Seventh Dimension Dance celebrates two years of strong and sexy choreography
SEVENTH DIMENSION DANCE 2ND ANNUAL SHOWCASE
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: 27 Parker Way
SEVENTH DIMENSION DANCE: THE ART OF SEXY
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Glenn Dallas Gallery, 927 State St.
Information: (805) 451-4664 or seventhdimensiondance.com
Two years ago, Harmony Varela, convinced her landlord to give her a chance on a new business, a tiny little dance studio across Parker Way from Yoga Soup. She took, as she says, “a leap of faith. I came in here with the deposit and wondering how the make the first month’s rent. No capital. It was a miracle that it all came together.”
Two years in, the pole and burlesque dancers that Varela hoped would show all did so, and the fruit of that labor will be in performance tonight at her studio for its second annual company show.
There will be solo and group pole performances, fire dancing (outside), belly dancing, hula hooping, twerking, and burlesque. The increased variety of styles compared to last year reflect Varela’s success. In those two years, the classes have been getting larger, and the type and number of classes increasing. The core group have also been out in the community, appearing at M8TRX, Wildcat, Center Stage Theatre, and Summer Solstice (where they dressed as blue-body-painted cats next to La Boheme’s Egyptian-themed float).
“Everything done here has a sexy flavor,” says Varela’s right-hand-woman Kelsey Bodine, “but it’s stylized and artistic.”
“There is some stigma attached” to pole dance and burlesque, Varela admits, but that has been slowly going away as the art and athleticism have become apparent. And if there’s a lot of skin, there has to be: you can’t stay on the pole otherwise. Proof of its mainstreaming abound. There’s even an annual convention in Las Vegas, Pole Expo, that 7th Dimension’s core members attended.
“We have a ton of doctors, PhD students, and therapists as dancers,” Bodine says. “I don’t know what that says about us, but that’s our community. I think people enjoy the challenge.”
Once Varela had her studio’s key in hand those two years ago, that community came together very quickly. Members helped 7th Dimension come alive, providing mirrors, the painted backdrop, props, and more. When the space is not hosting a class, Varela also hosts bachelorette parties.
“Harmony attracts beautiful people,” says Bodine. “There’s a lot of love and a lot of life that radiates from her. It’s a safe space for all of us to be.”
Yes, Varela says, but it was Bodine who “sparked the flame” after they became fast friends (their children attend the same school) by mentioning this town needed a pole dance studio. (Varela started off as a bellydancer, but got certified in Los Angeles in pole and burlesque.)
Last year’s show was packed–sitting then standing room only, doors wide open to the street, everybody trying to see the show inside. This show is bound to sell out again, so book soon. (But if you do miss it, the following night at Glenn Dallas Gallery, the company will perform their non-pole dance numbers, about half the show.)