My year started out with a bang in February when I produced "The Burlesque Circus" a sold out, 2 night show at the Sunset Temple in North Park with my first international headliner Juliette Dragon & Rikkha of Paris. The highlights from Friday night's show can be seen in the video above. Right after the show I visited Bags in Nicaragua where he was doing the same project we're about to start in a few days. You can see an amazing video Bags made about the project here. In May, I had the opportunity to teach and perform at The Spin Summit in Colorado, there was snow on the ground when I arrived! It was another amazing flow retreat that helped the entire flow community soar to higher heights. They already have the dates for 2014, so check them out! Shortly after that is when I found out that my troupe, The Hoop Unit was accepted into the Best Group category of the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas! It was a serious milestone and an amazing experience. Watch our performance here. That was what prompted me to start my first official crowd funding campaign. I have learned so much from it! I am currently applying for the solo debut category for BHoF in 2014 and you can see the submission for it here.
After the Burlesque Hall of Fame in June, I packed everything I own into a small storage unit
|BHoF in Vegas!|
Nothing really went wrong! My car never broke down and we didn't get pulled over once. I am still amazed about that! We hit almost every corner of the states...starting in the Southwest (San Diego) - driving all the way through the south to the Southeast corner (Miami!), up the East Coast all the way to Maine (Northeast corner) and then down through the Midwest to Burning Man and back to Southern California. What an experience! It was such an epic adventure that I can't really articulate the whole thing into words. I tried writing a blog post just about the Tour and have failed, it's a bit daunting to put something like that into a post of readable length! What I would like to do though is to mention one or two highlights from each city we stopped at.
|Grand Canyon Hooping|
The Grand Canyon: Walking and driving along the rim of the canyon, stoping at various view points and scrambling out to the farthest point we could get to, realizing Bags and I were scarily on the same page.
Sedona: Hiking up to two peaks in the distance with no trail to follow, and making it to the top! Chocolate Tree Restaurant - delicious vegan food.
Tucson: The beautiful Cirque Roots space, feeling so at home with Britney, Zoe and Stephanie that I wanted to stay there with my new friends, the cactus forest outside the city that looked eerily otherworldly.
Albuquerque: Eating home cooked southwestern chili made by Nicole Evans, jamming in the park, performing with Gilded Cage Burlesque.
Austin: Kim Patty, we love you! I loved teaching Burlesque at the Inner Diva Studio! Swimming at the big swimming hole in town, meeting up with my Irish friend Catriona :)
Sarasota: Sleeping in a rest area in between Nola and Sarasota because the drive was so long! Going to the drum circle at the beach after our workshop with Bonnie Brown. Thank you Abby Albaum for hosting us as well :)
Lake Worth: Casandra Tanenbaum felt like I had known her forever when I had just met her for the first time :) Driving in a torrential downpour to get there. Swimming in Casandra's pool with Jodi and Jasmin, helping Bags teach his workshop on the beach!
Miami: Having a complete giggle fit in the ocean, Bags in Banana Man pants, making dinner in a parking lot at a park and finishing the cooking right when a tropical rainstorm hits, eating dinner in the car :) Taking epic pictures on the beach for 4th of July and spinning at the park in Lake Worth with Casandra and her flow friends.
Jacksonville: Karma Kream - amazing vegan ice cream!
|NY Sunset Skyline|
Carrboro: Staying in Beth's barn and getting closer with her, feeling such a strong connection and bond with that wonderful woman, drinking beer with Baxter, taking his weekly class, having birthday drinks with Jaguar Mary, eating at Vimilas, spending time with Julia at the FlowJo, hooping in Beth's skirts at the Haw River Ballroom.
Charlottesville: Going to a house party with Anne & Derek, there was a live bluegrass band playing in the living room, getting in their jacuzzi under the stars, walking in their forest backyard, driving to an orchard for a viewpoint of the city.
Washington, DC: Seeing the Lincoln monument and flipping off the White House.
|Bags teaching at R2R|
Boston: Teaching the best Performance Skills workshop of the whole tour, drinks with Lolli at the lovely after party, finding the vegan food/yoga studio run by a happy family.
Brockton: Spending time with my dad, seeing Theraeu's pond in the rain, hiking and seeing owls and a snake.
