cassidyrose: (2008)
Powerful. If I had to describe The Next Big Thing in one word it would be that. Powerful. This is an unapologetic promo for the show. I am asking you to come, to watch, to experience, to witness this amazing show.

I want to start with the dance. The dance and music themselves are amazing, strong, beautiful, fun, powerful, moving, interesting, sometimes silly, and engaging from both emFATic DANCE and all our guests. emFATic DANCE has thirteen dancers and all thirteen of us are featured in five of our pieces, and the other has twelve of us. We, quite literally, fill the stage. Whether we are in high character in a musical theater piece, gracefully turning and jumping about the stage in a lyrical piece, or head-snappin' and shoulder-rollin' our way through a jazz piece you will be entertained.

But it goes beyond that. Beyond, even, seeing a show full of fat people onstage, which is undeniably powerful and revolutionary. While a few of our pieces don't address themes related to fatness, a few of our pieces got more personal and political this year. They are a bit more raw, more emotional, more confrontational. They are challenging. We are sharing with you, the audience, more of the challenges of being a fat person in our society, a fat performer. These themes wrapped up in some fan-freakin'-tastic dance packs a powerful punch.

It is not just us. Raks Africa and Magnoliah Black are bringing some seriously personal and political performance to our stage this year that is going to touch you deeply and make you really think, all while watching them dance beautifully. I want to be clear, ALL the guests are amazing, and whether directly addressing personal/political themes or not, the very fact that they are up on stage doing their thing and being willing to share it with you all is, well, powerful.

Also, the show is just FUN!!! Seriously, so much fun! What a way to spend a couple of hours. You get to be entertained and have fun *while* supporting fat performers.

Our dancers, our guests, our team, have worked so hard to bring you the best possible show this year. This truly is, The Next Big Thing. Don't miss out.

Show Details:
The Next Big Thing
Saturday June 14th, 2014 at 8:00pm (doors at 7:30pm; and
Sunday June 15th, 2014 at 2:00pm (doors at 1:30pm)
Laney College Theater
900 Fallon St., Oakland, CA
Across the street from the Lake Merritt BART station

Tickets $13/advance; $18/door
Get tickets here:
Kids 3 and under and free, 10-17 are $10 at the door***
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
[ profile] tenacious_snail asked: What part of choreography brings you the most joy?

Great question, and interesting because I immediately knew the answer.

The part of choreography that brings me the most joy is that moment in rehearsal when a dance, or any part of a dance, comes together to a point where, for lack of a better term, my vision is realized. It is the moment when I first see that what I thought was possible is in fact possible and what I thought would look good is actually going to look great.

That really is a wonderful, joyous moment.

It can happen years after I first create a piece too. We are currently reviving a piece that I choreographed in 2007 and we haven't performed since 2008. It had previously been performed with only four dancers. We now have twelve dancers and the dance finally looks how I envisioned it. The opening is now what I had wanted it to be nearly five years ago. It is truly exciting.

In short, the most joyous part of the process for me is that moment when what was in my head is realized on the bodies of the dancers. Choreography is tricky that way in that it *is* all in your head until you can get people to do it and do it how you imagined. And it is not just the basic movement you need to see, it is the formations, and the emotional element of the dance. You can do the movement yourself, but it is not going to look or feel the same with one person as it is with a group of people. For me, this most joyous part happens in fits and spurts during the rehearsal and teaching process. I am not necessarily talking about seeing the whole dance in a production, because that is awesome in its own right. I am talking about smaller moments of catching a glimpse here and there of what the dance will ultimately be and knowing that my artistic vision can and will be realized.

Thanks for a great question!

More answers later, and in the meantime, ask me anything from here or anything else that comes to mind.


May. 14th, 2011 02:21 am
cassidyrose: (performance)
Save for staging/some formations, my latest dance is done! Yes!

This ranks up there as one of my favorites and best ever. Love it. And love that I am done.

Next up is to finish a much simpler dance which is already half done then something all new.

