Let's just start off by saying that taking on the task of creating an in-home dance studio is no small feat.Having a specific vision and also having a specific #Budget to adhere to made for some frustrating moments in this journey. I mean, I do fully understand that not everyone has the means to even do half of what I did in this past month. So grateful I certainly am! But damn Gina!!! Getting this space to where it now is was a bitch and a half. And being the #Goddess that I am, there were of course certain aspects I desired and was not going to budge on.




The vision I had going in was to have an oasis of sorts. A place where I could go to start off my day, feel at ease, give me a sense of comfort, be at one with myself. Knowing that it was going to be where I can stretch not only my body but also stretch my bounds and abilities within my Art. A space in which I can find peace within myself to speak into the world what I need and want, and to speak with my ancestors and other deities. Esthetically speaking this space is to embody what I make available to offer to the world.



The total space I was working with was a 12 X 11 room roughly.

11ft 3.5in wide wall, with 8ft height floor to ceiling. (this is what I wanted mirrored)


Alright. So I mentioned above that I started this project with a BUDGET. Yes, that dreaded word that always has to be a factor in what many of do or even chose to do.

The amount I had allotted for it was $1,000. It may sound like a lot and some of you may be rolling your eyes by this point. And very well may choose to close this and go on about your day. And to you that are....TaTa! It Tis what it Tis!!

But for those others that understand it and may being looking to make similar moves, this is for you boo. Now back to it.

A grand really is not much to work with when you have visions like I do and know the potential of a space. Nor does it go very far when you start to look into how much a single mirror panel can cost. Not even when you are trying to have it done without hiring outside labor. This shit IS EXPENSIVE YO!


Here's how I Did it.


After spending days upon days searching the googles and pinterest to gather ideas on how others went about creating in-home studios and gyms, my search tabs were full as fuck.

It seemed as if I was never going to be able to pull this off and that the compromises I was going to have to make were soiling my vision. That wasn't happening y'all. When I say I want something a certain way, I'll be damned it's gonna be that way. Or else!


Flooring

I knew for certain staring out that the floor I already have in the room was not going to be the best for dance. Yes it was a hard surface floor versus carpet. But it is rigid and hard. I didn't want to risk hurting myself trying to do anything floor related. Or to even get tripped up by the floor itself. Finding something that would make have a little give in it and could take some impact. This is not a teeny body by any means so I wanted something that could handle me and keep me safe as well. I right away found this company Rubber Flooring Inc. They have a huge selection of all the dance flooring. And their prices were very reasonable for what else is out there. Looking through their inventory and reviews. I found the flooring that I thought would work best for what I intended to use it for. Customer Service is a top priority with this company and they were incredibly helpful. They offer sample tiles, For FREE w/shipping, that they will send out to you so you can make a well informed decision on your purchase.



Rubber Flooring Inc. has these floor kits that you can purchase. Basically you put in what size floor you're looking to cover, I went with 8x8ft, and it calculates how many tiles you will need. Delivered to you will be the tiles and the edging pieces to finish the floor off.

The kits DO NOT though come with sub-flooring. You know, the stuff to make for resistance on impact when I want to get down on the floor and practice the nasty raunchy moves. Can't bust it open without impact resistance out in these streets!

So I ended up purchasing rubber matting to go beneath the tiles. I didn't purchase these from the same company though. Since I am still at this point mirror-less and near half my budget with flooring, I headed over to Amazon to find a cheaper price on the mats. Ended up saving around $65 by going this route. Which...every dollar counts at this point.





It was like puzzle time up in here. And I LOVED IT!






8X8ft floor can hold up to 8 couples. Enough for a small private class setting. **So be on the lookout for more on this!!









....................Floor Total $556.87 -Self Installed so no Labor costs.









Mirrors

This was the biggest pain in the ass part of the process. I had NO idea just how much these things could possibly cost. Like I knew they weren't going to be cheap but I didn't know I was going to be looking into selling all my blood and plasma just to get 1 of the bitches. Cause you see, I didn't wan't just any ole mirrors.


