Dancing Fat Girls Make Good

Edit – It’s now a bit sad for me to read this post.  I left the Cabaret because unfortunately I found it unprofessional and embarrassing (for example, at a show during our performance our director – who was supposed to be singing the song that we were dancing to – announced “I’m sorry y’all, I just burped”  into the microphone.)  But just because something isn’t for me doesn’t mean that it’s wrong and of course I wish them all the best.

I told you a while ago about Fat Bottom Cabaret.  We are now up and running.  We debuted at Emo’s at a SXSWi event.  It was crazy – a packed house.  I do the choreography for the group and I had forgotten how difficult it is to debut choreography.  It’s like showing people your baby, knowing that they might

1.  Think it’s ugly

2.  Have no problem telling you that loudly and publicly

3.  Throw fruit at it.

Also, we were the only cabaret performers –  everyone else was burlesque.  That meant that we were the only women on stage (beside the fabulous Mojo Queens singers!) who were not getting down to panties and pasties.  So on top of the anxiety of debuting as a performer and a choreographer, and the fact that the stage was carpeted which meant that we had to change our choreography when we got there,  I also had the unsettling opportunity to be simultaneously worried that people would feel that we were wearing too little, or be disappointed that we were wearing too much. Did I mention that I’m a worrier.

Skip to the end:  One of the absolute biggest rounds of applause of the night.  People asked to take their picture with us, people chased us down to tell us how good we were, people  told us that we inspired them, we got interviewed for the news.  It went great.  We’ve done several other gigs since then and always received a great reception. It has been amazing so far and I feel that the world of burlesque – which is populated by women (and some men) of all shapes and sizes – has afforded us the opportunity to be appreciated for our beauty and praised for our talent.  I continue to feel incredibly lucky to have a chance to be in a group with such talented, awesome women.

We will be putting on our own show in June (I’ll keep you posted!) and our awesome leader Nikki has sent in our application to the New Orleans Burlesque Fest for which we were required to complete two videos – I’ve shared them below.  Fair warning, if you work with me, know my in real life, or if you happen to be my Mom and you think it might be uncomfortable to watch me shake it in a miniskirt and fishnets then feel free to skip these videos.  Otherwise, enjoy and I hope to see you in New Orleans in September!  (For some reason a bit of the right side  of the video gets cut off in the embedded version so if you want to see the full thing just double click to open it in full screen.)

This is the number we did at SXSW (and it’s my favorite of our numbers so far):

This is the first piece that we ever put together:

29 thoughts on “Dancing Fat Girls Make Good

  1. Ack! Ack! AAAAAACCCCCKKKK!!!!!! OMG! I love you! I love your group! I love it! *ahem* Ok, I think I have that out of my system. Maybe… ACK! Then again, maybe not. Seriously I couldn’t stop smiling as I watched you four. WTG, all of you!

  2. Your blog is one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure to discover. I look forward to the arrival of each post and its regular dose of tell-it-like-it-is unparalleled levelheadedness and candor.

    Congratulations to you and the rest of the Fat Bottom Cabaret, and may success and absolute joy come to you in waves of delight.

  3. I LOVE your dance!! Was so at a loss for what Cabaret style burlesque could even be but you ladies are an energetic, powerful and amazing group to watch in action and totally just made my night 😀

  4. Love it–it’s sexy, classy and shows off your chops–y’all are some flexible ladies! Couldn’t take my eyes off Ms. Lace Bodysuit and her amazing smile : )

  5. As Randall Flagg said in The Stand, “you have a yard of guts!” I wish I had half the eggs you ladies have. I’ve worked hard on accepting myself but I still wouldn’t dare do burlesque–I’d be far too self conscious! Now, acting actually happens to be something I have very little stage fright with, which is odd considering how shy I am in real life!

