Have you ever done anything that scared you to pieces? How about performing in front of a bunch of strangers while taking off your clothes? How about doing it alone onstage? (Yeah, I didn’t think so)
memories of awkwardness
Realizing I seem self-assured and sociable; I can be shy. As a kid, I walked around with my shoulders slumped and rarely looked people in the eyes.
I was taller than most kids my age and remember being frightened by others. What in the world was there to be afraid of? It probably stems from fear of rejection and abandonment. I knew that had to come from somewhere!
thank goodness those days are over
Now, I am the confident mermaid, vamp, angel, burlesque dancer you all know and love. The thing is, just because I participate, doesn’t mean I am not the least bit scared of them.
If these activities are frightening, why do them at all? Wouldn’t life be simpler if I sat on my ass all day and never did anything outside my comfort zone? It’s all about personal growth.
My latest venture into vintage cabaret (burlesque) has been one of the highlights of the year. I have no background in dance. I am not even slightly graceful as I have been known to lose balance easily.
The great thing about Hootchy Kootchy Girls is none of that matters. It is about, strutting, fun, celebrating the feminine, friendship and of course, vintage cabaret. Now, after lots of practice, I can shimmy like the rest of them.
In the first show, I was a stage kitten (aka wardrobe mistress). This role was perfect because it got me accustomed to being onstage. I did a group number with the beginning class (Fever) and shuffled around gloves, boas and clothes between acts.
time for a solo
What could be better than being a stage kitten? It was time for Miss Mimi to gather her cupcakes and go solo onstage. How exciting!
Choosing a song was easy (Let it snow… sung by Harry Connick Jr). His version had oomph, which is exactly what I needed. Yup, music easy. What was next?
Choreography. Did I mention I have no background in dance? Oy! I started listening to the song over and over again, thinking of different moves I could do while removing clothing.
With the help from the Hootchy Kootchy Queen (Erin) herself, I was able to figure out how to stretch my routine into 1.5 minutes without falling. Actually, I was more worried about the duck faces I made when I forgot steps.
During our final dress rehearsal, the Queen said I looked great until grimacing when I missed a cue. I was onstage alone and no one would know if I got the routine right or not.
The queen said above all I should keep my head up and smile. Nothing is sexier than a woman who is confident enough to put it all out there onstage. Trying to look sexy results in BRF or worse (constipated).
miss mimi takes flight
Just a few numbers before the solo, I performed in the group number, I want sugar in my bowl, by Nina Simone. What an amazingly sexy song. Any butterflies left in my stomach flew away by the time the number was over.
When it was my turn to perform solo, I was ready. The blue velvet and sequined gown as well as the vintage inspired underpinnings were dazzling. The routine was rehearsed and there was nothing left but to do it.
creme de la cupcakes
I felt like a star. The audience cheered and I sparkled. Surely there were others who were better dancers, but perfection was not the goal.
The joy from facing the fear of rejection etc. onstage was immense. I have grown into a sassy vintage cabaret solo performer. The sky is the limit.
There will be no sitting on my ass fearing the world. Nothing will stand in my way. I experienced and conquered it. I say, “bring it on.”
What is stopping you from discovering your own hidden talents? Whatever they are, meet them, turn on the music, hold your head up and just keep dancing.
Share your innermost desires. Do you have a little hootchy kootchy waiting to be let out?
- The Beginning of an Adventurous Year (adventuresinthelifeofanintrovert.wordpress.com)
- Counting Stars (part one) (xobrittneygrace.wordpress.com)
- My Life in Burlesque: The Care and Feeding of a Stage Kitten (persephonemagazine.com)