As a little girl I remember day dream dancing. I would put tapes on and make up stories for the songs. I would dance around the down-down (what my family calls the basement) all by myself playing all the angles, using all the space as my stage. It was a perfect place to try those high kicks, spins and mastering the moves I’d watched the masters use. Classical music inspired me to tell amazing tales fantastically epic journeys. Dancing out all the melancholy melodies of the string section. Pop and classic rock teaching me about attitude and how sometimes words and melodies don’t match even though they go together. Learning to decipher the language of movement, music and character coming to life through dance. Each song style inspiring a unique story; even though I was still the same awkward kid, doing the same awkward moves in a different order.
It’s time for a confession…a guilty pleasure. My secret infatuation. I love the Voice. I fell in love with it immediately after watching the whole Super Bowl for the first time. It was a night of televised sporting events and reality TV; two of the least likely things you’ll ever find me doing. I have been very vocal about my opinions for scripted performances masquerading as real life. I don’t believe it. At least fiction is honest…sorta. Now, obviously the Super Bowl was reality, as they were playing football, from what I understand of the game…But celebrity judges picking teams of professionals for ultimate musical domination, well, that’s not real. But I love it anyways, all ways, all directions, all tempos and tattoos. In theatre school the importance of song choice is reiterated, drilled and driven home in every class. And twice a week I am reminded, watching great singers sing songs that are wrong for their voices, personalities and postures. There is nothing more distracting than a great performance of a poor song choice.
Flash forward to Burlesque 101, where we find this theatre school grade in the awkward body of the girl dancing in the basement. The biggest differences are now I have dance training and well, boobs. For our end of term performance we have been assigned a character: We are to become the familiar and flexible archetype of French Maid. A class of six different girls with 6 different ideas about what a Burlesque Maid looks like, moves like and dances to. I am supposed to choreograph a number about cleaning. I hate cleaning. I don’t like doing it. I love clean spaces, but I just want it to be someone else’s job. And now, I have to practise cleaning, in a dancey way. And find a song that speaks for me, helping me to dance my cleaning story out. Les sighs.
I have been googling key words, listening to iTunes clips, reading articles, searching for the perfect song. The song that says- Yes, I am cleaning. Yes, I am dancing and Yes, it’s a good show. Searching for the song that lyrically alludes to all the subtle sub-text I try jamming into everything. Most of me is up to this challenge, gladly accepting the assignment; as if I had a choice. But there is a teeny celebrity judge sitting inside my mind, doing what judges do best. So, I sit here writing my blog in procrastination of the search for the song that helps the little girl inside me emerge from the down-down. Desperately seeking The Song that inspires me to high kick for feather dusters. The music that will unleash my Oui, oui. The perfect song choice to clean that inner judge’s clock, bathroom and windows.