I'm not sure if this is as opposite as two days can be from one another, but today I choose Valley Burlesque Society as one of Fresno's gems.
Most recently I saw VBS perform at the Fresno Beehive party, and the routines were great, a perfect combination of fun, tease and well, fun again.
Before you get all moral high-horsey on me and say "What? She chose stripping as one of her favorite things?!" I just want to clarify, burlesque isn't stripping. Its more of a playful and (mostly) tasteful removal of clothing. It brings back a lost art of waiting and anticipating but never quite seeing all that is there, leaving the best parts to the imagination. Its all in the tease.
Valley Burlesque Society teaches this art and holds performances several times a year, including participation in the Rogue festival. They welcome all women of any level of dance experience and body type, emphasizing that burlesque is for real women with real bodies.
What I love about this is that it is a way for the women of Fresno to feel empowered and sexy while being active. They don't require the Basics of Burlesque students to perform, though it is one of the perks, and students come away with knowledge of how to make a burlesque costume.
So next time someone complains that there is nothing cool to do in Fresno, point them to a Basics class, or one of their shows. I think they might change their tune before that first satin glove even falls to the ground.
(Image from the VBS website and blog.) (What, you were expecting N00DZ? You'll have to go to the show!)