Picks of the Glitter: Hula and Apple Pie Edition.
Want to add a little sway to your summer? Look no further than the all-level hula class brought to you by Ruby Mimosa (aka “The Island Flower”) over at the Academy of Burlesque. The four week class runs July 3 through 24 for just an hour and a half each Wednesday, and drop-ins are welcome.
Ruby Mimosa was born in Kaneohe, O’ahu and is the fifth generation of her family to be born and raised in Hawai’i. From the age of three Ruby studied dance, including hula and 13 years of ballet. Aside from these lifelong passions, Ruby also studied fashion merchandising at the University of Hawai’i. As it happens, seven years ago this week Ruby transferred from Betsey Johnson O’ahu to the boutique’s Seattle location- bringing with her just a few suitcases and plenty of Aloha Spirit (“the coordination of mind and heart within each person”, according to the Hawai’i Revised Statues).
And we’re fortunate that Ruby made the journey. Earlier this week she explained why she wanted to teach a hula series and what it means to her. “The rough, Wikipedia definition of Hula is ‘a dance form accompanied by chant (oli) or song (mele), developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there‘,” she explained. “It’s story telling, with your body. Just like in burlesque where we have some sort of narrative we are telling with our costume and movements; hula tells a story through one’s body, arms, and song.”
“Being born and raised in Hawaii, there’s a lot of history in hula within my family,” Ruby continued. “I had grown up dancing the Hula. Actually, as a child you had a required class in school called ‘Hawaiiana’. There was a kumu, or teacher, and a few times a week you’d have that class, learn about Hawaiian culture – the folklore, language, the specific characteristics to each island, Hawaiian games, and of course the dance – Hula.”
Ruby’s great great grandfather, Fritz Herman, started The Kodak Picture Hula Show in 1937 at the Waikiki Shell. The performance venue linked Hawaiian-style entertainment with photography by providing a hula show during the day, where traditionally the dance was only seen by tourists venturing out to evening luaus at resorts. Initially the Kodak Hula Show featured five dancers and four musicians, but the attraction quickly grew in popularity and expanded to a cast of 20 women, six men, and over a dozen musicians. The Kodak Hula Show ran for over 60 years.
“I have a strong connection to the hula, and even though I may be Haole girl (a white person)- I have Hawaiian soul and pride,” Ruby said. “I had always enjoyed Hula’s expressive, challenging, graceful, and strong tones. The soft sway in the hips as you glide across the grass or sand and the sharp pop of the knees in the uwehe, to that sexy grind of the ami and your own embrace and love of one’s body and shape. This dance comes from the heart, and you can see it from the feet and hands up to the face. You connect with your audience and draw them into your dance. I think that’s why I was immediately captivated and have grown so fond of burlesque. There are so many similarities… at least to me. I look forward to sharing this dance and art-form!”
Here are the details:
Hula Series with Ruby Mimosa
4 Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm
July 3 – 24th
Want a little tropical stay-cation? Look no further than here, Hula Hands & Hips! Miss Ruby Mimosa will help you achieve that soft dewy glow of the Pacific Islands right here in Seattle. Trained in the art of Hula, Ruby teaches the fundamentals and basic movements of this stunning storytelling dance form. Enjoy the classic and tropical tunes of Hawai’i while engaging your core strength and graceful beauty. Movement friendly clothes are preferred, and grass skirts are optional!
Class open to all levels, oriented towards beginning dancers who want a fun workout! $65 for the series, $17 drop-in. For more info, visit the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/131397980385845/, or check out the Academy’s curriculum page.
Our second pick of the week (where incidentally, you’ll also find Ruby representing The Burlesque Boutique at the merch counter) is way more fun and only a little bit safer than fireworks: Freedom Fantasia. Now in its third season, DeLouRue Presents is mounting this year’s show for three nights/four shows at the Triple Door. Freedom Fantasia reclaims patriotism by taking a closer look at American history with honesty and high camp – exactly what we love from the production trio of BenDeLaCreme, Lou Henry Hoover, and Kitten LaRue. There will be buffalo, pasties, and drag – and what would the 4th of July be without a little tap dancing and historical rap?
Here are the details:
July 3rd, 5th (9pm), and 6th (8pm and 10:30pm),
The Triple Door 216 Union Street, Downtown Seattle
Tickets: $27-$33 www.tripledoor.net
DeLouRue Presents, a production company from Kitten LaRue (The Atomic Bombshells), BenDeLaCreme (TUCK!), and Lou Henry Hoover (The Cherdonna and Lou Show) invite you to experience their third annual Fourth Of July spectacular…featuring a venerable cast of Seattle luminaries, including WINNER of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5: internationally-beloved drag and theatrical sensation, JINKX MONSOON!
Lou Henry Hoover
J Von Stratton