Before we start, tell us about yourself, AIDS Walk and your goals for this year.
I feel like my life has been split into two worlds for so long… My professional and my personal lives didn’t intersect until the past few years. By day, I am the HIV Prevention and Education coordinator for the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. I have the honor of educating others on how to practice safer sex and how to protect the people they love. Before working at the RCC, I was a makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics… But I feel like I have finally found what I am meant to do with my life. By night, I get to be a completely different person… Stephanie Nicole le Dream (or as my youth group calls me “Safe Sex Stephanie.”) I get to dance around and make people smile (and sometimes cry) while raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. I feel like my two worlds have combined into a beautiful mosaic… Full of amazing people. I am currently fundraising for the SF AIDS Walk. Last year, with the help of the Twirly Girls I was able to raise $8,000 and fulfill my promise to do the entire 6.2 mile walk in 6″ red pumps. I am trying to beat that this year and have just under $2,000 left to go! If I can beat $10,000 I will do the walk in full drag. The best part of all of this is that 100% of the money I raise comes back to fund my work at the RCC to ensure that no one goes thru what I went thru.
[Note from Lori: If you are able to donate, please visit www.tinyurl.com/jimmygale]
How did you find Twirly Girls?
Well, during a drag show I was filmed by a beautiful and talented woman that I had never met. When she posted my videos on Facebook I was like, ” Who the heck is Lori Myers?” We became more than friends… She is like a sister. (In fact we are the same height!) Lori introduced me to the world of Pole Dancing. I had a lot of ideas about what pole dancing was… But after meeting Bel and her girls… I fell in love with pole dancing. Being a man, I had never felt so sexually liberated. That first year, I made my performance debut at the Lovely Rita Fundraiser… And it is one of the most fun performances I have ever done!
How long have you been a Twirly Girl?
I think I have been involved with TG’s for almost 2 years… Even tho I can’t always make it to class because of my hectic schedule, I have always been treated like family. I am proud to wear my “OTG” shirt whenever I can! (I especially love the weird looks I get in public!)
Did you pole dance before becoming a TG?
Never! I had always thought that pole dancers had to be super skinny… The idea of me on a pole didn’t fit with what I thought pole dancers should look like. But now, I truly believe that everyone should try it… It is a fun way to let off some steam AND have fun!
I go to the Monday night class, and usually drop in to others when time permits. I am really fortunate to have Lori teaching my class… She is patient and doesn’t mind taking the extra time to ensure that each of us feel at home and comfortable. If I could do something about these sweaty hands (or “greezy” like my friend Yolanda calls them), I would be the next Phillip Deal!
Which move were you most excited to nail?
For me, not falling on my face was a huge accomplishment! Rita taught me this beautiful transition into a backwards drop… Its my favorite! I really want to invert tho… But I have a long way to go! Everytime I see Shelly Lamb or Bel do it I am completely amazed! The way they have turned pole into ballet is truly beautiful… That is my ultimate goal!
Have you taken any workshops? Which was your favorite?
Not yet, but I have been really blessed to have some private sessions with Bel… She is hardcore! She doesn’t take no for an answer because she knows that we can do it. I really want to try silks tho…
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
It would have to be “Let’s Have a Kiki” or “Skin This Cat”, both by the Scissor Sisters. “Kiki” is all about the secret language of “drag”… And it just makes me giggle. “Cat” is just so sexy that it MUST be a pole routine!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Disneyland! I go like 10 times a year. When life gets stressful and I’m about to crack… Give me a corn dog, ride my favorite “Haunted mansion” and some fireworks… And I am completely restored. Oh, and GLITTER!