Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Put Your Hands on Me

I recently started my second Burlesque workshop series.  I spent four weeks previously working with Indiana Bones, formerly known as Colette Corbeau, learning choreography set to Trent Reznor and Karen O's rendition of "Immigrant Song".  Here's the video of our performance.  I am slightly embarrassed by this.  In part because I screw up and in part because there's just some guilty feelings over being an almost-middle-aged mom of 4 doing a bootie shake on stage in public. I'm the first one to walk out on stage. My awesome friends all assumed I was the very cute, very good second person to walk out, but that was our instructor.

This time around my instructor is my girl crush, Sass Herass.  My crush developed at the first live Burlesque show I went to at Harlow's.  I pretty much drool all over and make an idiot of myself whenever I'm around her.  Such is the nature of crushes, I suppose, even at my age.  Sass's class performed to Joi's "Lick" at Fishnet Friday and I can't even begin to tell you how turned on I was by the end of that number.  Or pretty much every time I hear it.

I left class the last two weeks sweaty, excited, and really nervous.  Each Siren has a unique personality and teaching style.  I thoroughly enjoyed Colette's series and think it was the perfect starting point for me.  We learned the routine starting at the beginning and moved straight through to the end. Colette made a video for us to practice with at home, and the moves weren't too difficult.  It was sexy, in a cute kind of way.  With Sass, she teaches chunks of the routine, not necessarily in order.  She reminds me of the Tazmanian Devil - a whirlwind of activity, her mind moving faster than her body or mouth.  The class was exciting, the moves incredibly sexy and fast, and I just hope I can keep up and not look like a spazzed out monkey on stage.  Let me tell you, though, I do love putting my hands on myself to the sounds of "Put Your Hands on Me" by Joss Stone.

The thing I love about Burlesque is that it's not about everyone doing the exact same move in the exact same way.  It's not about perfection.  It's about feeling the music and how it speaks to you. It's about moving in ways that make you feel comfortable and sexy.  It's about touching yourself the way you want to be touched.  Music is my savior.  That sounds dramatic, but it really saves me when I'm down or in a pissy mood - which is almost always. You know that weird older lady driving down the freeway dancing in her seat and obviously singing loudly and probably horribly?  Wearing red fishnets, a corset and tutu?  Yep, that would be me. I'm not a great dancer but that doesn't stop me from really enjoying it.  My daughters find it mortifying, because in the rare instances that I actually cook or clean, I'm blaring these songs and dancing seductively (okay, attempting to dance seductively) around the house.

9-year-old very opinionated brat, snickering: "What are you doing, Mom?  You look funny. You do weird things with your mouth."

17.5-year-old, covering her eyes: "I can not watch my mom move like this. There's something just so wrong about it."  This was said after walking downstairs and into the living room right as I shimmied all the way down, put my hands between my knees and pressed them open and then shut again, stuck my behind in the air and rolled back up.  A move you can see in the above video. I don't ask my girls to watch me. I usually practice when I think they're otherwise occupied, but they seem to have a sixth sense and walk in as soon as I start.

Over the past few weeks I've learned a few things.
  1. Do not go to a new hair stylist the day of the performance.
  2. Not everyone responds to the same type of music in the same way.  I had a really hard time getting into my first performance.  "Immigrant Song" isn't a song I'd normally choose for dancing.  I didn't feel sexy listening to the song.  It didn't make my body start to move before I even realized what was happening.  Songs like "Lick", "Sail", and "Put Your Hands on Me", however, make me want to touch myself all over immediately.  It's much easier to feel sexy and just focus on how my body wants to respond to these songs, so I feel much less self conscious performing to them.
  3. I hate putting together costumes.  I'm not the type of person who can go to random thrift shops and stores and piece together a cute outfit. I don't sew.  I basically need an entire outfit already put together for me. So figuring out what to wear for my short stint on stage stresses me out more than actually performing.
  4. I should not order three corsets just because I'm so excited after my first class and I'm sure I'll wear them again.  Especially since each instructor has an idea of what they want you to wear and it's not anything I've already spent too much money on.  Personally I think they're overdoing the "all black with some accent color" theme. Especially since the stage has a dark background and we blend into it wearing black.
  5. I am not as big as I think I am - all three corsets are too big, but I've worn them and can't return them.  Corsets are supposed to be tight and uncomfortable and have skin showing in the back.  Mine are laced completely closed and I can still breath and move comfortable and pull them away from my body.  This is not helpful in making me look smaller, which is, in addition to pushing up my saggy sad boobs that were ruined by breast feeding, the whole point of corsets.   
Wanna see my next performance? Or just lots of sexy women running around scantily clad? Then check this out.
Fishnet Friday at Marilyn's on K! See you there!

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