most insightful thing we've heard in a while is, in fact, something
we really already knew. But when someone says something out loud,
it's funny how the statement takes on more importance and relevance.
Chatting with Clarissa Pierro, lead dance instructor for The
Art of Exotic Dancing for Everyday Women, we had some
revelations. First, almost all women criticize their own appearance.
Seems obvious. We know we do, but for a talented dance instructor to
concur is, like, golden. Second--and when she said it, it made so
much sense--men don't hurt our self-esteem. The problem is
woman-to-woman. We look, compare, contrast, praise and
self-deprecate, saying we want to be attractive to others when so
much of it is really about being more attractive than other women.
It's catty. It's bitchy. It's totally true.
|Molly, 41 and a mother of four,
demonstrates being sexy, while we compulsively want to
Windex that mirror.
|Details: The Art of
Exotic Dancing for Everyday Women classes
will be held Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
at MoveStudio, 17062 Preston Road, Suite 108, in
Preston Campbell Center, and Saturday from 4
p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rhythm & Moves Studio,
2008 E. Highway 114, Southlake. Class sizes are
limited and are for women only. Pre-registration
is required. The cost is $79. Call
|From the Week of Thursday,
June 24, 2004|
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Outdoor pictures offer a trip back in
Extreme sports for
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Concerts in the Garden features rockets'
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Once a computer geek at Dell, Pierro is now teaching seductive
walking, various hip rolls and other moves to women "sometimes
ranging in age from 28 to 68." She took her first class almost a
year and a half ago. At 31, she was the youngest in her class. On
the competitive and self-abusing nature of many women, she says,
"You know that movie Mean Girls? Well, they never go away."
And even though aging can change the habit of judging others, doing
it to one's self is the hardest to stop. The class helped Pierro
rebuild something in herself. Athletic as a child in San Antonio,
she later dealt with weight gain and loss and acknowledges that,
once overweight, feeling like you're fat is the hardest thing to
lose even when the pounds are gone. Her exotic dance class changed
that, as well as her path in life.
Dance instruction is her passion these days. And the benefits of
the class continue to affect her. "It's so worth it," she says.
"Women come and just blossom. They're businesswomen, mothers,
doctors, and all the teachers are just normal women, too." Her
background helps her gain the trust of her pupils. Weight,
relationships and depression may all come up during the class
"circle"--a time for sharing that Pierro says dissolves any cliques
before the dancing starts--and sharing her own experiences helps the
students relate and feel at ease. "It's not that whole thing that
someone else is worse off," she says. "It just teaches me to
Without a base studio, classes aren't limited by geography.
Pierro rents time at studios in different areas. "Women owners love
to expand their class reach," she says. "Bigger gyms with male
managers don't really work out that well. You have to explain what
we mean by 'exotic dancing.'" Based on the name, some assume that
the class is for "professional exotic dancing" instead of personal
expression and image enhancement.
Watching the DVD available from http://www.artofexoticdancing.com/,
we seriously considered Pierro's invitation to check out the world
of private dance at her classes this weekend. The women on it are
all shapes and sizes. One is recovering from breast cancer, and one
is undergoing chemotherapy. We think we could be successful, even
comfortable in one of these classes. Most important, we think an
actual class would have an even bigger effect than the DVD in an
area that surprised us. When we turned off the player and reviewed
our new steps, instruction and experience, we realized that we
hadn't judged one woman on the screen. We didn't even compare
ourselves physically. It obviously wasn't about that. And it felt
| originally published: June 24, 2004
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