The Top Ten Reasons Your Tassels May Not Be Twirling Properly

Above: Elvira twirling her tassels in Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
I have been teaching tassel-twirling for over ten years and have taught thousands of people of every body type–large busted, flat chested, skinny, curvy, fat, fine boned, big boned, real, fake, male, female, genderbendy, child-chewed, mastectomied, wheelchaired, perky, floppy, uneven, up-pointy, down-pointy, and just about any other configuration of body that could possibly twirl tassels–to twirl tassels in, out, in opposition, one at a time, kneeling, lying down, and upside down; on their breasts, behinds, penises, torsos, arms, legs, hands, feet, and faces. It is one of the greatest joys of my life. To help more people twirl their best, I have come up with:
  The Top Ten Reasons Your Tassels May Not Be Twirling Properly
By Jo Weldon
  1) Your tassels are too light or too heavy.
If too light, you can add rhinestones to the base of the tassel; if too heavy, you can cut it shorter.   
2) Your tassels are too short or too long.
If they're too short, you can replace them with longer ones; if they're too long, you can trim them -- just a centimeter could do the trick!   
3) Your tassels are sewn or otherwise attached too tightly to the pastie to be able to swing.
You can take them off and add tassels with a longer loop, or replace the sewn tip with a spinner.   
4) Your tassels are stuck to your pasties, under the edge of your pasties, or to your sweat, glitter gel, or body lotion.
Always take a moment to check the tassels before you spin; you can enhance the tease by moving the tassels with your hand before you twirl them.   
5) Your pasties are too flat (usually more likely to be an issue for breast tassels than for assels).
You'll have to get pointer ones!  
6) Your pasties are detaching from your skin and flying free. Exciting, but not conducive to twirling.
Try different kinds of adhesive, and make sure your skin is clean and dry before you attach them.  
7) You aren’t bouncing/shaking/flexing hard enough/fast enough/gently enough/deeply enough/enough times to gain momentum.
Try moving the pasties higher or lower on your body, and try different rhythms, positions, and angles of your torso. Tassel twiriling is about discovering what works on your unique body.   
8) You are wearing different shoes than those in which you learned to twirl and as a result are off balance or don't have the same degree of mobility, and are not doing the same rhythm or moves that actually work for you.
Rehearse in the shoes you plan to perform in.   
9) You are doing a move that you saw work on someone else but haven’t yet accepted does not actually work on you.
Good for you for being persistent! However, it's alright if you only master one twirl. Focus on the ones you can do with the most confidence.
10) You are forcing musicality to the rhythm of the song, which unfortunately defies the rhythm your body requires for the physics of twirling.
If you have great musicality and/or lots of dance training, it may be a surprise to find out that it's more important to find the rhythm that makes the twirl happen than the rhythm of the music -- so look for music that matches that rhythm at the moment you want to twirl.  
Bonus totally acceptable, often given but less frequently the real reasons (because it's more likely one of the above reasons): You lost or gained weight/the stage was slippery/you were just off that night. 
Bonus unacceptable reason: You looked down at them. This can actually change your posture or the skin tension on your chest, results in a loss of momentum.
 Different things work on different bodies. One of the fabulous things about learning to twirl tassels is discovering how individual our bodies can be. You may need a longer or short tassel, a pointier or flatter pastie, a faster or slower bounce, or have other differences, than the twirlers you admire. You have to learn what your own body does!  Remember, even if only one tassel twirl technique  works on you, you're still doing it. Whatever works on you is your move. Practice in front of a mirror, and let me know how it goes.
 Also, tell me when my tassels aren’t twirling properly. By all means do tell me, it’s like lipstick on my teeth! A friend would take me aside and discreetly let me know.

If you have suggestions, you can add them in the comments below! I'll be sharing this post with students regularly over the years and I know they'd be excited by your expertise.

If you appreciate this post or any of my other work, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee!

Updated February 2024


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