Did you know? A single mirror panel that measures 48x72in, which would cover 3ftx8ft of space, can cost minimum $380 before tax and shipping. others going for up to $500+ each as there are varying sizes to make up configurations.


So my desire was to have 7ftx10ft of mirrored wall. I wanted to be able to SEE ALLLLL OF ME! I didn't want the distraction that would inevitably come with having multiple squared/shaped tiles to achieve the effect. I didn't want just 1 panel. Toyed with the idea of using plexiglass like material. Nope!

My vanity and stubbornness was literally keeping me awake at night. It's sad yes. But again...it Tis what it Tis! One night it popped in my head, Facebook Marketplace! The next morning I got up and headed to the market place and after a few pages I stumbled across the mother load. There was a guy on there that was selling various sizes of large panel mirrors out of a storage unit. Sounds a little sketchy yes, but hey I can handle sketch.

I did though take Dale with me to see these storage mirrors cause ummm I ain't stupid, those mugs are HEAVY. As you can see I was in a mini heaven of reflection in this here storage unit.



The day we chose to do this happened to be one of the windiest days I have expereinced here in Denver. It was like a frozen tundra out there without the snow. And we weren't prepared for that heading to the storage units. It was cold as fuck and after hours on hours out there rearranging, going to rent u-haul

, moving broken panels out, we came out even better than could imagine. When I say I came up! This was a straight Come Up y'all. Of the original ones I had inquired about, one was broken. So we started calculating and figuring what other ones would work. Because at this point we'd spent over an hour to find this out. I turned around and spotted a taller narrow one. I failed to bring the paper that I had sketched measures on but had it ingrained in my head what would fit. I conferred with the fellas and was like I think that one and these others would work. We mulled it over and came up with the decision to trust it. Ending up with three panels: 1- 36X86in, 2- 48X86in.

This was one of the best purchases I ever made on marketplace because the seller was a real stand up sort of guy. He even came along to help us get the mirrors into the house.

Saw the sale all the way through. And when we got those panels in the house unscathed there were cheers and high fives around! Nearly perfect mirrors besides the minor crack in one corner of one that I discovered after getting it in the truck, which by then I was like "shit I can cover that up".



It took Dale a couple trips to Home Depot and some creative engineering but after a few days process. My mirrors were expertly installed. Will they ever be removed? HELL NO! says Dale.



..............................Mirror Total $543.52 - Dale Installed so no Labor costs


Dance Barre

Increasing my flexibility is something I want to diligently work on. I feel like it will aide in my everyday life and overall well being. In addition to making my performances stronger. So I wanted to have space for stretching and aide to help me in this goal. A dance barre would help me do just that. I found the company Vita Vibe that makes custom ones. Coming with a name for my space to add on to the barre was a part of the process that helped me hone in on what I wanted it to mean to me. The VelvIT Haven was then born.

..........................Barre Total $98.95 - Dale Installed so no Labor Costs


Decorating

Back when I was in MN and moved into my house in Maple Grove my lovely longtime friend Chiquita gave me this gorgeous lantern lamp. I never unpacked it because I didn't have a proper space for it. So for the wonderful price of free.99 I got this colorful focal point that holds not only love but also light.


An important area I wanted to make space for in my Haven was an alter. A corner of peace, worship and honor. This is where I hope to pull from and channel the energy I need to get me through each day. I found the stand that would hold this space also on the FB marketplace. The human I purchased it from seemed very lovely and tested it's size out for me with their Barbera Streisand album. So I was rather pleased with my purchase and it serves to be the perfect space for what I needed.


That corner of the mirror that I said was cracked. You would never know it. After some creative draping of one of my signature colors, and some led's, it just looks majestic as fuck.