  6. BRAVO LADIES!!!!!!!!!
    Burlesque is my brave new world…I’ve been belly dancing for 7 years and it’s helped me with body acceptance and it’s been wonderful. Now– burlesque which is so completely different than my beloved belly dancing…
    The hardest thing for me is I feel so much more vulnerable–we’re learning our first choreography and our first performance will be in a couple months and I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to get up on stage and dance….but watching this and seeing that other women my size are passionately dancing and are totally hot doing it inspire me to get out there and break some new ground here in Utah. I’m glad I’m not the only plus size gal in my troupe…and I’m glad that all the lovely women embarking on this journey with me are all working on embracing the many beautiful shapes that women come in. Thank you so much for sharing the videos!

  7. Oh my god, I am in love with the choreography on the second video. It’s very music video-esque. Hope you guys get to come to New Orleans!

  8. Bodies that look like mine being sexy and happy! Yay!

    I really liked the moves for ‘let’s all stroke together’. It reminds me of a move that the ladies in my former belly dance troupe did.

    (I’m about to describe in words, a dance move. Good luck to me!) All the girls would line up, close together, side on to the audience. Hand on the shoulder of the girl in front, and they would do one hip circles with the visible hip. It always looked good, and the audiences loved it : I’d love to see the Fat Bottom cabaret girls do it!

  9. Ragen, How fabulous. As a performer as well and in fact having played the part of Matron Mama Morton I cannot tell you how much I wished I lived closer so I could play too!

  10. Ragan, this is the second best Mother’s Day Gift I received today and the first one was a phone call from my son. Thank you so much for this. I posted the link on Leftoverstogo Facebook Page and on our Tasty Morsels Blog. It is FABULOUS!!! Do I see a clothing line in the future??? Warmly, Dr. Deah Schwartz

  11. You guys are AWESOME!! It is so fun and honestly mind blowing to me to see people with bodies like mine moving with such beauty and grace, not to mention being dead sexy lol! Oh what I would give to have something like that around here in Colorado. It would truly be life changing to be able to enjoy moving my body while learning moves that would give me confidence and strength without making me feel like a failure or “less than” I wish Austin was closer lol!!

  12. I am “The Mom” and you all are fabulous! I’ll see you in New Orleans!

    Like ALWAYS You’re Amazing ~

  13. Loved it! I know you said the first was your fave, but I especially loved the choreography to Burlesque and you looked extra sassy in that one! =)

  14. I know I say it a lot. But thank you for all you do. Really! You’re seriously helping me make my dream come true. It’s a BIG deal for me! We’re taking over!

  15. Awesome! Just totally awesome, all of you. I wish I lived closer, because I’d totally drag my husband out to see you all dance. (Not that much dragging would be required.)

    The only public dancing I’ve ever done is English Country and a bit of baroque, and I don’t know if I’d have the chops to do burlesque or cabaret dancing, but this looks like all kinds of fun. I loved watching you all!

  16. Love it! So much fun. I think it’s pretty cool that you are not only an excellent, thoughtful writer – but you can really shake it!

  17. Just came across your blog today, and I must say, you have absolutely inspired me to be proud of my size, the more I read, the more comfortable I can feel myself becomming! (I’m getting teary-eyed typing up this reply) It’s fantastic watching you all dance, I would love to learn to dance like that, but I’ve always been too scared to go to classes, in fear of ridicule and bullying.

    It’s been difficult for me so far, accepting who I am, as I’ve got depression and anxiety. I’ve always put myself down for my weight, thinking that I should be doing better (‘Get thinner, you’re gross!’). Only in the past couple of months am I beginning to drown out that horrible voice from the depths of my thought patterns, and replacing it with a hearty ‘Screw you, I’m comfortable damn it!’

    Thankyou for being you, you’ve inspired me to find me, and be me, instead of what society thinks I should be.

  18. Got a bit choked up seeing how beautiful you all are. Thank you for posting this and it would be wonderful to see more! Loved the creative move and use of space.

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