Trying something new. Sort of.

by Violet 2. March 2011 07:45

In less than a week, I am opening a new chapter in journey and I'm going to do something new. Well, it's not that new.

On Monday, March 7th, I will have my first class at Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque Burlesque 101 class. The 6 week series culminates in a recital on the 16th of April. You may be saying to yourself, "But Violet, haven't you been performing and even producing your own shows now? Why would you want to do this?" The answer is pretty simple. I want to figure out what I don't know and expand upon that. It's really kind of a tranquil thought, if you ask me. Of course, there several other intangible benefits I hope to reap from this. Over all, I see this as win with an extra helping of awesome.

I am a bit amused that I'll be in two shows, one of which I'm producing, during that six weeks before the recital.

Besides, how could I go wrong when one of the forms I had to fill out included the question, "Which is funnier? A donut, a chicken, or a pickle?" and then asked me to explain why. I'm particularly fond of my answer to that question. If you ask nicely in private, I'll tell you. ;)

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I found my hips!

by Violet 27. March 2010 19:48

They were in Mel's studio the whole time! I'll get to that in just a moment.

 

Thursday's class went well. No, scratch that. Thursday class was awesome! The evening started with me explaining my idea to Melody, the music, the costume, and even the thoughts on staging I had. My evil idea was well received by her. This made me very, very happy. She even appreciated the short list of music I had been considering, but agreed the final idea was much better.

 

After we had that out of the way, we talked about my performance from the beginning of the month and decided to focus on some issues for it. The first item to focus on was my hips. My hips didn't move much during the performance. I have a problem with the shimmy and hip movements in general since I started.

 

The majority of the problem was mechanical in nature. One of the challenges of belly dancing for me, and being a trans woman, especially one who started bringing her hormones into line later in life, is that some my physical characteristics are kind of set in stone and not the same as a cisgender woman's. Take the pelvis for example. The fact that the illium, the wings of the pelvis, is wider and more cradle like for example. That difference presents difficulties for me in the shimmy department. Hip isolations were right out.

 

So here I am, in Mel's studio, trying to shimmy, and Mel is walking around me, placing her hands on my waist and hips, feeling for how the muscles are moving. Before you ask, yes, those muscles lay differently too. It was this that Mel used to figure out a possible solution.

 

Rather than relaxing my lower abdomen and letting my legs do the work, we shifted focus to the muscles in the lower back and just above the cheeks. Right away, there was a difference. Larger hip movements were already visible. The amount of effort was a lot less and all of a sudden, hip isolations began to happen. They're not perfect yet, but they're there! I'm also getting a greater range of motion on the left side than on the right, but I think that should level out soon enough.

 

The down side, however, is that theses muscles have been cranky due to all the use they've been getting lately. I can live with that.

 

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