Springtime for Bellydance

Bad Weather Burlesque

Bad Weather Burlesque

Greetings lovely people! Lots of great stuff going on. I hope we see you at some of these events!

Friday, Feb. 13: Fatal Attraction: A Bad Weather Burlesque Valentine – dinner theater at the Fargo Holiday Inn. Come see your BWB favorites, along with our wonderful host BJ Armani from BJ Armani’s Cabaret, and special guest Fox Smoulder! Don’t miss it! Tickets available at www.fargohi.com.

Classes start Feb. 28

Classes start Feb. 28

Saturday, Feb. 28: New class session starts. Brand new music and choreography! 10 am Saturday mornings at the Spirit Room.

Saturday, April 11: Bad Weather Burlesque’s Naughty Novice Night IV. Ever want to get up on stage and show ’em what you got? Now’s your chance! At the Aquarium in Fargo. More info TBA.

Saturday, May 9: Shimmy Mob Fargo. We’ll be performing somewhere on the Fargo Marathon route, and we are supporting the YWCA of Cass Clay. Register to participate at www.shimmymob.com.

The Jasmin Jahal Saidi Workshop is being postponed until April, more info TBA.

Make sure to check out the calendar for all sorts of great events. See you soon!

No Class Dec. 27

Hello Lovelies! Remember, no class on Dec. 27, but we WILL have class on Jan. 3. You don’t need that long to recover from NYE!

The Latest Bellydance News

Happy All-idays!

Happy All-idays!

Happy All-idays! So much is coming up, I can hardly keep it straight! Here’s the haps:

Now: Winter class session continues. Spring session will begin at the end of February. Check back here for details.

Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014: Bad Weather Burlesque All-iday Show. Why stop at Christmas? Let’s celebrate all the holidays! I will be the Winter Solstice and Labor Day. Some of you know what that means… Show starts at 9:30pm at the Aquarium in Fargo.

Friday, Feb. 14, 2015: A Bad Weather Burlesque Valentine: Fatal Attraction. Enjoy some fab food and saucy entertainment at this dinner theater event. More info coming, tickets available through www.fargohi.com. Non-dinner admission is also available in advance and at the door. Dinner at 7:00pm, show at 8:30pm at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

Jasmin Jahal

Jasmin Jahal

Feb. 20-22, 2015: Jasmin Jahal Saidi Workshop. This is going to be fabulous! Take advantage of this internationally acclaimed performer and instructor right in your own backyard. More info here.

Saturday, May 9, 2015: World Bellydance Day! I am the Shimmy Mob team leader for Fargo this year, and we will be coordinating with the Fargo Marathon to make this extra awesome. Early bird registration is through Dec. 31. Sign up at www.shimmymob.com, and see more local info on this page.

Wow, I can hardly keep up! I hope to see you all there!

New Class Session Begins Dec. 6!

Get ready for Dec. 6!

Get ready for Dec. 6!

Nov. 8 is the last class of Fall 2014 session so if you want to work on that choreo this is your last chance! I will also be bringing a printout of the steps so you can reference that when you are practicing at home. We’ll take a little break until after Turkey Day and start up again Dec. 6, when we will be doing something totally different, but equally, if not more fun.

Please note the change in cost for punch cards. Student punch cards are still $35.

Hope to see you there!

Core Strength Classic: Abs of Steel

A lot of people ask me if belly dance will get them in shape. The answer is yes, and no. If you practice intensely every day then yes, it probably will. If you come to class once a week and kind of practice a little during the week then no, sorry, it won’t. But even dancers who practice regularly can use a little help on core strength. My favorite cross-training exercise is Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel. The original video from years ago. It is the best, in my opinion. Why? It really works. The exercises are safe and comfortable, but challenging. Tamilee talks to you the entire time and explains what you are doing and why, which is a nice distraction so you don’t get bored. And she is encouraging without being a drill sergeant.

My husband and I first started the video back when we were in our mid-twenties and before I even started dancing. It was new on VHS if that gives you a hint. We were so out of shape that we were beat before we even finished with the warm up! But we kept with it, and after several months I could do all three 10-minute workouts in a row. This isn’t about getting skinny, mind you. This is about being strong and healthy. If you have seen me dance you know I don’t have a six pack (that you can see), but I can do belly rolls all day.

