Blog Archives

Dancing in the Clouds

November 7, 2013
Dancing in the Clouds

Dance Party? “Is there gonna be a dance party later?” Victoria, the United flight attendant asked after taking my drink order. “What?” How does she know I love to dance? And am dying to right now? “Well, if anyone’s going to lead us, I figure it’ll be you.” I realized she was referring to the stretch and shake break I’d just squeezed in between the snack and drink carts. Trapped While Victoria was serving drinks in the front of the plane I was getting fidgety in my seat, silently pleading with the captain to release us from captivity. We’d barely made a dent in the six hour flight and I already felt stiff and sore. The ding signaling the seat belt light had been turned off came just as the snack cart blocked my row. I watched, trapped, as passenger after passenger bought snacks in the rows ahead of me. As soon as it moved past my row I popped up to stretch. I didn’t have the luxury of time with the drink cart only a few rows away so I wiggled and shook the kinks out. I’d moved out of desperation not dance, but I understood how it must’ve looked.

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Songs for the Siren inspired by The Sapphires (aka Country vs Soul for Pole)

August 26, 2013
Songs for the Siren inspired by The Sapphires (aka Country vs Soul for Pole)

A Blast of Joy The “Blast of Joy” blurb by Peter Travers, Rolling Stone on the DVD cover convinced me to give the movie The Sapphires a try, despite the tie in to the Vietnam War. Months ago, the similar “A blast of sheer improbable joy” by A.O. Scott, The New York Times on the Beasts of the Southern Wild box suckered me in. And made me ignore my own ’20 minute rule’ for movies I’m not enjoying. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to skip Beasts because there wasn’t a single second of joy. This time, the description understated the movie magic. It’s a gem from Australia I plan to add to my home collection. One tagline makes a bold, inspirational declaration:  Follow your heart. Discover your soul. The movie makes good on this promise. The other tagline captures my favorite quote in the movie:  It’s what’s in the groove that counts. I’ll Take You There Scene in The Sapphires Dave Lovelace and the four girls are in a basement rehearsing before they audition to sing for the troops in Vietnam. Gail, Cynthia, Julie and Kay sing a sweet, country version of I Heard it

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Songs for the Siren featuring SYTYCD (aka Why Pole Dancers Love SYTYCD)

August 19, 2013
Songs for the Siren featuring SYTYCD (aka Why Pole Dancers Love SYTYCD)

Smitten with SYTYCD I discovered SYTYCD in season 5. I was smitten with the show when Kayla & Kupono danced addiction, choreographed by Mia Michaels to Sara Bareilles’ Gravity. A few months earlier, while striving to give up sugar, I had a cathartic dance to the same song in pole dance class. The moment (@1:43 in this video) where Kupono rubs his cheek down Kayla’s belly & up her leg captures the lure. But then he becomes oppressive, covering her mouth; Kayla tosses him away. He holds her left hip; she pulls him off. He wraps his arm around her right hip; she tosses him off. He sucks her in with both arms around her; she struggles and escapes—temporarily. By 2:25, when Kupono firmly grabs Kayla’s arm I am crying with her as she battles, just like I did in my own dance. Ever since, SYTYCD has been my favorite show on TV. Many pole dancers feel the same. The top 10 of SYTYCD season 10 hit a new extraordinary high. It took me three nights to finish the episode because I re-watched the opening rocking chair number and 8 of the top 10 dances. I often re-wind my favorite, sometimes 2

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Songs for the Siren featuring Sheila Kelley

August 12, 2013
Songs for the Siren featuring Sheila Kelley

Two actions altered the course of my adult life. First:  I baked peanut butter blossoms in November 1986. They’re the cookies with the Hersey’s kisses on top. This was the key that got me my first kiss from the man I married. We’ve been kissing for 27 years and I’ve learned incredible love lessons being married for more than half my life (Note to self:  finish parts 3-6 in this series soon!) Second:  I watched Sheila Kelley on Oprah exactly 17 years later. Something about Sheila’s child-like, wide-eyed enthusiasm the first time she demonstrated hip circles, hidden from the camera’s view, made me sense magic in them. In that moment, I knew a woman’s secret power must be tucked away like buried treasure in her hips. Sheila became one of my teachers. First  through her writing. Then in videos. Eventually live. In the beginning, I loved the warm up and sensual dancing but I hated pole tricks. The first time I ever had fun with the pole was letting go with a simple swing walk in pole class with Sheila. Playing with Sheila live is a life-changing gift that builds sisterhood between all who attend. Sheila and I stay connected on

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Dissecting the Structure of Goddess Blooming to Show You How to Write Your Story

July 31, 2013
Dissecting the Structure of Goddess Blooming to Show You How to Write Your Story

Story Structure When writing stories, it’s important to use strong story structure. In the excellent article, Writing the Personal Essay, Adair Lara discusses the skeleton that supports all good stories. Most essays, short stories, novels and memories that we read are held together by this structure. So are most plays, movies and even musicals. This structure includes: Character Problem Struggle Epiphany Resolution The main character in a personal essay is the author. You are the main character in your essays. Convey what makes you unique. Why does the reader care about you, relate to you and want to get to know you by reading your story? What is your problem? Typically you want something that you don’t have and can’t just fire up the computer and order online. This is where the tension originates. It’s what engages the reader. The struggle is what the character (i.e. you) does to solve the problem. The actions taken. Usually there are a series of actions and obstacles. This maintains the tension. An epiphany is a moment of insight, often triggered by an experience. It often changes you because it shifts your perspective about yourself and your relationship to someone, something or the wider

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