MAIM Burlesque: Behind the Scenes on the Recent Red and Black Showcase

In December the Maryland Artists in Motion were invited by Valeria, owner of the Crazy Russian in Rosedale, to put on a variety show. At the last minute I joined in as a canvas for Erica Fisher to do a live body paint demonstration. Roxana Hire did a couple burlesque numbers, Vicki Vixxen and Jenny Dang had a couple tease performances together, Nikki and Adrienne Deveraux each had a belly dance act, and we also had a guest performer who sang. At the end we all had a little finale dance on stage and everyone really seemed to love it. People liked it so much that they asked for the MAIM girls to come back and do it again….

So we did.

This time, I was determined to contribute more to the show than just be there. After a lot of thought, I decided to do a dance. I was too nervous to attempt any sort of strip tease or burlesque number, and I am not educated in belly dance (though I am sure I could replicate the movements if I studied it long enough) so I didn’t really have a label for what I wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted to use fans. The event was a red and black color theme, so I looked into getting some red and black fans to dance with. I ultimately ended up buying these red and black silk veil dancer’s fans online which are simply beautiful.

From there, the process of picking what to dance to was my next challenge. I have a ton of music, so I certainly wasn’t lacking, but I just didn’t know what felt right. I listened to a lot of different pieces before settling on a certain artist, and then when I finally settled on the artist, I spent another chunk of time just debating over which song to use. I went back and forth over 3 songs before finally choosing the one I would use. The song I finally chose ended up being “Stroke” an instrumental piece by Apocalyptica.

Coming up with my dance was a lot of trial and error. I basically listened to the song over and over again and experimented in moving with the fans in time to the music. I have been told it turned out amazing, and I have to admit I love just playing with those fans, they photograph beautifully.

We had no photography during the show, because we realized that there were a lot of issues created at the first show from all the photographers clumping together in one spot to take photos and people couldn’t actually see the show. In order to avoid obstructing anyone in the audience’s view of the stage and still get photos, we had a dress rehearsal open to our photographers who wanted to capture the event for us. I’ll share some highlights below.

After this last show I cannot wait to work on the next one. It is a lot of work but I am having so much fun with everyone and I am always amazed at the amazing routines and costumes the girls come up with. Roxana’s burlesque is always a treat to watch. Nikki’s belly dance routines are hypnotic, and she always picks the best music. Adrienne is incredibly creative and great at working the crowd up. Jenny and Vicki are great together on stage and are both masters of being playfully cute yet sexy at the same time.  Allen Ryde also joined us on stage for this last show and was a hit with the crowd with his performance of “Hurricane” as the Wicked Witch of the East.  The finale, a Chinese inspired Dragon dance which was Jenny’s brainchild, was truly incredible. She made the entire dragon herself, which turned out amazing. She worked very hard on the whole project and it showed.

I’d also like to point out the incredibly beautiful jewelry we were all wearing, which was made by the owner of the Crazy Russian, Valeria. She makes beautiful beaded and crystal pieces that really complimented all of our looks. Check out her page on facebook here. She also shared some of her poetry at the Red&Black show, which was quite witty. 😛

If you haven’t been to one of our shows yet, you need to come out and see us! I assure you it will be a treat.  🙂

Now as promised, here are some highlights. Enjoy!


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