In case you are wondering, no, I am not getting any compensation for this endorsement. I just really love this video, and Abs of Steel 2. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps…

Yes We Will Have Class On Sept. 13

As many of you know, ESPN Gameday will be broadcasting live from one block down the street. They did it last year too. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be then so I’m hoping this year will be the same (although I was just downtown for dinner tonight and that was a bit of a green and gold parking nightmare). We WILL have class as usual. I recommend coming a little early and parking to the south of the Spirit Room. You probably don’t want to park on Broadway since it will be partially blocked. Good luck to us all!

Mascara Report Part 1 – High End Mascaras Without Photoshop

I learned about mascara late in life. I did not have much instruction on makeup as a teen, and even now I am learning new techniques for application, and about new kinds of makeup. I’m a bit of a freak for the makeup these days. I often like to get the Sephora Lash Stash whenever a new one comes out, and I grab mascara samples whenever I can get them, just so I can see how they compare. I have documented five different kinds here, and this is what I determined.

This pic actually creeps me out a little

This pic actually creeps me out a little

Here’s the thing: as far as appearance, I don’t think they necessarily look all that different. Maybe when my face is three inches from the bathroom mirror I can tell, but upon reflection they all stack up about the same for show. And of course the commercials and print ads are all a huge load of BS, obviously. So it all comes down to wear and comfort.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash

  • Smooth application
  • Flakes a little bit

Bare Minerals Lash Domination

  • Slightly dryer application
  • Slight flaking after long wear

Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash

  • My favorite of this group
  • goes on like buttah
  • very minimal flaking

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes

  • Fine, but nothing special

Benefit They’re Real

  • Can be gunky, goes on very thick
  • Flakes more than the others

Bonus: DuWop Lash Venom – no picture, I threw it away after a couple days because I had serious panda eyes after only a couple hours. I have never had flaking that bad before or since! Do not use!

Over the next few months I plan to review drugstore brands and see how they stack up. Feel free to mention your favorite mascara in the comments!

 

Costume Report: Pink and Silver Snakeskin

From Queerfest 2014, Courtesy Douglas Klettke

From Queerfest 2014, Photo courtesy Douglas Klettke

Today I’m going to share with you the story of my latest costume, this pink and silver snakeskin Lycra number you see above. In the interest of helping you with your costumes I’m going to tell you the tale of how this costume and routine came into being, what I did and what I would have done differently and plan to change.

It started with inspiration

It started with inspiration

This all started with jewelry. My lovely sister gave me a silver and pink plate mail necklace and earring set last year. I love it to bits, and since this is a statement piece for sure it needed to see the stage. I figured I would make a pink costume based on the color combination but all we have in the local store is some pink Lycra, plain and uninteresting. One day, a few months ago, I was in the Twin Cities at SR Harris looking for stretch lace for an entirely different costume when I happened down the dance wear aisle and I ran right into the fabric you see in the pictures. Hot pink and silver snakeskin with a black background. I knew this was the one, even though I did not have a design plan yet. I got 4 yards because I knew I had a skirt pattern already that I could work with.

So now I had the fabric and the accessories, I had to put it all together into something wearable. I went to my standby bra technique, so that wasn’t too hard. At least the base part wasn’t.

As per instructions in a previous post

As per instructions in a previous post

Unlike earlier versions I am now using overlapping bands and a halter for stability

Unlike earlier versions I am now using overlapping bands and a halter for stability

I wanted to do something flashier with the skirt. I found the Madame X Mermaid Skirt pattern and decided to give it a try. This was a little trickier. The skirt pattern is the type where you make a sleeve for the elastic so it bunches at the top. Presumably you would put a belt over it to hide the bunching. I did not want to do that. This would be my first attempt at making a dance skirt that would have decorations directly on it.

I started with making the pattern as-is. This is a one-size pattern that gives you instructions on how to measure yourself for fit. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I was able to make it in 3 panels so that part was super easy to put together. It would not remain easy. I decided that I would make darts in the back and install a zipper so the skirt would be form fitting. The darts were hard (understatement!) but ultimately I was happy with the fit. The zipper was a complete waste of time. The fabric is so stretchy there was no reason to bother with it. I still had to add elastic so the skirt would not fall down because frankly it is rather heavy.

