Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's in a Bra, anyways?

It could be one of the most telling pieces of costuming for a Tribal Dancer- the very thing that sets the pros from the baby dancers, the "real deal" from the kitschy.

The Coin Bra.

At best it's an extension of the dancer- a costume piece that frames the dancers neck, shoulders, face, arms and torso with a representation of their style- edgier and darker for goth tribal gals, earthier/brighter for more ATS divas, silver or bronze or even gold, depending on the gal. It's one of the big "wow" pieces for the audience- as it glitters and shimmers, maybe even makes delightful tinkling sounds as the dancer performs figure 8s, mayas and pops with their chest. It's the icing on the tribal costume cake.

Examples of good coin bras:

At worst it's a mess of weird colors, themes and resembles a tacky church hat- you know what I'm talking about. It's got tassels out the whazoo, usually hanging from really suggestive places *giving that droopy tassel nipple look*, giant kuchi pendants that should be the centrepiece randomly tossed on the cups and a coin or two slapped on in what can only be described as a random order. There are usually upholstery fabrics involved, sewn on improperly and bra clasps in the back that are still showing, no fabric concealing the mechanics and no desire to maintain the illusion. There's inadequate fitting and spillage may occur. At the VERY worst it looks like someone bought a bright lace bra from their closest department store, slapped a skimpy amount of cowries and four coins on it, then put a bad dangly earring in the middle and called it "Tribal".

Some Not So Good Bras:

Can you see how the bad outweighs the good?

In my opinion, you should either have your bra professionally made or spend the money and take the time to do it right. There's a part of my brain that just doesn't get how people can wear coin bras that still resemble bras *have the back hooks showing, are very visibly a bra that has some small amount of decoration on it* and/or have really slapdash ones that don't compliment their bodies or enhance their dance. I really feel like a coin bra isn't a tribal given... Just because you dance tribal doesn't mean you have to settle for a tacky, poorly-made bra that makes you look bad and it also doesn't mean you can be a magpie and put every glittery, tacky piece of crap you want on it. You're worth it, get something nice!

I know I know... monetary concerns. Well, then spend fifty bucks on a few nice pieces of jewelry and wear them with a choli until you CAN afford a nice one. Work your way up! Or, follow a good tutorial online and make your own tasteful bra... Glitz doesn't equal taste. I sometimes find that the WORST coin bra sins come from wanting to be so "unique" that you forget to be classy.

Remember- a good coin bra is worth every penny.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

somebody's watching you

Sometimes it really gets my goat how people forget that anything you place on the internet can be read by anyone... it just takes one wrong "reply all" to send your nasty, venting thoughts about another dancer, venue, costume mishap, etc. to the whole known world.

I realize, it happens. I've done it, we all have. Hit "reply all" thinking you were replying to the person who just sent out something to the group and boom! there goes your innermost thoughts...

well, I'll tell you the difference with me- even if I am writing to one person in particular on a chat/message board, I don't write anything that the rest of the board couldn't read or that I couldn't stand up for if it did go out to the board. Why? because if you honestly mean what you say and live that path every day of your life, then you should be able to say it to anyone...

What gets me is how these posts keep coming up on local dance boards- not honest, constructive mishap messages, but shit-slinging, angry-venting, here's-what-I-think-of-THEM messages. And yes, I know we all need to vent once in a while, but don't do it online! Because it's so much easier to say nasty things online/have your meaning misconstrued than it is in a face-to-face dish session with a trusted friend.

Maybe I'm spoiled. I have my girls that I dance with and, having that tribe, I can call them up or hang out and vent to them and it's no harm done. So, I don't feel the need to vent over email/message board like others do. I'm really appreciative that I don't have to worry about committing career suicide just because I happen to be really angry and, in a split second, post something really personal and cruel to a message board.

But, I really just think it's the utmost lack of professionalism. First off, nasty vibes just suck and don't help any of us- they don't make us better dancers, don't make us better people and don't strengthen a community. However, even if karma and right action isn't your thing and you're just looking out for number one, then, if anything, think of your own skin. Because you can say something to a friend in private about another dancer and it may not go past there... but a post on the internet- that's in writing, baby! And it's just not good form.