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Showing posts from 2019

I Wish We All Were Nude -- Remembering Prince

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I Wish We All Were Nude  By Jo Weldon
Photo: Prince on the $19.99 dollar bill. Source unknown.
Also, me in my feature dancer days, photographed by the late great J. Stephen Hicks. Thinking of my stripper sisters on Prince's birthday. This is an article I wrote when I heard he had passed.

I’ve been stripping for decades, and I’ve literally–and by a large margin–made more money dancing naked to music by Prince than by any other single artist. 

I started working in strip joints in 1980, at the age of 18. I was eager to get out of my parents’ house and start living the sex drugs and rock n roll life of my dreams. Stripping was certainly a fast track to all of that. Who knows why we want what we want? Lots of people experienced similar influences to mine, similar traumas and privileges, and didn’t want the same. But I knew what I wanted and was hellbound from the minute I got my first set of car keys. 

I got my chops in Atlanta, which even at the time had an above-average per capita n…

Interview with Jacqueline Boxx, International Burlesque Headliner and Instructor

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Photo c. Stereovision



I first got to know Jacqueline Boxx when I was teaching a workshop while on tour, and our relationship has perfectly represented how wonderful it is to get to know people while traveling as a burlesque teacher and performers. The intimacy of getting to know students and fellow performers while on the road, sharing backstages and hotel rooms, is more important to me than the glamour, and I've gotten to spend some quality time with people I consider friends and peers. I was honored to be invited to host the Essential Tease Showcase she co-produced in Baltimore. I had mostly stopped doing interviews, but our conversations after that show lit a fire under me, and I'm excited to be doing new interviews for my blog. If you haven't already met Jacqueline Boxx, prepare to fall in love, and if you already know and love her, prepare to be very proud of your good taste!

Stage Name: Jacqueline Boxx Locality: Baltimore, MD Years Performing: Three, a break, then four!

J…

Student Showcase May 15 2019!

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See the freshest burlesque in the city! New York School of Burlesque Headmistress Jo Weldon, author of The Burlesque Handbook, will introduce new acts by students who are preparing to take the burlesque world by storm. These debut performers have created routines based on their own ideas, choosing their own music, designing their own costumes, and mapping out their own choreography. Come be part of their adventure! 
Details and Tickets  Performances by: Kizzy Lewdlow
Lilith Lamore
Lou Renoir and Belle DeVere  Marlena Magdalene Mary Midnight Rosie Tulips Roxie Maisel Valdeth Vava Valentina Vera Safire Vivienne Von Foxy with Juno Stardust, Stage Kitten And a few special surprises! Hosted by Headmistress Jo Weldon, Author of The Burlesque Handbook
http://www.schoolofburlesque.com

Tips for Tuesday: How to be Sexy

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Above: Eye Contact is everything! Photo by Ben Trivett.
Students often ask me how to feel sexier onstage. Of course "being sexy" isn't everyone's goal, but for those who want to learn it or experiment with it, here are some techniques to try!

1) Be present. Stop every other thing you're doing and pay attention to the person or audience that's in front of you. You absolutely cannot do this with your eyes down, so take a deep breath and look around. Meet them where they are.

2) Stand still. Many of us walk around getting unwanted comments from strangers, from insulting and threatening to sexually harassing. This is the moment YOU have chosen to be looked at. Revel in it. Acknowledge that you are giving them permission to look.

3) Let them know you appreciate them. With your face and body language, say, "Thank you for coming. And you may enjoy me. You're welcome."

4) Think to yourself, "I'm sexy." Whether that makes you laugh or makes…

Feline Friday: Legends in Leopard Print

undomesticatedwomen: Burlesque in Leopard Print! Enjoy these vintage images of burlesque queens showing their spots! Thanks to Neil Kez Kendall and Janelle Smith for help with the images! Featuring Naja Karamuru, Lili St Cyr, Marsha Strand, Tempest Storm, Sally Lane, Blaze Starr, Nadira, Bettie Page, and Jennie Lee. Image of Naja Karamuru from http://kcur.org/post/photos-few-teasers-kansas-city-librarys-folly-burlesque-collection#stream/0 I’ve been searching for these images for my History of Leopard Print Project, which you can follow at historyofleopardprint.com. I travel and give lectures on the topic!
Note: This was originally posted on my Tumblr, schoolofburlesque.tumblr.com, three years ago. Now they've hidden most of my posts because they're censoring adult material, so fuck 'em.
Filed under bur

Tips For Tuesday: Music for Burlesque

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Vintage sheet music available at https://www.ebay.com/i/362616752815?chn=ps
When it comes to burlesque music, the truth is that anything goes! Whatever you love will work.

However, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

1) The great music of the early and middle 20th century works because it was made for burlesque, or arranged in a burlesque mode. You never have to use it unless you want to use it, but if you do want to use it, you definitely should. Some people say it's cliche, but I prefer to think of pieces like "Night Train," "Harlem Nocturne," and "Pink Panther" as standards. It's important to know that some burlesque producers and performers are tired of them, but if you want to use this music, ask yourself about the value of their opinions: Were they ever going to pay to come to your show? Does your actual audience love that music? Make your decisions based on your goals.

2) The music sets up audience expectations. You can fulfill (classic …

Tips for Tuesday: Stage Names for Burlesque Success

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Stage Names for Burlesque Success When I ask new students what they consider the purpose of a stage name to be, they give me a lot of great answers. “To establish a character.” “To separate your stage persona from your normal business life.” “To fulfill your vision of yourself.” “To mark a new era of your life.” “To name your artist self.” This is all true and important. However, if they are thinking about performing with any regularity, it’s important for them to think about branding as well. The word branding can be used in a lot of really obnoxious and dehumanizing ways, but it’s a professional must, so look at it in the sense of creating professional and artistic ease and freedom. What, for purposes of branding, does a new burlesque performer need to consider? The hardest part of this is often that the most burlesquey-sounding names are all taken. Cat references, color references, French names, etc. What’s a newbie to do? Consider the following: 1. Google. They need to make sure t…

Workshops with Asian Burlesque Extravaganza Headliners!

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Asian Burlesque Extravaganza 2019
Instructors: Ms B LaRose and Miss Di'Lovely

Workshops With Stars of The Asian Burlesque Extravaganza!
These special workshops are available in NYC only in association with this annual event! Don't miss out! Saturday, May 4, 2019, 1 - 4 pm. 

1 - 2.25 pm: Slay Cabaret with Miss Di'Lovely

Above: Photo of Miss Di'Lovely by MC Newman.
Not for the faint of heart! This class starts with a light warm up and across-the-floor combinations to review syncopated movement, fusing contemporary jazz, modern, and hip hop. Jazz Funk is a hybrid dance style, showcasing the intense dynamics of musicality, femininity, and expression. Bring on the sass, as you learn a high energy choreographed piece!
2.35 pm - 4 pm: Floorwork with Ms B LaRose
Above: Photo of Ms B LaRose by Jeff Millies
“I never felt so comfortable being myself until I had seen you dance” is one of the most compelling commendations to receive off stage. Help unleash your prowess, build self c…

Feline Friday: Blaze Burlesque

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The first time I saw this costume, it reminded me of one of my favorite feline femmes fatales, Belita in Invitation to The Dance! I know Blaze from her volunteer work with the Burlesque Hall of Fame, and found out we share some inspirations, as well as our love for leopard print and the color red.

Blaze is from Dallas. Texas, and has been performing for 8 years. She is the fiery redhead known as ‘The Red Rose of Texas’! An international award winning performer & costume designer, she’s garnered accolades such as ‘Most Classic’, 'Biggest Tease' and 2014's 'Evil Queen of Burlesque'! She is the seamstress behind www.RedRoseRegalia.com and has created costumes for performers all over the world.


What was your inspiration for this costume?

Aside from the love of leopard print, I came across several vintage photos of beautiful gowns and combined my favorite aspects from each! Here's a link to my inspiration post about it.


Who made it, and how long did it take? 

I mad…

What To Cover When Uncovering : Showgirls May Only Show So Much

The incremental revealing of flesh, particularly when combined with the serving of alcohol, has always been scrutinized with serious moral intent by governmental bodies. Lawmakers spend hours poring over every pore, but it’s all for the public good -- so they say.

When I was a touring feature dancer in the 1980s/90s I was doing 15- 20 minute sets of 3-5 songs. I had to have different endings for each routine, depending on where I was going. In some counties I could end fully nude; in others I had to finish in a bikini. In some I would do things like have people paint on me or drink champagne off my body; in others they couldn't come within three feet of me. My favorite incidence was when I was performing in a city in New York State. Feature dancers of the time posed for Polaroids with the customers, for a fee. Inside this club the customers had to stand three feet from me when I was topless, but away from the strip joint's property I could be topless in public, so we would wal…