Feeling productive


May. 2nd, 2011 01:30 am
cassidyrose: (performance)
I danced more this weekend than I have since I took the four month break to try to heal my foot. I did full rehearsal yesterday and taught warm-up and one class at our Day of Dance today and I also did the belly dance class. I am really sore, but it was totally worth it. It was a fantastic day and I am so happy to be doing what I do with dance, the Fly Girls, and Big Moves.

Also, I got the video today from our show back in July and I was blown away. We (Fly Girls) just danced and performed better than ever before. Just really tight, really strong. I honestly almost cried. Our show in 2008 was very good, don't get me wrong, but I was very new as co-AD then, I had just started choreographing regularly, and dancing my style was very new to the dancers. Since then the troupe has grown and we are just so solid now. Three other dancers had choreographed pieces in the show and it was so great to see such a diversity in styles. Also, the show last year was the first time we had a tap piece and it was every bit as awesome as I envisioned and the tap sounded much cleaner than I hoped for. We have come so, so very far in ten years.

And the dance critic who didn't like a certain one of pieces, for reasons unexplained, that was in a dance festival back in 2009 can suck it--I fucking love that dance and it is one of the best I have choreographed and we are fierce.

That is all.
cassidyrose: (performance)
So... Think YOU Can Dance?

Big Moves Bay Area invites dancers and dancers-to-be of all ages, shapes, sizes and experience levels to a FREE DAY OF DANCE. Experienced, size-positive instructors will offer classes in jazz, Bollywood, and burlesque. You'll also be treated to a short performance by the Phat Fly Girls, Big Moves' dance troupe for the curvaceous and confident.

Big Moves Bay Area’s Day of Dance
Sunday April 25, 2010 * 2-6pm
The Beat Dance Studio
2560 9th St. (between Parker and Dwight", Berkeley, CA

Oh yeah... did we mention it's FREE?

Come for the full day, or drop in for one class, just be sure to arrive 15 minutes before any class to register.

For more information, email Visit us on the web at

2:00 - 2:45 Warmup and Jazz Fundamentals
2:45 - 3:45 Bollywood
3:45 - 4:00 Break
4:00 - 5:00 Burlesque
5:00 - 5:45 Jazz
5:45 - 6:00 Phat Fly Girl performance
cassidyrose: (burlyq--cabaret)
Love the one you're with! Or so the old song goes. Instead of sad resolutions to change your body this year, how about learning to love, move, and shucks, WORK the one you've got?

Big Moves Bay Area is thrilled to partner with Rubenesque Burlesque founder and director Juicy D. Light to bring you a Burlesque for Big Beginners workshop. You'll learn burlesque basics and come away with a new appreciation of your own beauty.
    What: Burlesque for Big Beginners
    When: Saturday, February 6th, 2010
    Where: The Beat Studio, 2560 9th Street (between Parker and Dwight), Berkeley, CA
    Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
    Fee: $15
    Please wear clothes you feel comfortable dancing in, and burlesque-y props if you have them: hats, long gloves, boas, etc. We'll have a few extras, too. Comfortable high heels are fine for this class.

    About our fabulous guest instructor:
    Always a crowd favorite, Juicy D. Light has a B.A in Theatre Arts. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Rubenesque Burlesque featuring The Bodacious Bawdies, an ethnically diverse large size troupe with a focus on utilizing dance to range from joyful expression to activist acts. Juicy danced with Heather MacAllister aka Reva Lucian in her groundbreaking troupe Big Burlesque; without her Juicy D. Light would not exist. Juicy's troupe is a mainstay with The Hubba Hubba review and has danced in San Francisco, Portland, and New York City.
cassidyrose: (glasses/high contrast)
Still here, still pregnant. Due date is Thursday. In case anyone was wondering what I currently look like here is a pic of me taken backstage at Flabulous! ~three weeks ago
I was 36.5 weeks pregnant in the picture and getting ready to dance. Photo is by Amelia Mae Paradise and her whole set (some nudity and some may not be safe for work) is here.
cassidyrose: (performance)
Big Moves Bay Area is in the middle of a busy season and we have classes, events, and lots of Fly Girl performances for you to enjoy. If you can only go to one of these events please come to the Chocolate Tasting and buy your tickets in advance! If you haven't seen the Fly Girls in a while, this would be a good chance to see all the seriously cool things we are doing. Plus you'll get to see me dancing at 31 weeks pregnant. Oh yeah!

