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

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
Panama Red
Sioux Du Jour
Ali Oops

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
$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:

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or

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
$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:

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or

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

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 57/100 - Yoga for Health: Gastrointestinal Disorders

While I didn't make it to dance class yesterday, I did manage to finish the last of the workouts in this series and do an ab workout. The only parts of this workout particular to digestion were probably some of the inversions and twists, but the instructor never explained how these particular moves would assist digestion. Between the two workouts and multiple late nights, I'm exhausted.
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Final Reveal: Two Piece

I spent the morning stitching one side of the bodice closed and finishing the edges. I also put together the skirt and lining. My next step is to merge the two.

I have two curious problems at this stage of the process:

1) I have to figure out how to keep the bottom of the gown closed. I'm going to put a stripper zipper on the side. I want the gown to be able to fully open on that side, but I know there won't be enough tension at the bottom of the gown for me to successfully unzip it if I bought a really long zipper. I may have to at a pleated gusset or something at the bottom of the dress on the open edge.

2) Buster is getting used to being a showgirl's dog finally. He's discovered the joy of being under a gown. He loves the hems and the tent created by a long skirt. He also likes pawing his way under the skirt when I wrap it around myself to check the drape. He crawled into my lap to snuggle the skirt when I was basting. This is going to make my fittings interesting.

Total spent: 6 hours and $49.
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