Dear Constant Reader,
(My slowly on-going reporting on The Great Burlesque Exposition. Read the previous entries here and here.)
One of the great things about The Expo is The Conference. Attendees get two days with multiple tracks of classes on so many different topics — dance, stage craft, business, costuming, &c. — taught by amazing instructors from all over. I try to take as many as I possible can. It’s such a valuable experience for improving all facets of our art.
Get Tight: A Guide to Corsetry (me): I was surprised to have students at such an early hour! I educated them on this history of corsetry (with examples), different types, what to look for when you buy, tips for making, and of course, how to wear and remove. I’ve proposed it for BurlyCon, but with some changes so I don’t have to bring a shopping bag full of examples and tools.
#whatdatbootydo (Nina La Voix): This class was all about the butt. We started with a warm up of squats (mercifully she didn’t make us do lunges too). Then we learned the finer points of cheek isolations, twerking, and ass clapping. We wrapped up the class with a short routine. I’m rather booty challenged, as it turns out. I see you looking completely unsurprised, O Gentle Reader.
Floorwork (Bella Blue): I’m not sure what I was thinking, taking another intensely physical class right after Nina’s, but I was not going to pass up the opportunity to learn from one of our special guests! Someday I will master the stripper pushup, but not that day…
Big Hair, Don’t Care (Maggie McMuffin): We learned how to get enormous volume through fillers and through teasing plus the secret ingredients. I probably won’t even try it on my thin, fine hair, but The Wortown Bombshells took the lessons to heart for the Pool Party that night. (Photo by Beau Blush)
What Do I Do With These? Boa and Glove Strip Technique (Bella Blue): Two of my favorite accessories! (I say that, but my boas don’t actually come out & play much. I should change that.) I was particularly delighted to see some of my advanced students in the class. I think one of them added something she learned in this class to her performance the next night. I learned a few new tricks, was reminded of some that I haven’t taken out in a while, and found some inspiration. In other words, a good class.
Introduction to Fan Dance (me): I didn’t actually expect anyone this early on Sunday. And that was indeed the case.
Stalking the Stocking (me): But I was surprised not to get anyone here either. Had I known, I would have taken Angie Pontani’s Master Class instead.
The Body of Work: Longevity in Burlesque (panel): I was supposed to be on this panel, but Scratch took my place to give me a break in the midst of what we thought was going to be 4 hours of solid teaching. It was fun listening to long-time performers talk about leaving a legacy and how to stay in burlesque for the long haul. Honestly, Scratch was probably a better speaker on the topic than I would have been.
Your Way Student Session (me, Scratch): This was a final review session to give the students in the Burlesque Your Way class some last-minute feedback before they performed that night. We don’t normally do this, but two regular classes *and* two make-up classes were canceled because of all the freaking blizzards we’ve had.
The Hands and Arms of a Dancer (Willy Barrett): I think I’ve taken this class 4 times now and every time I learn something new. I love Willy’s classes — there’s always a huge “ah-ha” moment for me. And it’s so much fun watching people’s minds get blown. I’m really excited that in a couple of weeks I get to take *nine hours* of class with him!
Go-Go Robics (Angie Pontani): This class is so much fun! Angie’s enthusiasm and the goofy moves almost makes one forget what a workout this all is. Those pony steps are killers! This time the song was Nancy Sinatra’s “The Last of the Secret Agents”, so we got to start in our favorite spy pose.
And just a reminder that this year was pretty terrible for The Expo’s coffers. You can help make next year amazing!