Taste For Dance 2009

Click here for full Chocolate Tasting information as well as for information about classes and other Fly Girl performances. Plus, a bonus pic of the Fly Girls )
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
We had a show last night and have one tonight so I am taking it easy today. The show went well and I am looking forward to tonight. We are in a choreographers' showcase at Dance Mission and we have been in it before, but this time is really quite different for me because I am the choreographer showing work which feels a bit weird. Actually, it is the first time that any Big Moves company has been in a show like this with work from an internal choreographer (as opposed to someone we hired from the outside). It is a big step. I am happy with the piece even though I know we can tweak it a bit more. The Fly Girls have really stepped up to the challenge of doing a piece that is not only fast and rather technical, but also that involves contact work and lifts. Everyone has worked really hard to make it look good. We also have awesome costumes, thanks to Matilda. We definitely win "Best Costume" for the show, if nothing else. :-) I am also somewhat proud of myself that I ventured into the contact work as a choreographer and developed it the way I did. I also feel I achieved something by using music that was more challenging to work with than I normally use. I used two pieces by Morphine and if you are familiar with Morphine you know what I am talking about (maybe). I love Morphine and had wanted to choreograph something to their music for a long time, but I did find it very challenging. Basically the contrast between fairly fast timing in their instrumentation versus the very laid-back, somewhat slow, and dreamy sounding vocals combined with syncopation and drastic mood changes within a song made it more difficult than the average choreography task. But, I did it and am pleased with the results.

I am off to clean some more and rest and eat and then get ready for tonight's show!

love it!

Jul. 31st, 2009 12:54 am
cassidyrose: (burly-q legs)
I cannot stop watching this. It is truly one of my favorite dances from SYTYCD (arguably, I hate a lot of them, but oh well). I am quite impressed that the three dancers were so uniform in the height of their kicks and leaps...not easy to do. There are a few bobbles in the routine, but given they had less than a week to work on it and it was incredibly demanding I will forgive them. ;-P This is really the type of dance I love to watch and dance myself. I am so glad there was no obnoxious narrative to the piece either. Fitting in the week of Merce Cunningham's death.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
In case you missed it, there is is a new competitive reality show that is a combination dance and weight-loss contest called Dance Your Ass Off, airing on fat-hating Oprah's own network, Oxygen. The contestants are fat people who all have sob stories about how being fat is ruining their lives and how it is all their fault because they are fat. Most do not have any sort of dance background. They are boarded in some sort of standard-fare reality show house which includes cabinets full of donuts, cookies, chips, crackers, etc., alongside fresh food, because you know, it wouldn't be good TV unless the fat people were "tempted" by "junk food." The contestants are put on crazy diet/workout plans and taught a partner dance every week with an ostensible "dance professional" most of whom don't dance or choreograph all that much better than I do, which isn't a slight against me but at the show's choice of pros...a true "professional" should be doing those things way better than me. Each week the contestants dance their dance with their partner and are scored on their dance. Then they are weighed on a scale the size of which puts most freight scales to shame. Their total score and ranking for each week is based on their dance score and the percentage of their body weight lost. To top it off, most all the female contestants (and some male) are often costumed in fairly ill-fitting, crappy spandex costumes which show a lot of flesh and border on fetishistic. The Fly Girls have some costumes that are essentially lingerie or underwear and they fit better and look less over-the-top than these and that is saying a lot. I do not have a problem with the flesh showing (see my icon), but read below if you want to know why I think there are huge issues with the costume choices for this show.