.................................Decorating Total $81.35






Yeah, if you can count worth a damn. You already see that I have exceeded the allotted budget of $1,000.00. I mean I said I had a budget. I never said I was successful at adhering to it LMMFAO. I can say though that I am 85% complete with the space. Just have a few final little details that will come with time. Like putting up photos and posters of Burlesque and Kink Icons. And adding my media wall. But right now it's at reveal and ready for use level, I am roughly $275 over the total budget. So I think I did pretty damn good if I do say so myself.






I got EXACTLY what I wanted after all and still have all my organs and blood! Yes I am going to be opening it up for rental and classes. Stay tuned for rates and availability calendar to come.


#StudioRemodel #HomeStudio #Burlesque #BurlesqueStudio #StudioSpace #PolyGlamorousGoddessofBurlesque #DIY











We had been looking for houses here in Denver for months and finally found one that fit. Once we found it and put in the offer things took off from there. And when I say it was a FAST process, whew doggie...in 60 days we signed, packed and moved! When we moved into our house in July of last year, it was amidst a whirl wind of me being on a mini-tour and us having 2 houses and 2 dogs to move across multiple state lines. I think I was in the Kootenay's when Dale was heading here with both anxious dogs and a trailer in tow with me to follow a few days later via plane. Once on the ground I was here to receive the shipping crates and guide movers on placement of boxes before hopping back on the road. Only to go and injure myself (a whole other story and post of reflection to come eventually) to the point of needing surgery. So here we are, 6+ months into residency, my recovery is almost complete and I'm now ready to make this house a Home.


It has taken me about a month, in total, to get to this point in the process. As of this past week (2/6/20) I am about 90% done with my office/sewing/dressing room. And this coming weekend will get a start on the room that will be my in home studio.


Office/Sewing/Dressing Room:

This space is where I will likely spend the bulk of my days. So I wanted to make sure it was comfortable and reflective of who I am professionally and personally. In all honesty those two things mesh together so well that it makes it easy for me to design around.


Findings along the way:

It's funny how you find so many treasures when you are going through boxes that contain your life. Amongst baby pictures and knick knacks and memories I found some research and a final paper from my undergrad days. Gender & Sexuality and the nuances that come with these terms has always (and will continue) been an active part of my understanding the world around me. Behavioral and Societal Studies is kinda my thing! Believe you me when I say it's something that has benefited me, and others around me, immensely on this journey of self discovery and Burlesque. All more of which I plan to slowly unpack over a few blogs or so to come.

Next up is THE STUDIO! This is where I'm about to hit a proverbial wall of getting what I want versus getting what I can afford! Tis an endless quandary in my life. #EtherealWorldProblems #DIY #ThePolyGlamorousGoddessOfBurlesque


 

Take a gander!

The last 4 images below are the completed, minus a few minor items to hang, space. Welcome into my world!!



The prior year was filled with lots of accomplishments, feats and blessings that I am very grateful to say were my life. When I began my Burlesque journey I had no idea what it would bring me by way of fulfillment, friendship, knowledge and overall happiness. So much so that it has quickly become such a part of my being that I couldn't imagine not being able to perform and produce it. Not only am I finding my place on stages locally (Mpls. and soon to be debuting in Denver) but I have had the honor to TRAVEL MY ASS OFF in this first year plus of Burlesque and make unbelievable gain and connections. Far beyond what my heart or desire could have expected.


So I think it's only proper that I take some time to make some Intentions for where I want my Stripping & Skills to bring me in 2020.


  • Rehabilitate and regain full mobility of my knee

  • Maintain website and drive traffic from FB

  • Overall Improvement & commitment to Self Care

  • Set up Home Studio

  • Complete 2 new Costumes

  • Develop 2-3 new Acts

  • Seek out Choreography Collaborations

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  • Reconfigure/Develop- Rock Goddess Act

  • Bring new Melanated Ménagerie phase out in February.

  • Produce some Black Ass Shows!

  • Get on Denver Stages!

  • Burlypics Submission

  • Submit to 3-5 Festivals

  • Headline/Feature in my first festival or show


These are where I will leave it for now and not set my expectations too grand lol. I have found that I do actually need sleep here and there! I'm ready to keep getting it...are you?




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