Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Adventures in burlesque: Part 3 - Frome for one more

A bottle of perfume and vintage-style necklace lying on some 1920s lingerie
Well, I've swapped burlesque classes to go to a different group. For all sorts of reasons – cashflow, health, other commitments – pretty much everyone else dropped out of the Bradford on Avon group, so I've swapped to the Frome one. The main issue for me there is transport; Bradford's just down the road from Trowbridge and gets regular trains, whereas Frome is harder to reach as the rail service is limited, so I'll need to see how I get on with the buses. One leaves from near my work and should drop me off in time for class.

Getting home is going to be more 'fun'; there are no buses from Frome to Trow after 6:30pm, and while I could get the train it leaves an hour after class finishes – though given how far Frome station is out of town, at least I'll be able to get there in plenty of time. Better pack some easy 'train knitting' in my burly bag, I guess. I don't want to stop dancing as it's done wonders for my posture and confidence.

I should say a little more about confidence, as a feminist friend once told me she knew people found burlesque empowering, but couldn't understand why. We all deserve to feel good about our bodies. Bodies are amazing things. Going to class and seeing all those different bodies – younger, older, bodies that have given birth, bodies that run marathons, less flexible, more flexible, whatever – dancing and being happy and feeling beautiful is a wonderful thing. Seeing the beauty in a body that doesn't necessarily match up to the mass-media ideal enables me to find the beauty in my own, which definitely doesn't match up! That's a great gift that burlesque has given me. It might not be the same for everyone, but that's how I feel.

Anyway, Frome. There's more room in the place where classes are held, and the other ladies are all as lovely as the Bradford ones, so I really enjoyed my first class. (I was very excited to discover that Orla Board, a previous graduate from Dulcie Demure's School of Burlesque, was also an attendee. Besides having a brilliant stage name, she danced at last year's 'Queen of Neverminditsnamia' panto.) They're a little more advanced than we were in the Bradford group, but again I think that's a good thing as it's pushing me a bit harder. Also, it's really nice feeling all the things we've learned coming together in a proper routine. I'm still not convinced I'll ever manage my shimmies, and my hoochy-cooch needs serious work (there's a sentence I never thought I'd find myself typing...), but it's good to have something to aim for.

This week we were practicing a routine with a very 1960s feel, very go-go. It calls for fringed costumes, I feel. Mmm, glittery fringe... On which note, I'm still on the hunt for a 34GG/36G bullet bra (UK sizing). If anyone knows a retro lingerie range that goes that large, please let me know.

18 comments :

  1. This one's on Ebay in the US so postage might be a bit steep and I have no idea if UK and US sizing is the same?! http://www.ebay.com/itm/34GG-FIGURETTE-BULLET-BRA-WHITE-STYLE-526-/281452174167

    Good luck. I can't find a bullet bra with small enough cups, now isn't that depressing?!

    x

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    1. Annoyingly, every bra conversion guide I can find says the band sizes are the same, but all of them quote a different cup size as equivalent!

      What Katie Did do fillers to go in bullet bras for a better fit - might that be an option for you? It's horrible being at an extreme end of any size scale, when you don't get the choices most people enjoy.

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  2. I hope you are able to sort out your travel arrangements, it would be a shame to stop something you are enjoying so much.

    I couldn't even imagine joining a class like this, I'm such a wuss.

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    1. I started because a friend was going and I thought she needed the company. She dropped out, but now I know the teacher so I'm fine meeting a room full of strangers, and Dulcie has a strong 'no bitching' policy - in or out of class, no meanness about other participants is allowed. It makes class a very 'safe space'.

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  3. Oh, Mim.
    This sound wonderful.
    Back in the day, as I grew up, I had a massive self-confidence issue (then again: we all had them, in one way or another). Even now, I stil shy away from many things - so, I would agree with your friend who said: burlesque is empowering. It teaches you to love.. you. :)

    Marija

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    1. I don't know if I have a lot of self confidence. There's a part of me that gets annoyed at convention and doesn't see why we should all be expected to look a certain way, and so I make myself visible out of sheer rebelliousness. That's why I put photos of myself on my blog; I see some bloggers and they're so beautiful it makes me want to give up buying nice things and just crawl under a rock - I kind of want to even the balance a bit and show that everyone can have fun.

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  4. Frome - our Rayburn came from there, what a lovely village!
    I hope you manage to get to your class. I'll keep an eye out for a bra in your size.
    I've never had an issue with body confidence, which I suppose must be to my Mum's credit. xxx

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    1. Frome's an odd place, as it's a mix of working-class Somerset and wealthy ex-Londoners, so it's one of those places where apparent affluence can mask a lot of hardship. Like Bradford-on-Avon it's somewhere I'm learning to appreciate more, and it does have a good vintage/burlesque scene. (Dulcie built up Frome's burlesque side.)

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  5. That extra hour can be your "tassel making time" though it might be awkward if someone asks what you're making.

    I've seen tutorials on the web for making your own bullet bra, the key being the stitching of the cup. Might be fun, and you could choose all sorts of wild fabric. I have a cup size difference between 'em, and I'm at the point where I'm tired of ill-fitting compromises. My brain is done for the day (looong day) but if I remember where I saw the bra tutorial I'll drop you a note.

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    1. I think Va-va-voom has one on her site.

      I think we're getting to practise with tassels soon. :-O I always thought it would be fun to do a routine to MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This, with a bit of tassel twirling in the 'Stop! Hammer time!' bit...

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  6. I do hope you continue with your class if you enjoy it and feel it has helped your confidence."My hoochy-cooch needs serious work" really made me laugh! xxx

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    1. It's a move where you're doing hip circles and moving round on the top, and I can't seem to get moving my outside leg to look natural. I did pratice my bust shimmy using the big mirror in the ladies' at work, hoping like mad that no-one walked in on me!

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  7. This lady does custom lingerie which all looks very lovely. I follow her blog and she sometimes posts pictures of her commissions.

    https://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/CocosRetroCloset?ref=em

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    1. Oooh, thank you for that, Suna - I never thought of looking for a lingerie maker, which is just daft of me!

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  8. I'm glad you found another class so that you could continue your burlesque adventures. It sounds like a good one. I am full of awe as I am very uncoordinated!

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    1. I'm not well co-ordinated either, so I do need to practice. It's jolly good fun.

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  9. I hope you're able to make the trip to and from the new class work.
    I wouldn't have the nerve to do something like that, I am so utterly self concious xx

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    1. I've convinced myself that no-one would be interested enough to bother looking. Working on a 'No-one wants to see it, so what do I care?' principle.

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