So, there is your background. Since the show debuted a few weeks ago there has been a fair bit of fat-o-sphere chatter about whether or not the show is exploitative and how bad it really is. Some have argued that show promotes "loving yourself as you are" and that the host is promoting the same thing. I disagree and here is a somewhat modified comment I posted elsewhere in response to those claims:
    The host, Marissa Jaret Winokur, who in a former life played fat and fat-positive dancer Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway production of "Hairspray" (and won a Tony for her performance to boot), is publicly dieting for weight loss and is endorsing such by hosting the show so I hardly think she is all about fat people feeling confident and sexy as they are. If the show was about people being confident and sexy as fat people there would be no weight-loss element to the show AND contestants would not have scores based on their weight-loss...they would be scored based on their dancing alone.

    As a fat dancer with a fat dance company the show disgusts me. It is about making people thinner and smaller for entertainment and not training them as dancers. There are no fat professionals dancing with the contestants and the dancing and choreography is mediocre at best. Basing a show around weight loss is quite problematic (and by that I do indeed mean "it is complete and utter bullshit") and adding dance and sexy costumes to the mix does not make it any less so. Additionally, I do think that the costumes are meant to highlight the fat, and not in a good way. While we (fat-positive folks) may look at a fat bare-midriff and think "Wow, sexy" I would argue that many, many people look at it and think "Ew, gross. At least I am not that fat" and the producers of the show know that and want that. I would bet money the producers are putting the contestants in tight, skimpy clothing not because they think it will be liberating for the contestant or the viewer, but because they know it has shock value and they know people will be drawn in by the display of fat and the opportunity to ridicule. I also find the costumes pretty ugly and our dancers have much better, much sexier, much better fitting costumes and we have probably .01% of the budget the show does.

    At the heart of it, I do not believe that a show can be about people being comfortable with who they/what they look like while actively engaging in making changes to those things and rewarding those changes.

In thinking about the costumes more, I do think what bothers me a lot is that it seems they are being costumed as "before" pictures. They are all supposed to be losing weight so weeks from now they are supposed to look smaller and less fat. The super-tight shiny spandex used in many of the costumes highlights the contestants' size and shows all rolls and dimples. Now, I do not feel that there is inherently anything wrong with this and can certainly see doing this in the interest of fat-activism or if you just really like shiny, tight spandex. What I do have a problem with is that people on a weight-loss show are being dressed in ways to show their fat when the show is not about fat acceptance and they are earnestly trying to rid themselves of said fat. It is exploiting the fat and the fat person for entertainment value. I think the producers' intent is to shock the audience with the contestants' fat (why else would they have them weigh-in on camera in their underwear?). I am not arguing that fat dancers on any show should be costumed in caftans, but I do think nicer costumes could have been made, ones made of something other than spandex and ones that seemed to actually fit the contestants. I will freely admit that I am not a a fan of shiny spandex for costumes for any size dancer because I think it often looks cheap, so some of this is a style issue for me. But I have to ask, if the Fly Girls, on a child's-size-shoestring budget can create sexy, nicely-fitting, flesh-revealing costumes that look great and not like something we bought at the Halloween Superstore, then why can't a television show do the same?

