Sunday, 18 September 2011

Burlesque Starlet

Today saw me tottering off (not literally, because I don't do heels) to the darkest depths of Leicestershire for the second Showgirl School run by the lovely ladies at Kookie Kaftan. It was, as ever, fantastic fun, and left me feeling like a true glamour puss!

We started off with a fabulously saucy strip tease choreography, during which we learnt the intricacies of removing button-up tops and long skirts, and also managed to throw bits of lingerie all over the hall. As usual, there was no actual nudity involved, but I think I'd feel less silly if there was- something about wearing frilly knickers over leggings makes me feel like a complete plum.

Then came afternoon tea, with an array of goodies that have absolutely no place on Slimming World (I figured the two hours of dancing cancelled them out), and then the bit I was really looking forward to- the fascinator workshop.
I had a lot of fun, as you can probably tell from the picture above. Our teacher for the day, Lynne, had brought an abundance of random haberdashery for us, and we had a positive orgy of hotfixing, glue gunning and generally indulging our girly sides. I'm totally hooked on hat making, ad will definitely be trying it again.

Finally we had a lesson on vintage hairstyles. I've already tried my hand at a couple, but it was really useful to get tips in person, especially as Lynne, like me, has quite long hair, and most of the tutorials online are aimed at people with shoulder length hair. I spent most of the session wrangling with the pompadour, or false fringe, which is a look I've always coveted but didn't have the first clue how to achieve. I ended up rolling it around a mascara brush to get the shape right, but once it was up there it stayed in place for nearly nine hours (I found 12 kirby grips in it when I took it out).

It was a fabulous day, and I left brimming with new ideas and feeling totally inspired to dance and create. Which, frankly, is a great way to end any workshop!

During the day I also picked up a copy of a new BD magazine - Majency, which looks pretty awesome. It includes submissions from several dancers I know, including Lynne herself, and appears to cover the whole spectrum of belly dance in the UK without prejudice- cabaret, folkloric, tribal and fusion all get covered. Can't wait until I get a quiet moment to read it myself!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New Project!

I had no intention of starting a new project. I have two finished costumes still in need of alterations and repairs, a peacock bra that's been on hold for months, a tribal bra that needs reworking, and a new troupe choreography to write, learn, costume and perform by early October.


I guess no one told the universe this, because this sparkly blue evening gown was lurking on the rack of my favourite charity shop, just waiting for someone to see past the torn lining and mumsy neckline and discover the baladi-tastic beauty beneath.

I hate mumsy necklines. Can you tell? Also for some reason the only costume bra I could find was leopardprint!

This will be my first shot at a dress, as the glitterdot monstrosity has been borrowed by about half the local dance community and I daren't take a pair of scissors to it until the hafla season is over.

Current plans involve adding some cap sleeves (made from the scraps I cut out of the bust) to try and balance out the silhouette, then throwing a load of hotfix crystals, sequins and beads at it, and seeing what sticks. Sadly there are not enough scraps to cover a bra, so I'm thinking turquoise satin and lots of dark blue trimmings, to pick up the glittery streaks in the dress.

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Comedown

This weekend was absolutely crammed with dancing, starting with a duet on Friday evening at a hafla organised by BAMBA, then another duet and a solo performance on Saturday at a hafla planned and executed with military precision by my good friend and troupemate C, then a two hour intensive class.

I had little or no sleep all weekend, too much pop (soda) and not enough food, bought a frightening amount of stuff, worked muscles I didn't know I had, and achieved some seriously startling hairstyles (protoype below, I don't have any pictures from the weekend yet)

All in all, it was a fabulous, decadent weekend, in which everything else got subsumed by sparkles, sweat and the sheer joy of spending time doing something I love.

It came as a bit of a blow this morning then to realise that I had to unwind the victory rolls, take off the red nail varnish and put Lilith back in her box in favour of my much less interesting (but far more fiscally sound) persona, whose name is that on my birth certificate. Back to typing up reports, unjamming the photocopier, emptying the dishwasher and taking out the bins. Booring.