Most of these ladies were dancing in the 50's, 60's or 70's. Some of them beyond. But I think the youngest legend retired from dancing in 1994.
I learned a lot in the classes and just from watching the shows. I had never danced with panels before ( long strips that detach from a long negligee), or with huge feathery fans. I had never considered the art of taking nearly an entire song just to take an opera glove off. This was different for me, but I respect different forms of dance. However, I attended this 4 day event alone. I knew this was going to be a very splashy, formal event, but I don't dress like a 50's pin-up girl. I have very long, curly hair and I don't like the feel of lots of pins and things in it. I didn't sport sequins like almost every other woman (and some men in attendance). When I showed up to my master classes with my booty shorts, royal blue 5 in. heel go-go boots and wet hair, I was sort of "mean girled" out of any circles. So much for making friends. The legends were very nice to me. That made me feel better. So, I was solo and that's ok.
This sort of goes back to when I started dancing. I wrote about the blankets and raunchy floor work in my last post. I did wear dusters , played with feathered boas, and hats. Dusters were fun. I would love to spin around and hold the sides like they were stage curtains for my body. However, I had no idea what a panel was. Until last year, I had never seen any dancer use them. There was also a diaphanous ballet spin in which the dancers arms are held high while she is holding on to her duster or cape. I vaguely remember a tiny dancer with very long hair, Jasmine, incorporating this move into her routine. I remember with her long blond hair and pastel colors,that this was a very beautiful effect. Yet she was the only one I knew who did this. I never quite got that move down.
I think by 1982, this style of dancing was fading out and morphing into something different. Perhaps I should have been born earlier?
Last night I saw the Titans of Tease show. Last year I was so enthusiastic about all of it. This year: my feelings were a bit mixed. There was a dancer Judith Stein, who I saw last year. She was amazingly talented, original and energetic. She stripped out of a striped pantsuit and did a sort of soft-shoe type dance. It was adorable. She was suppose to appear this year, but recently had two strokes. The MC read the personal note on why she couldn't attend. I had to stop myself from crying. I didn't even know this woman. It just reminded me to stop procrastinating because my energy could be taken as fast as hers.
On a happier note, the fucking fantastic Shannon Doah from San Francisco. This woman danced in the 60's. I did the math and if she started in the mid-60's at some illegal age, the youngest she could be is 60! This woman is balls out , talented, sexy, beautiful dancer! Her body is full and in prime shape. Sure, it could be lipo , surgery...whatever. But that energy, grace, power, control and creativity is all REAL!
I'm sure her act will be up on youtube soon. But just to summarize , she starts her act on a love seat, smoking a hookah to the song "Go Ask Alice" and then finishes with two Doors songs in these amazing cut away, wide bell bottoms! Val Valentine with her ballet grace, crazy control (she was moving only her abs I could see this with her clothes on from 15 rows away). Haji, an original Russ Meyer girl, who could whip and twirl her duster like a 20 year old dancer. Apparently, she surfs nude at 6AM in the mornings on a private beach in Malibu. My favorite, Holly Carroll a dancer/singer who has a voice that purrs and the energy of the energizer bunny.
These women give me the courage to go on.