Photo Courtesy Douglas Klettke

Photo Courtesy Douglas Klettke

I’m not sure if you can tell from this pic, but there is a heck of a lot of fabric below the knee. It makes 1 1/2 circles; it is very full. Each pattern piece is like a rounded “T.” This also makes for the issue of sort of points where the seams meet. I had to hem this so that the points were cut off smooth because it hung longer at the seams and turned out so you could see the back side of the fabric. Once I hemmed it the whole thing was even with the floor and looked much better.

Early experiments with draping the netting

Early experiments with draping the netting

Then we have decoration. That fabric pattern is pretty overwhelming, so I wanted to break it up with something else. I came across this pink crinkle netting at JoAnn Fabrics. I tried laying it across in various ways but I found I needed something else to ground it. So I went back to the store and got some black crinkle netting and I was happy with the combination of the two. In the photos it is a little hard to tell though. My plan was to balance out the pink and black diagonal top to bottom. I eventually got kind of stuck and just made that poofy thing on the skirt. That won’t stay though.

I should mention here that I normally put beaded fringe on my costumes, but since I was going to be whipping around a prop I wanted to make sure nothing got caught or tangled. I have a tiny amount of fringe on a couple parts but I think that will come off too. It does not add anything to the piece.

The elbow gloves are super simple: measure the top part of your arm, the bottom part, length, cut a trapezoid, sew it together – bam, you got elbow gloves.

I am going to make some changes. I was on vacation for a week before Queerfest so I ended up pressed for time to finish. What I plan to do is add a bunch of sparklies over the netting, especially the black part, to give it more depth. I am also going to re-do the skirt decoration so I have a black triangle rather than the wimpy little poof. I will add sparklies diagonally from the black part of the bra to be consistent. I am going to remove the zipper so I can fully cover the back side and make it consistent with the front. I am also going to re-install the elastic with a proper x-casing instead of the quick-n-dirty zigzag stitch (I was in a hurry).

I'll be making some changes

I’ll be making some changes

Bling to be added

Bling to be added

For those of you who saw the show and said to yourself “where the heck did THAT come from ?!” I needed a special song for this costume vision and it came to me one day when I was driving with my husband. He hooked his iPhone up to the stereo and the first song on the shuffle was Britney Spears’ Work Bitch. I knew instantly that was the song and upon arriving at home I watched the video several times for inspiration. In the video there is a scene where she is whipping people and I remembered seeing a video for an LED whip. I consulted with Bender !Flames!, who is a flow artist as well as an amazing boylesque artist, and he directed me to a web site where he got some of his LED supplies. They are not cheap so you better believe this act will see the stage again and again. It was pretty boss if I do say so myself.

Pretty lights make everything better!

Pretty lights make everything better!

I hope that helps you, my fellow costumers. I will post updated pics when I get everything fixed the way I want it.

Special thanks to Doug Klettke for taking pics during Queerfest – you rock!

New Class Session Starts Sept. 6!

Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Fall session is upon us in ONE MONTH! Are you ready to shimmy? I think we will be doing some veil work this time around so bring ’em if you got ’em! I will have spares for students who do not have veils.

Remember: Saturday, Sept. 6, 10am-11am; The Spirit Room, 111 Broadway, Fargo, ND.

If you miss the first class you can easily catch up in week 2 or 3. Contact me if you have any questions at all. Hope to see you all soon!

The Latest News and Events

Queerfest will benefit the Pride Collective Community Center

Queerfest will benefit the Pride Collective Community Center

Hello lovely people! There is so much going on! First and foremost please check out Queerfest this weekend at the Aquarium at 9:30pm. Bad Weather Burlesque will have a bunch of guest performers as well as the wonderful regular cast to entertain you. We’re raising funds for the Pride Collective Community Center.

Pride Weekend is coming up so check out the drag extravaganza that is the Vixen Variety/BJ’s Cabaret/FM Entertainers showcase at the Garage Bar in Moorhead on Friday, August 15 at 9pm!

Bad Weather Burlesque will also be marching in the Pride parade on Sunday, August 17 at 2pm, Downtown Fargo. Come out and say hi!

My new class session starts Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10am at the Spirit Room in Fargo. Looking forward to seeing everyone after summer break!

Check out our friends up north when the Lovely Dozen hosts a series of workshops with Amy Danielson. There will be a fantastic show that Saturday night, so if you can’t make the workshops you can catch some great shimmying!

And there you have it! Stay tuned for more updates!

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