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  1. I'm going to perform! On a stage, in front of people! I'm going to do drag and burlesque, and it's going to be great! So I need to practice, rehearse, work on choreography, and learn how to dance in heels. This challenge I will: Continue meditating Work out the choreography for one act Figure out where content creation for my night job fits into this new scheme No gym workouts! Not tracking yoga (still twice a week in the office at lunch), or food (still doing intermittent fasting where I eat everything in an 8 hour window). Disclaimer: I'm a leftist socialist queer agender (they/them pronouns) sex positive hippie who is an active member of The Resistance. Any photos I post here will be safe, but if you follow the links I cannot guarantee your continued employment if you're looking while at work. :-p
  2. Mad Hatter's Petting Zoo As you might recall one of mine epic, scary, ridiculous quests is to perform a burlesque routine. The hard deadline is before I'm 30, but why wait? I mean I could wait until "I'm ready", and I've learned to dance, and to make circus cool tricks and how to make awesome costumes. Or I could just start now and learn it on the job. I'm going with option 2. For three reasons. The first because I happened to be stalking the hooping thread and there was a performance of a girl who did fairly simple tricks. But Lilith pointed out that it doesn't matter because it was still really fun to watch, and that's the whole point! I might not be able to do a lot, but I can use what I can to do something fun and use what I can't do to do something creative! The second reason is that there will be a burlesque class in the fall where the "final exam" is a solo act. And it won't be just in front of friends and family, but in front of Stockholm's burlesque crowd! This sounds like a way too fun opportunity to miss out on. When I found out it brought out the butterflies and butterflies is always a good sign I'm heading in the right direction. And 3, in a few weeks time I'm taking an 8-week staycation and I need a big project! Because I learned from the last two challenges that big overambitious projects inspire me, even if I fail. Because my day to day situation will change so much during the challenge I really want my goals to be sustainable. So I'm actually going to do a 4 week challenge followed by a 9 week challenge, but with largely the same goals except for some minor tweaks. Now part of why I love circus and burlesque is because of I'm a huge fan of the weird and the wonderful in the world. But I was struck how the assassin has an unfair representation of cute, cuddly animals so today I'm going to make a stand for all the uglies and creepies in the world. Because they need some assassin love too. Life Quest: Hey, look at my shiny butt! or Create a burlesque routine! Starting with my life goal because it's the most important one. In part 1 of the challenge I will start the prep work for creating a routine: Find musicDesign costumeCome up with theme and feelFigure out what skills I want to useCollect lots and lots of underpants. Mostly figuratively.In part 2 I will: Come up with choreographyMake props and costumesPractice necessary dance and acrobatic skillsDevelop characterPractice facial expressionsBe creepy and stare lots at peoplePractice costume makeup skills Side goal #1: Don't become a blob fish! or Get off the sofa! I have a fear that I will spend my two months off on the sofa being a blob and that's not allowed to happen! For the next two challenges I will do my assassin "chores" (icky stretches, boring strength training etc) in a short session in the morning as Nymeria suggested. That way I get it done without sucking up my fun evening time, it'll add to my daily movement and it should hopefully get my ass into work on time. When I'm on vacation I'll also have add a longer evening fun session where I can do whatever I want. Side goal #2: Om nom nom or Made from scratch I'm bringing back made from scratch eating. My food was so much more delicious when I had it as a challenge goal, but somehow my laziness won over me and against better judgement I'm eating way too much crap again. Four weeks will be too short to form the habit, so I'm going to stick with it for the whole next two challenges. I won't be as militant in my grading though. Like ice cream doesn't count. What, it's summer! Side goal #3: Jazz...Tentacles! or Fun movement! I admit it, I got jealous of all your fun goals when I had homework to do. I'm also itching to go climbing and lindy hopping again, but I haven't had the time to drag myself to go. But with summer, lots of free time and limited class schedules I'll be able to add more fun things. Who know, I might even get a hoop again to get in with all the cool kids. The goal is to do something different and that gets me outside the house at least once per week. As you might have noticed I don't have any stat points for grabs and no grading. This is because in the past I've got good grades on technicalities, and I've got bad grades though I did good because my grading was too harsh. This time I'll grade myself on a completely subjective scale from Epic to Epic Fail and award stat points where I think I've made the most progress. Oh and my side quest will be to participate in the mini challenges. Because I know what they are and you don't lalalalala. But I can tell you it's going to be fun!
