Saturday, January 10, 2015


I recommend to poor dancers to repair the costumes they have. I recommend to unemployed dancers to run the numbers they have so they can improve. Since I'm investing my cash in a new costume already, and I have one gig lined up for January, it's time to practice what I preach.

My husband has a gig this evening and I'm staying home to work on me. I haven't gone out much lately because I have commissions I'm working on, but I'm also working on my body and my acts. My eighth year as a professional burlesque dancer has commenced. I decided to pull out two acts I haven't performed in over a year and run them in my living room.

In my room
The first act I ran was "Butterflies" and I did it in full costume sans pasties and panties. This was the costume I made through the "My Final Reveal" series here. I was producing and had to create content. I wanted a panel skirt number with full panels. I wanted to use magnets. I wanted to make a dress from a pattern I had. I learned a lot as I made the costume. I put the number to "Butterflies" by Michael Jackson, a delightful and floaty tune. I don't feel like it ever fully arrived as a number. That could be why this beautiful costume didn't leave my wardrobe once in 2014, and only saw the stage once in 2013.

The costume construction lessons were incredible. The magnets were a challenge. I discovered it takes forever to rhinestone on a showgirl level with a hotfix tool. I learned that hand painting net makes it heavier than expected. I learned that Mod Podge and glitter on shoes seems like a great idea, but those shoes will stick together months after the Mod Podge has cured. I confirmed that strapless bras are a terrible idea for me and that I must have a strap of some sort.
Photo (c) Markus Alias

I put on the costume and started the song without running it in my mind as a refresher. It was liberating to not remember the choreography that didn't fully work. It was fun dancing in different shoes since the Mod Podge shoes just don't work. Little Coca Carter was absolutely fascinated with my living room performance. It was interesting. I have some distance from the number. It's not my bread and butter but I won't part with the costume. The song just doesn't work right for me in this costume.

As an experiment, I put on "Blue Prelude" and stripped to that. I'm not incredibly familiar with the song, but it's a striptease classic for a very good reason. It worked so much better! I may or may not use that song for this costume in future, but I realized the costume is worth putting to work again. I made notes of the repairs it needed and taped them to the garment bag. I'll get to those soon.

I was very warm and Coca Carter was eager to participate in my dancing, so I did a simpler version of another song. I pulled out "If," which I haven't performed since 2013. It has a chunk of floor work and I had a knee injury early last year. I didn't put on the costume and I didn't crawl on the floor. I danced the number as I remembered it, and realized I need to revisit the choreography to fully remember it. I'm not culling the number; I just need to find a producer who wants to see me dance hip hop. (This is good hip hop. I had a choreographer for this number. It's not like me and Evie getting served in hip hop class.)

I may just do this again next weekend. It was an incredible learning experience and very freeing.