Rockland: Walking into Maria's house and laughing hysterically from the combined sense of humor between her, her lovely husband and her wonderful daughter, hoop jam after the first day of workshops, drinks later with Maria, her daughter and Beth, finding the delicious food at the Food Co-Op.
|Hooping at Boulder Falls - Photo by Hoopologie|
Chicago: Bags explodes with new ideas after flowing with Evan and Matt at R2R, stayed with Emily Perkulator, amazing downtown architecture, the Art Institute, Native Foods vegan dinner, the beach.
|Bags in Moab|
St Louis: The City museum (seeing the Circus Harmony show), going to the top of the arch, staying with the lovely Michelle Schaeffer, thank you for hosting us!
Columbia: Spending time with the fam! Hooping with them, jumping on the trampoline, walking around their farm and finding caves and a vine to swing on, delicious vegan food at Main Squeeze.
Boulder: The Boulder Circus center, spending time with Danielle and Kanyon, hanging out with Cindy Marvel and going to the Boulder Juggling Jam, preparing for Burning Man, performing at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret in Denver, photo shoots with Melinda of Hoopologie, going to the Identi-tape warehouse.
Moab: Riding bikes through the town, getting stuck in a rain/lighting/thunder storm and having to go under a rock overhang to wait it out with my love, the most beautiful place I have ever been!
Lake Tahoe Flow Arts Festival: Bunking with Emma, Revolva, Marria and Zach, the hot tub, playing games with Zach & Marria, juggling in a two high with the Ninjas, performing in the fire gala show, visiting Christy in her amazing shop Jai Yen.
Well that's it! That was the tour! I think one of the major things I got from it was realizing how epically beautiful some parts of the US are. I think I had this idea in my head that the only place in the US to live is either California or NY. But there were many times when I looked around and thought,"I could live here. I get why people live here." It was good for me. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
After the tour I got to live with my wonderful friends Matt & Lily. Their house is full of signed photos of
|The Time Traveling Circus|
|Stars of the Orient in Reims, France|
|La Tour Eiffel Amour|
Then Bags met me in Paris and we spent a week celebrating our one year anniversary and exploring the city. We stayed with the fabulous Lila Chupa Hoops who also hosted us to teach a Partner Hooping Workshop in Paris. After Paris went straight to Brighton to spend time with Jo & Andy and for Bags to teach at the Brighton Flow Fest. We had my favorite UK day ever that consisted of walking around the countryside and along the seaside, mulled cider and chips in a pub, cooking vegan pizza and watching the Dr Who 50th anniversary special live. After Brighton we went down to Portsmouth to play with Sally Cox and her new baby Violet. We taught a huge Partner Hooping Workshop there. After that we were all over the UK - Reading (Samantha Peel), Sheffield (Charlie Ledger), Manchester (Cathy Mizula), Birmingham (Julia Hurley) and London (Anna Hulagan). Staying with Samantha Peel in her home with her beautiful family was one of my highlights. I loved teaching the Partner Hooping Workshop at their Steiner School in the community room. There was something about the chemistry between Bags and I as teachers and the vibe of the carefree students, it was one of my favorite workshops I've ever taught! Samantha's lovely family life in the countryside made me think that having one of my own wont be such a bad idea one day :) We also performed and taught for the kids at the Steiner school, one of my favorite parts of the trip! Thank you to all of our hosts in the UK & France! We loved coming to visit you!
|The Millenium Eye in London|
Since then Bags and I have been working on videos, putting new routines together, preparing for Nicaragua, practicing Spanish and spending time with family/friends for the holidays. We have also officially joined forces at Twisted Orbit! You can see the video Bags made for me at Troopers Hill in Bristol below. This video shows some of the new moves I have acquired this year. 2013 really has been a year of leveling up my skills within the hoop! I have started juggling - performed it for the first time passing 6 hoops with Bags at the Swhoop show. I bought my first pair of clubs. I started performing with 4 hoops - nailed the box and 2 hoops on each arm and I'm still solidifying my 4 hoop split. I've also started performing acrobatic hoop moves with Bags. I believe that the Nicaragua project will continue push me in these new areas of performance.
Some more lovely people I got to work with this year also include Sassy Stiletto and Lizzie L'amour of Bourbon Dames Burlesque, Lola Demure of Demure Productions and Mynx D'Meanor of the Fishnet Follies Burlesque Revue.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has made my 2013 so amazing. I hope we can continue to play, dance, perform and grow together in 2014 and beyond! I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for us. THANK YOU!