly since I have asthma. This class put me on the path.
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Colorado Burlesque Festival: Main Event

Yours truly is dancing here!  Get the details here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cooties on the Go

I do what I can to avoid getting sick, especially around travel dates. I've been surrounded by sick people at work and at shows for the past few weeks; it's no surprise I finally caught the summer cold on Monday.

I'm already screwed when it comes to the common cold. I have asthma medication as a preventative measure when I'm doing some very dancetastic numbers. That medication is so toxic that mixing it with cold medicine within a week of using the inhaler could kill me. I only take cold meds when I know I'm not dancing for at least a week.

I had to combat this sucker naturally. I started taking Zicam spray on Tuesday and I haven't let up yet. I had lots of green tea. I also immediately started consuming honey. Honey is miraculous and helps the body heal. It also instantly soothes a sore throat.

Honey is a perfect throat balm for travel. Pop by any coffee kiosk on the go, order something, and pocket three or four honey packets for later. Whenever your throat gets sore, open a packet and suck it down. Honey's also great when your blood sugar gets low.

With a handful of honey packets, a ziploc bag full of soft tissues, and a suitcase stash of honey, I'm going to whip this cold's ass while traveling, studying and dancing.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 40/100 - Crunch: Super SlimDown

My house is incredibly warm right now and I have too much costume stuff to do to leave. The only way to get a stretch was to do another program from Netflix instant. Crunch: Super SlimDown is another one led by Ellen Barrett. It's a great ab workout. I was got a great workout without passing out from the cardio aspect in this heat.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Clever Disguises

As a reader, you get insight and behind-the-scenes on my numbers that most people don't get. You get to see where things go wrong and how I have to problem solve. This photo shows a little last minute problem solving.

When I made the first two mock-ups of the one-piece outer costume (referred to as the bodice), I tried attaching a panty and making a separate panty to attach. The main issue was that I wasn't strong enough at drafting patterns to make it work. It wasn't working so I bought two panties (one nude, one to match the bodice) and stitched their outsides together -- using them to line each other -- then attached that to the bodice. The now merged bodice unit with attached panty works perfectly but the seam wasn't as clean as I had hoped.

I had to figure out how to dress up the seam. I tried various trims and ribbons I happened to have at le maison de Snapper but nothing looked good. Downtown this morning we found this beautiful trim in the perfect color. Funnily, I used the exact same trim in nude for my adhesive panty for my fan dance. While I have more work added to the project (sewing on the trim), it's worth the extra couple hours to have a costume that looks good.

The best part: the trim was only $4 a yard.
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