But, really, the costumes are the least of what's wrong with this show. Really.
cassidyrose: (glasses/high contrast)
Thoughts on tonight's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance":
  • I call shenanigans on the ballet dancer getting the first-ever ballet dance on the show and the hip hop dancer getting his *second* hip hop dance in four weeks.
  • I call equal shenanigans on the two dancers the judges seemed itching to do away with last week getting the kiss of death quickstep.
  • I am grateful we finally saw another "Broadway" choreographer who clearly knew she was doing.
  • Note to judges: I know from weird dance and have yet to see anything on SYTYCD that even approaches truly weird. The dances you called "weird" tonight just were not that odd. They were not the same manufactured crap you seem to love so dearly, but they were still fairly conventional in their movement vocabularies and even themes (odd themes maybe, but nothing earth shatteringly weird.) Until you have seen a dancer spin a blow-up doll around her finger and then later dance with a skirt of diet coke cans, or a group of naked dancers writhing on the floor and making a human mountain, or a dance involving clothes changing in a bathroom of a museum (real bathroom, real museum--no set) I do not consider you qualified to comment on the weirdness of dance. I hereby sentence you to six months viewing modern, post-modern, and post-post modern dance in San Francisco's grungiest theater locations before judging the show again.
  • Judges, stop patting yourselves on the backs on for whatever it is you think you are doing for dance. It's getting old and trite.
  • Choreographers: I often really hate props, especially super-literal ones (you all are allowed to put me out of my misery if I *ever* choreograph a romantically-themed dance on a fucking bed). The chain tonight was obnoxious and distracting. LOSE THE STUPID PROPS!
  • Let's call a weak leap a weak leap. Kupono's leaps and jumps were not nearly as strong and powerful as they could have been. I've seen way better and do almost as well myself. Not so impressed.
  • The hooded, gloved unitard is a crime against humanity. May it never appear on my TV screen or on stage again unless it is in the context of wacky French-Canadian clowns.

Oh, and my brain still hurts from that Rufus Wainwright rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz".
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
Modern lyrical tonight.

Nutshell: A whole lot of floor work for a pregnant lady with bad knees.

Oh, and I had blissfully forgotten about push-ups done in an upright second position split. Silly me.

good class

Jun. 23rd, 2009 12:17 am
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
Summer session started tonight at the dance studio where I take classes. A new contemporary class is running this summer taught by Matthew Tseng, who I found out this evening is a dance professional who works with Sonya Tayeh, probably most widely known for her work as a choreographer on "So You Think You Can Dance". I decided to go ahead and try the class tonight and I am really glad I did. It was freakin' crowded which was kind of a pain, but I loved the class. And I was able to keep up--I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to. I poked around online and found this video of his work. This was the dance we worked on tonight in our class. I don't think I achieved anywhere near the level of performance demonstrated by the dancers in the video (at least one of whom I know is professional), but I was able to do the dance and it was fun. It was a whole lot of floor work for this pregnant lady, though. (For those that don't know I am 15 weeks pregnant). Anyhow, I am glad I went and sucked up any fear I had about a new, guest teacher. It was great and I am looking forward to more.


May. 6th, 2009 02:03 am
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
I think I have found the song I am going to use for a new lyrical piece for the Fly Girls. The song actually kind of found me. That is usually how it happens. I can see the dance already. This is a good thing.
cassidyrose: (glasses/high contrast)
It was a busy weekend. I took S. to the Children's Museum and he had fun, especially after the field trip crowds cleared. Good gods it was crowded and loud when we first showed up. He was diffuse at first, as is typical, but after a while he got serious and focused and we spent nearly four hours there. Long but good day.

Saturday was rehearsal as usual for me. [ profile] catzen, [ profile] ptor, and S. did their usual walk around Berkeley while I danced and afterwards we all went to Cactus for lunch, as usual. We discovered that S. really likes the cabbage salsa--he ate a couple of small bowlfuls. It's good stuff.

On Sunday I headed back to Berkeley for our big Day of Dance. S. and [ profile] ptor stayed home because it was a five hour event. It was a good day. We had a lot of number of students and many new people which is really great. We had the most students for the Bollywood class which I expected as that is quite popular and fairly accessible. People seemed to enjoy the classes and the day as a whole so I was pleased. We even got a random person in off the street--she'd seen our sawhorse sign on the sidewalk and dropped in. Yay! The Fly Girls did a mini-performance of some works in progress. The first dance we did we *just* finished so it was truly a work-in-progress. But that's OK--I think it is OK to show rough stuff in a setting like that. It is what it is. The second dance is one that four of us have performed many times but our new people hadn't--it was less rough and everyone enjoyed our tail-feathers. It was also nice because we had three new people performing with us for the first time and they did great. Two of them had never really performed dance before at all so it was a big day for them. I am so happy to have them and everyone in our group. We have seven dancers right now which is a high number for us and we may be adding another. Good stuff. While I was dancing S. and Peter did their big walk to Starbucks and did yardwork. S. refused to nap for daddy so, yeah, that was what that was. By last night we were all pretty burnt.

