Going H.A.M. At The Dirty Ball

Achievement: #63. Dirty Ball

If you’ve been, you know, and if you haven’t, you should. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is now officially time to GET DIRTY.

That’s right: the annual fabulous Dirty Ball was last weekend, and we (of course) were there. If you’re one of the ‘haven’t been,’ I’ll explain. The Dirty Ball is the yearly fundraiser for Attack Theatre, an awesome dance company here in Pittsburgh (if you’ve been to a local event like the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Gallery Crawl, or First Night, you’ve probably seen these guys). Fifty bucks gets you your ticket, and your ticket gets you a night of free food, booze, dancing, dance-spectating, and beautiful, awful, wonderful, shocking outfits.

You may recall our first trip to the Dirty Ball last year, when we were just naïve, ambitious bloggers with no idea what to expect.

This year, we knew what to expect, and believe me, we were better prepared.

(Or, at the very least, I was. Michael totally refused to participate in my epic multi-week costume planning journey.)

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I had decided, pretty much halfway through the 2011 Dirty Ball, that I would stop at nothing to ensure that I had a tutu for the 2012 Ball. As every dancer knows, you need a dress rehearsal before the recital, so I tried the whole ensemble on (including makeup) the night before the Dirty Ball. In the style of my favorite fashion blogger:

Corset: Costume World
Tutu: Tough Girl Tutus
Choker: custom made by my mum
Hair flowers and earrings: Claire’s
Fingerless lace gloves: Hot Topic
Shoes: Bloch ballet slippers, circa 1996, from The Dancers Pointe

(While I loved being able to get the majority of my costume from local shops, I want to especially take a moment to thank Grace and Cher from Tough Girl Tutus for their amazing work! Grace is 7 years old and makes these tutus with her mum for charity. Part of the cost of each tutu goes to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and part goes to the Children’s Hopsital of Pittsburgh. The tutus are all custom-made and come with unique, beautiful flowers. You pick the colors and length of the tutu, and then just set up a time to pick it up. They were SUPER fast, and I was so thrilled with the product. Grace is trying to sell 50 tutus by her birthday in July, so if you think you will need a tutu for any upcoming event – not too late to plan for the 2103 Dirty Ball! – please check out their website. They can make tutus for little girls or grown-up girls alike!)

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Once I was in costume and we arrived in the Strip, there was the issue of getting from the car to the event… dressed like a ballerina. Luckily, we were the only ones in the elevator, and I reassured myself that we were close enough to the PBT rehearsal space that people were used to seeing ballerinas wandering Penn Ave all the time…

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A stamp on the wrist, picking up our ‘I’ve got 2 Dirty Balls under my belt’ pin, and we were on our way!

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Things were a little low-key when we showed up, as everyone was still getting into the Dirty Ball zone, dancing to the sounds of the fantastic Gordy and J Malls (the guys who DJ our favorite monthly dance party, Titletown).

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There was art being made (trying to find out this guy’s name, because I SWEAR I saw him do a live painting performance at a choreographer showcase back in 2003ish)…

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…yummy treats to be eaten…

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…and of course, all the vodka, wine, and beer you could ask for.

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(Here’s the real truth about dancers: we can EAT. Well, at least I could certainly eat back in my competitive dancing days. Ahh, to be young again, right??)

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There were SO many great outfits, but I was unfortunately a little too wrapped up in dancing to remember to take pictures of everything. I did, however, run into my friend Phil, who was wearing this HAWT leather vest he picked up at Eons. Love it!

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Oh, and I did manage to get the entire gay baseball team to pose for me, which took a few attempts, since there were so many of them in costume lol. Loved these outfits too!

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(You will notice that my husband is dressed entirely normally. We’re going to have to fix that for 2013, right everyone? Totally going to start a ‘pick Michael’s Dirty Ball costume’ online poll soon…)

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This year, in place of the dirty chalkboard of last year, there was this nifty computer screen you could write all over. Naturally, I hit it with my signature tag.

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Then I tried to draw a fox, but apparently, it came out looking like a cat. This is why I’m a writer, and not an artist.

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It wouldn’t be the Dirty Ball without amazing dance performances. This year, there were two stages set up with shows running simultaneously (which made things really interesting for the finale!)

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And before we knew it, it was time for the fashion show! I’d venture to say that more than half of the attendees come in costume, and the fashion show is the perfect chance to flaunt what you’ve got! Even if you were, say, an underwear spelunker (boy does THAT sound dirty).

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We were supposed to come out in pairs, and I was paired up with this girl, and we were instructed to ‘really play up the t***y factor’. (She looked at my chest, then looked at hers, then looked at me and said, “Yeah, we shouldn’t have a problem there.”) Somehow, our line got messed up, and everyone ended up going out separately, but I had to share the picture of my should-have-been fashion show partner in crime 🙂

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The classic ‘angel and devil on your shoulder’ theory, embodied as a Dirty Ball ensemble.

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Annnnnnd there you have it, I can officially never run for public office.

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(Performance: it’s a lifestyle.)

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After the fashion show, it was time for the finale dance, which is traditionally “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. However, this year, they decided to do a ‘dance duel’, between the two stages across the floor. The incredibly talented dancers of Attack Theater covered all the classic dance movies: Flashdance…

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Chicago

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Grease

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(More Grease, I just couldn’t pick which picture was my favorite!)

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…and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. (Okay, not really a dance movie, but they did the “Tequila” scene, just changing the word to vodka. Pretty awesome.)

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But it was only a matter of time before it was decreed: there must be Dirty Dancing. And so there was, and it was good, and we all had the time of our lives.

(This is about the time when I became emotionally overwhelmed with the dancing, and the tutu-wearing, and the aftermath of that moment when I was in the fashion show and kind of sort of up on stage in front of people again, and I was like, ‘YES IT IS ALL CLEAR, I MUST RETURN TO THE DANCE STUDIO, THERE IS NO OTHER WAY’ and thankfully, Michael was like, “Okay honey, you’re at about a 13 right now, we’re going to bring it down to a 9 and go dance,” and so we did, which is the reason I don’t have any more awesome pictures of everyone’s clothes. My bad.)

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I did have to pose under the sign outside in my tutu. Just, you know, to prove I was actually at an event where you would wear a tutu, and not just… in my living room, with my similarly-attired friends.

So, Dirty Ball 2012 was a success. I liked the location of the 2011 DB better, simply beause it was more open – this time, the bars were in the center of the space, and people were kind of separated into little groups around the room, which meant you weren’t getting the full intermingling experience. But other than that, we had a blast. Gordy and J Malls were superb as usual, the drinks were good, the dancing was top-notch, and any event that allows me to wear a tutu in public is just awesome all around.

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Even if someone was a little jealous she couldn’t join us in a tutu of her own. 🙂

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