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
$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

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

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:

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

$12.00 at the door!

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

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 ...