2021 is a new year and what better way to start than to get some top tips from Aussie performers?! This first blog post is from the wonderful Liberty Foxx - a burlesque performer from Melbourne and my bestie for 35 years! If you've ever wondered about the art of tassel twirling, Liberty is your go-to gal! Check out a little about her and her top ten tassel twirling tips below (her social media links at at the end of the post).
Hailing from Melbourne and twirling onto a stage near you, Miss Liberty Foxx is a truly unique performer. Miss Foxx is best known for her skills in twirling multiple tassels on different parts of her body, delighting audiences across Australia. With her sparkling stage presence, this foxxy lady is always full of surprises with her innovative style of comedic burlesque and her famously hypnotic hind quarters.
Here are Liberty's top ten tassel twirling tips from personal experience on what has worked for her:
1. Good quality pasties: if you are going to be twirling regularly your pasties will need to endure some wear and tear. I find that pasties with a plastic/3D printed base have the most longevity for having adhesives used on them multiple times. I personally prefer pasties that have a metal ring attached to the point so that I can use interchangeable tassels (good for when you have multiple acts in a show and have a quick change)’
2. Tassels: I personally find that tassels that are thicker/heavier are best for twirling as they have the additional weight assisting with the motion. Tassels can come in a variety of sizes and materials both fixed and removable. You can easily beef up your existing fringe tassels by gluing or sewing extra fringe layers on to the tassel and adding rhinestones for extra weight and sparkle.
3. Adhesives: My advice for selecting the perfect adhesive is firstly to test options on your skin. Skin health comes first! When I started twirling I couldn’t find a lot of information on the best adhesives to use and had to do a lot of trials until I found what worked for me. From my experience and conversations with other performers, the most frequently used products are sprit gum (always a good idea to have a remover handy for after the show), toupee tape and pros-aid (in a former life I did SFX makeup in film so was lucky to have these items in my kit to experiment with). I personally tape up all my pasties with toupee tape
4. Skin care – pre twirling: I am pretty meticulous about what goes on to my skin in prepping it for stage makeup and in general and it’s no different when it comes to prepping my skin for tassels to be adhered.
As you are prepping your skin for the adhesive to hold your pasties on, the key is to have a balance of moisturised but not greasy skin.
In the lead up to a show I will make sure I moisturise after showers with a light body lotion up until about 1-2 days before the show (dependant on your skin type of course). On show day I will avoid moisturisers on areas of my skin that I will be attaching pasties for twirling. If you are a fake tanner, apply your tan at least a few days before the show so you can still get a good moisturise in post-tan application and avoid being too greasy for show day.
5. Skin care – post twirling: adhesives can be harsh on the skin so make sure you be kind to your skin and moisturise to aid in recovery. When I have had a run of multiple shows in a row (like in fringe festivals) I have even used Bepanthen ointment on my nips to help with recovery (which I have also used to help heal tattoos).
6. Twirling: this is the fun part! Once you have your chosen adhesive and sparkly pasties, get in front of the mirror and get twirling. The two most commonly performed twirling methods are boob tassels and assels (twirling off your bum).
For traditional tassel twirling (on your boobies), some people like to use the ‘jumping’ option which works but if you are doing extended twirling I find that can hurt your boobies! My personal boob tassel twirl preference is the ‘shimmy’. For maximum twirling I like to lift up my chest bring my shoulders back and elbows in to my sides and shimmy away! For assels, the general go to is the ‘speed running’ option which can be optimised by arching your back and sticking out your booty!
There are also plenty of other tricks for making tassels spin different ways and in different poses but we would end up with a short novel if I went in to detail about other ways of twirling!
7. Spinning on unusual areas: most pasties aren’t designed to be on areas of the body that aren’t nipples! In more recent times, I am seeing pasty-makers creating specific ‘assels’ pasties which have a lower profile base which definitely helps adhere the pasty to the skin as more surface are of the skin is in contact with the adhesive/pasty. A great option if you prefer!
8. Practice, practice, practice: there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to successfully twirling and doing tassel twirling tricks (what a tongue twister!). The best way to try this out is practicing in front of a mirror to ensure they are twirling how you want them to.
9. Show day pasty prep: I am a bit of a boy scout and like to prepare as much as possible for a show before I leave my house to go to a venue. I personally like to tape up all my pasties prior to going to a show with an extra pair taped up just in case and some extra tassels and a roll of tape packed in with my costume.
10. Post show maintenance: Frequently used pasties can take a real beating so be sure to remove your adhesive from the back of your pasties after a show. I find that my most frequently used pasties and tassels require a bit of TLC after shows I have my glue and extra rhinestones at the ready for post-show maintenance.
Follow Liberty on socials here: Facebook Page