First Performance Ever Monday, May 7, 2012
I took up pole dancing in January and now the time had come to perform, not to a group of fellow students, but to real, live, paying audience. I had practiced my piece so many times that I was actually feeling rather serene. I went to the local sex-toy/adult-video/kinky-lingerée store and bought a rather tame corset and lace boy-shorts. That might have been one of the most challenging aspects of prepping for the show.
Word of advice: never go corset shopping by yourself. Fitting one of those suckers is a two-person job.
The day of the show and the one prior to it was about resting up. I had spent so much time working on my choreography that my body was feeling fatigued in a bad way. I was insanely busy the day of the performance with a ceramics class, an obligatory clean-up work day at my son’s pre-school, and hosting a play-date for two other kids that I hardly had time to be nervous. It seriously gave new meaning to Mother-By-Day-Exotic-Dancer-By-Night. I rolled with it when people at the pre-school asked me what I was up to this weekend. “Oh not much. I’m just pole dancing at a bar tonight.
Around four o’clock I decided I needed to eat something in time to have it digest and not come back up. Come 11pm, after I had performed and was relaxing at the bar with a drink in hand, I realized that I was STARVING. The Verde food truck pulled up just as I was getting ready to head South of the Border. I swear that Verde saved my life. It was either that or the Selena shrine (pictured above).
The show started out with a burlesque show helmed by Camp Wardrobe MalFUNKshun. The crowd had a decidedly Burning Man feel to it. Everyone was there to see burlesque so I felt pretty safe in my lace spankies. It wasn’t like I was going to strip club with creepy dudes or showing up at a regular bar only to have women stare daggers at me because they didn’t appreciate me dancing around in my underpants and distracting their dates.
I sat next to my husband and tried to become one with my sheet of choreography as I waited for the first act of the burlesque show to end. I probably would have been less stressed if I hadn’t brought it, but it was my crutch. It was getting pretty soggy from all the drinks that kept spilling on it, too. After the burlesque dancers packed up their tassels, Tabitha took over the mic and introduced me. I felt kind of like a gymnast as I stood there waving and smiling. The music started and I had at it; I made it through the whole piece without freezing or falling on my head! The crowd was amazing, they lifted me up with their cheering and hollering. It was over before I knew it and I gratefully stood back and watched Stacey take the stage.
The rest of the night was pure pleasure. We free-styled and had fun after our set performances were over. Sasha ushered us on and off the pole, ordering us to get on our knees and booty pop, or do a two-person ankle spins at once, shit I never thought I could do. I also nailed my cowgirl, a move I struggled with in class. There is nothing like a little adrenaline to make a move come together. Linda Crane, the new girl and rock-star in the making, wowed us with upside-down hip circles, a move I’ve never even tried. The Spirals ladies rocked the house.
I had a couple of drinks and a burrito and I soaked up the adulation. People were so nice and I felt like a superstar as I graciously accepted all the compliments. It came crashing down when I got home and watched the video that Lonny took. It wasn’t horrible but I felt like I was watching a sped up movie. Sasha had encouraged me to slow my movement down, which I honestly felt like I was doing. On the video my moves seemed rushed an jerky. She also told me to smile, which I did, but I felt that I was emoting toomuch. All-in-all, I felt like I needed to be more subtle.
I need to cut myself a little slack, though. It was my first performance ever and I feel like I did a good job. The irony of it is that I begged off being in the student showcase because I thought I was too busy and I ended up signing on to the 303 show which was a full week earlier. What I learned is that I can start from zero and have a routine ready to perform in just five days, not months, like I had believed. I don’t have to be a Choreographer to choreograph, it is actually a simple process, and I can also go out there just have fun.
I really love pole dancing. It is still making it into the mainstream so I feel like an exotic creature. My fellow students and instructors are all such lovely people and it is amazing to be in an environment that is so supportive. I can’t believe I waited until I turned 40 to take it up, but better late than never.