Today S. and I kept it quiet and just played in the house. It was cold and windy outside and I am not feeling great (not Swine flu). We did lots of puzzles and general hanging out. [ profile] ptor had two interviews today so he was busy with all that. Tonight was a fundraiser for S.'s school at a funky local diner. They were donating 20% of all proceeds to the school for the night. In order to fulfill our fundraising hours for the year (it's a co-op school) we just had to go eat there and turn in our receipt to the fundraising committee. So we did. Fairly indifferent food. Not bad, just not outstanding. S. enjoyed his spaghetti and the cucumbers from my salad so he was happy.

That's all. School in the morning then maybe grocery shopping. [ profile] ptor has more job stuff to do. We are really hoping something comes through for him soon.
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
Just a quick reminder that Big Moves' FREE Day of Dance is happening tomorrow (Sunday, April 26th) from Noon until 5pm in Berkeley. Come for all or part of the day. Details at the link above. Tell your friends!!!
cassidyrose: (pfg_ff03_cheesy)
In Conjunction with Bay Area Celebrates National Dance Week, Big Moves Bay Area invites dancers and dancers-to-be of all shapes, sizes, and experience levels to a FREE Day of Dance April 26th, 2009, from 12-5pm at The Beat in Berkeley.

Experienced, size-positive instructors will offer classes in ballet, lyrical jazz, and Bollywood dance. Attendees will also be treated to a short performance by the Phat Fly Girls, Big Moves' dance troupe for the curvaceous and confident, and an empowering workshop on How to Move and Love the Body You Have. Attendees are welcome all day, or can drop in and out of classes. Just be sure to arrive 15 minutes before any class to register. Did we mention it's free?

What: Day of Dance
When: Sunday, April 26th, 2009 12-5pm
Where: The Beat, 2560 9th St. (between Parker and Dwight), Berkeley, CA
Cost: FREE

12:00-12:30: Warm-Up with Jessica Judd
12:30-1:30 Ballet with Katrin Auch
1:30-2:30 Bollywood with Vikashni Prasaad
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:45 Lyrical Jazz with Jessica Judd
3:45-4:00 Phat Fly Girl Performance
4:00-5:00 How to Move and Love the Body You Have with Matilda St. John

All classes appropriate for beginning dancers as well as those with more experience

Big Moves is the only production and service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes out on the dance floor and up on stage. Recently featured on “Entertainment Tonight” and in a national PBS documentary, Big Moves Bay Area has also been named the “Best Place for Big Girls to Shake It” by the SF Bay Guardian. Big Moves offers performing and training opportunities for dancers of all sizes. To find out more about Big Moves, visit us online at

Big Moves Bay Area is a fiscally sponsored program of Intersection for the Arts.
cassidyrose: (me laughing)
Last week in rehearsal I totally blanked on a small bit of new choreography I was teaching. I was not surprised as I had created a bunch of new stuff the night before and when I cram-create like that it is not uncommon for me to have some trouble remembering everything. Anyhow, it frustrates me all to hell when I forget something I know *worked* and then I have to construct something new that doesn't necessarily work as well. Anyhow, I was just trying to rest and thinking about the new dance and how to stage it creatively and I remembered the forgotten bit. Just like that. YAY! It was not gone forever and it is so much better than what I substituted in. It really is a tiny bit of the dance, but it just makes more sense now. ::relief::

And, yes, this is why I usually video myself in the living room when I am creating new stuff. I don't always though and of course this was one of those times.


cassidyrose: (Default)

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