  3. * * Updated on March 3rd * * Long Term Quest Become a burlesque performer Mission for This Challenge Build muscle I want to become burlesque performer. I've wanted to do this for a long time, but haven’t really done anything to prepare. I know that I have a ways to go before I’ll be ready, but I’m starting now. My goals/side goals are a great step in the right direction. Flexibility (STA +3) Attend yoga classes 2 days a week. I'm continuing this habit from the last challenge. I have a membership at a really great yoga studio and the teacher is absolutely wonderful and I love the way I feel after each class.Do alignment stretches before bed every night. My hips and shoulders are out of alignment. My boyfriend’s mother is a holistic practitioner and did an assessment for me (took measurements and such) and prescribed me some stretches to help get things back where they should be. Strength (STR +4) Do strength training 4 days a week. I need to build some muscle. Yoga is going well, but I feel like I need to step things up. After chatting with a friend of mine, he suggested that I should toss in some weight (including body weight) training. Nutrition (CON +5) Follow macro nutrient guidelines. Paleo did not work for me. I know it works for a lot of people, but I'm not one of them. During the conversation with my friend that suggested the weight training, we discussed eating habits. He suggested that I look at and follow the guidelines at http://iifym.com/. It's about following macro nutrient guidelines, based on your body and workout habits. It's super simple and flexible, I really like it. I think this will be a much better fit for me. Though it seems like you’re supposed to hit your macros exactly, but I will be fine with simply not going over.No cow’s milk. I am lactose intolerant, but have had a really difficult time eliminating it from my diet. Even though it hurts my stomach and I feel terrible afterwards. So, I’m adding it to my goals this challenge to try and finally get it out of my diet. Butter (for whatever reason) is still okay with my body, as is goat’s and sheep’s milk (thank goodness!!).No alcohol during the week. While I don’t think I drink too much, I don’t think it will hurt me to cut back on my alcohol intake – at least for this challenge. Must bring lunch to work, even if it's a frozen/prepackaged lunch. I am MUCH more likely to overeat or eat lame food if I don’t bring a lunch. Wellness (WIS +3) Wake up at 6:30am on workday mornings. I like not having to rush in the mornings. It really is a terrible way to start the day. I have found that waking up at 6:30 gives me plenty of time to get ready at a leisurely pace, while still having time to be a bit productive before leaving for work. Burlesque Buy and read at least two books about the history of burlesque.Go to at least two burlesque shows. I will be in Florida for the first week of the challenge, so things will be starting off a little wonky. I won’t be taking yoga classes, but I will still be doing some kind of exercise two days during my vacation.The hotel we’re staying at for the first part of our trip has a nice gym, so I should be able to get my strength training done. If for some reason I don’t like the gym or the second hotel doesn't have a gym, I’ll do some body weight exercises in my room.I am a bit concerned about hitting my macros since we’ll be eating out a lot, but I’m going to try my best. But since I *am* on vacation, I'm giving myself a LOT of slack. I'm not counting my vacation days towards my challenge grade. Since I won’t be working, I don’t have to get up at 6:30am until the second week of the challenge.Hopefully I'll be able to pick up at least one of my burlesque books while in Florida.Though I am not planning on it, I think it would be nice to catch a burlesque show while on vacation.
  4. Epic Quest I want to perform an aerial/contortion/burlesque act. I have the dream, plenty of ideas and a deadline. What I don't have is the the skills or even personality. There's work to be done. Motivation Because pictures say more than a thousand words... Main Quest This challenge doesn't have a specific focus, I just want to become leaner, stronger and bendier Side quest 1: Shed the flab (WIS +3, CON +2) To do what I want to do I need to gain confidence in my body as well as skills. The excess fat is a hindrance to both. The plan is to a ) average ~1800 cals/week (revised halfway through the challenge) b ) eat ~130g protein/day A Average 1750-1850 calories + max 1 day/week missed protein goal B Average 1851-1950 calories + max 2 days/week missed protein goal C Average 1951-2050 + max 3 days/week missed protein goal D Average 2051-2150 + max 4 days/week missed protein goal F Average >2150 + >4 days/week missed protein goal Side quest 2: Practice contortion skills 1x/week (DEX +3) Chasing the shiny things! There's a few skills that I'd love to nail during the challenge but I need some extra practice outside class. A 6 times B 5 times C 4 times D 3 times F <3 times Side quest 3: Pull-up training 3x/week (STR +3) Not sure if it's realistic but I'd love to be able to do one pull-up before the end of the year. Training starts now! A 17-18 times B 15-16 times C 13-14 times D 11-12 times F <11 times Life Quest: Do something Burlesque related 1x/week (CHA +4) In the first challenge I took burlesque dance classes, but classes are not enough to make my epic quest happen! I need to learn to not only dance, but how to perform, walk in high heels, costumes etc... A 6 times B 5 times C 4 times D 3 times F <3 times Let the challenge begin...
  5. Mad Hatter's Quest of Madness To go from this... to this... ...before I'm 30. Can't believe that I'm sharing this with the world, but one of my crazy epic quests is to get on stage and perform a burlesque/aerial routine. Simply because I have an awesome idea and apparently the only person that can make it happen is me. (I actually tried to delegate to more talented people but they wouldn't have it.) You see, there's one caveat, I'm a software developing desk drone with no performance or acrobatics skills, no strength and, to make it even worse, I'm really uncomfortable being the centre of attention. But what better way to get rid of my fears than to tackle them head on? Challenge #1: Tackling poor body image - and get hot in the process. Goals 1. Get diet under control. I have issues with binging and emotional eating, but I'm slowly starting to understand my patterns. To keep the goal simple I will track my food daily and will only eat food that I wouldn't hide from others. 2. Move for an hour every day. Walking, dancing, stretching, handstand practice, strength training, anything goes as long as I move. 3. Strength train 3x/week. I love the feeling of being strong and able to use my body, but I never get strong because I never train consistently. Especially my upper-body strength is sorely lacking. It'd be awesome if I can do real push ups by the end of the challenge. Life Quest: Get a life I just moved from halfway across the world to Australia and need to get out there and meet people. Attend social events or activities 3x/week. Motivation For as long as I remember I have been drifting aimlessly through life, not setting any goals but letting the opportunities come to me. It's lead me to good things, but now I'm at a stage in life where if I don't take control nothing amazing is going to happen. And I'm not ready to settle with mediocrity. I need to prove to myself and to my friends that I'm not just a head full of random ideas but that I'm strong and capable of accomplishing everything I want to. I don't want an average life, I want it to be epic! Also this
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