It's Open! A Lovefest to Burlesque.

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Well, the opening was a huge success. Peek-a-boo, An Ooky Spooky Halloween Burlesque Revue opened to a sold out crowd (standing room only!) on Saturday night. I think the best feeling for me as a choreographer is on an opening night, when I can release the dance from my brain and out into the world. It now belongs to the dancers, and they can do with it what they will. My process involves me listening to the songs on repeat for a few days/weeks/ whatever my time is to brainstorm and know the music and beats without hearing it, come up with steps, feelings, stories, etc, then when I get down to work, I sit myself down with a notebook and start to put thought into action and finalize things. I can change things after it's written down, but once I start, I keep going and dedicate however many days it takes to the construction of the dance. I work well this way, but the problem with it is, I can never stop thinking about it. If I am stuck on something, it will often keep me awake or I'll have a hard time focusing on anything else until it is settled. I rarely dance the dance out before a first rehearsal--I like to test it out on my dancers, but sometimes I'll walk through it just to make sure that it isn't physically impossible. Once the show is open, though, I can finally get the song out of my head and I can close my eyes without seeing the movement behind my eyes. What a thrill it is, too, to see that the thing you envisioned in your brain perfectly translates to the stage. I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but I am happy to say that it works really well.

For this show, we concentrated the teaching in only 2 weeks. Looking at the show on Saturday, I am really impressed with the professionalism and hard work of the cast and crew of the show. Not that there weren't some snags--there most certainly were--but they all got rectified just in time. Chris O. Biddle is the host and producer of the show, and he was very supportive throughout the process and even went above and beyond to give recognition and credit for the choreography I did for the show, which was a nice surprise. The show itself is a class act--sexy ladies, funny ghouls and characters, great songs, and don't forget a blacklight paint dance and zombie cha cha.

Another bonus on the show is that I got to work with some amazing and talented dancers that I'd never worked with before. It blows my mind to think that I've been working with the Belmont Burlesque Revue as long as I have, so I was a little out of my comfort zone when I was given a crew of 3/4 new dancers. It helped having a familiar face in the show, Naughty Natanya, and when I met Natasha Minsk, Lula Houp-Garou, and Siren Jinx, I instantly fell in love with all of them. The 4 of them are so amazing and talented and sweet, they made teaching the dance really easy and fun. And damn, they knock it out of the park.

I also had a lot of fun with the Zombie Cha Cha--J. Ben and Ryan just kill it with their faces and spirit, and they were great to work with, too. The whole cast and crew is amazing. The Greenhouse and Piccolo Theatre folks are a bunch of sweethearts who do a great job at what they do. It's an honor to get to work with them.

I have to thank the Belmont Burlesque Revue for getting me involved in the burlesque world--they put a lot of faith in me to work with them, and it has been a blessing. Thanks, Paris!

I also am especially grateful to all my supportive and wonderful friends, the group that came out for opening night (thank you!), the ones who couldn't but were there in spirit, and of course, my amazing Fuzzy who is my biggest cheerleader.

Last night I daydreamed about having a small storefront or studio space that I could use for burlesque dancers to work out their routines, teach workshops, and have fitness classes. I know that isn't very realistic in this economy, or if it is, it is a long way away, but it sure is a nice thought and something to shoot for. Until then, I have a few more projects on the horizon, and I think it's time for me to focus up and get myself to classes regularly. Things are looking good.

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My dear, you are the bee's knees. I've eagerly looked forward to dancing Red Right Hand every night of the run so far, and I'm so glad I still have another week to go! We're having such a blast with it--we all love dancing the number and the audience is blown away every night. Your wonderful choreography is such a gift to us! Thank you for yet another splendid number--whether as a creepy doll, a saucy island girl, or covered in body paint, your choreography is always a joy to perform.