Selena will change the image you might have of most dancers----for the better. First off she can really dance. This alone would rank her as a professional. Another thing........she is very organized and punctual thus defying the image of the drug imbibing bimbo strutting off to the stage to do lap dances on one man after the other. It is however true that most dancers go for the kind of man who look like they oozed out of a primordial swamp in a Transylvanian night mare movie. Not Selena....who would never look twice at such men.
Right off Jack knew she had to be different. And it all started that first night he went back to Visions. Had a few too many which is not that unusual for Jack, then went home to find something like thirty free passes to Visions in his pocket that had been signed....Selena.
Jack got this funny feeling real deep telling him--"she's out to promote both herself and her club. Smart woman. Probably is well respected by management. Have to keep a sharp look out for her."
Meanwhile he had been for the most part meeting a select group of dancers at Visions. He met very few of the meddlesome ones constantly badgering him for drinks that he had been meeting in other clubs. But one night Selena suggested: "Let's have a drink together, Jack." His reply........"I buy you one and you buy me one."
In a situation like this the dancer usually stalks off or comments that she's not about to buy a man a drink. But this was Visions and Visions was a very special kind of place. And Selena's one of these independent women with a mind of her own. "No problem Jack. What are you drinking?"
Then, one afternoon one of the girls brought in her art portfolio and was showing it to Jack. And while doing it told him Selena was a poet but kept her poetry to herself. The girl thought she was very good and Jack wanted to find out more. But there were no poems coming his way.
Until after Selena quit dancing and got online. Out of the blue he got an email from her and after an exchange of a few emails she sent him her first poems.
The idea then occurred to Jack to ask Selena to be the new woman of the month. She agreed on the phone and the pair started to make plans for a photo shoot. She had a 130 mile drive to do....one way.
But it was to be a very special weekend. Selena had big shoes to full as the new woman of the month....replacing last months who was none other than Lori, Jack's favorite bartender.
PlOne was visiting all the way from the San Francisco Bay area. The two men decided to pull out all the stops. Jack ordered a new digital camera, one with7 times the resolution of his Kodak and the duo then decided to go out shopping for a cam corder. It was time, Jack had decided, to break into video. He had his sidekick with him and had determined nothing could stop them.
New software in boxes littered the apartment, not to mention all the new hardware Jack had gotten. He didn't really know how to use any of it. Still.....PlOne and Jack headed out in the Miata to hunt down his favorite bartender Lori, as they started shooting their first video. They found her and an ex Visions dancer, Sahara, who lived close by. Then continued shooting the video. At six o'clock they were meeting Selena and her husband for dinner.
There was software to be loaded onto Jack's computer and they didn't get back from visiting Lori and Sahara until 5.30 PM. Loading the software caused them to be several minutes late for dinner Selena was there on time and already had a table lined up for the group. Which is one of the points we are making here. She's as dependable as a swiss watch and a leader.
The group headed back to the apartment after dinner. There Jack did his second video--a forty five minute interview of Selena. That's pretty long for an interview and why we have broken it up into several segments. Everyone started to discuss where the photo shoot should be held. Selena was in favor of having it at Platinum Club which is the first club she worked for. She was also good friends of the clubs General Manager, Frank Marsala and his wife Sherry. Jack had been hoping to do it at C-Mowes but agreed with Selena that the Platinum Club would be a magnificent scene to shoot pictures from.
Selena got busy on the phone. A call to Platinium established that it was very busy because of a feature entertainer performing there. Frank couldn't come to the phone right away so Selena and Jack agreed that things were looking pretty bleak for a photo shoot at Platinum. Now get this......in a situation like we have here your average woman (or male for that matter) would have handed the phone to Jack expecting him to make additional phone calls. But this was Selena and she's not typical, not average, and certainly no one's follower. "What's the phone number for C-Mowes?" she asks.
Suddenly she's talking to someone at the club. Jack calls out to her....."Be sure to ask for Willis" knowing that Willis is in charge if Cindy, the club's owner, is not there. Then when Willis comes to the phone she starts making her sales pitch.
"Hey....Ya gotta love a woman like this." One who's intelligent, poised, and not afraid to act. Willis tells Selena that the group cannot do a photo shoot until after 3 AM when the club closes the upstairs. That is the understanding Jack has with the club...to shoot upstairs when customers are not around since too many men do not want to be found out by their wives or employers for hanging around in topless-bottomless night clubs. Now 3 AM is on the late side...not the ideal time for an important photo shoot. Most women would either refuse to do it or bitch all the way to the club and all the way home. But this wasn't an ordinary woman. This was Selena and there were no complaints coming from her.
The group got to the club around 2:30, just in time for a drink or two before doing the pictures. Jack had his new Sony Camcorder along, his Kodak DC-40 that had taken over 3500 pictures of dancers and the new high resolution Ricoh digital camera. At 3 AM the club's DJ announced that all customers were to leave the upstairs but the club's downstairs would continue to be open. The small group headed upstairs where they were joined by Rose, one of the C Mowes girls.
Jack started doing digital stills using both cameras. Then took out the camcorder which he had very little experience using. PlOne had already gotten the first footage of Jack shooting stills of Selena up on the stage. The upstairs bartender had been a great help showing Jack where the lights switches were and cleaning up the mirrors behind the stage where the shoot was to take place.
Selena seemed very nervous at different times and had probably been on the edge when she forgot her outfits at Jack's apartment. But Rose was there.....and to the rescue, taking Selena to the dressing room where she let her put on one of her outfits. In spite of this setback things went smoothly thanks to Rose who can be seen in the picture below with Selena.
Jack had never shot video of a dancer on the stage before although he had much experience shooting digital stills. The new Sony was untested. Its microphone pickup was undetermined. Selena had him shoot while one song played, then she sat down at a little table to relax before resuming the shoot. With the club about to close, she didn't care for the music other girls below had selected for their stage performances.
This was to be expected from a professional. After all, she had gone through a great deal of trouble for this shoot and wanted it to turn out to be the best she was capable of.
For a fine dancer like Selena the feeling must have been like that an athlete has before starting a race or a boxer before entering the ring. Lesser women would have taken the matter lightly. Some would have not even bothered to show up.
But the women who make it to the top in this profession such as those who become successful features are hard workers who take their careers seriously. Like them, Selena is a cut above the rest of the pack. Just before the club closed she once more mounted the stage and finished dancing to one more song.
The performance itself-----in the balance. Certainly neither Jack nor Selena knew how good the shoot had been. And it was the first time a St Louis Metro East Club had ever staged and videoed a serious performance by a real entertainer, then put the whole thing on a web site to be enjoyed across the globe.
Once again the Lost Angels team had pulled one over on much better financed operations. No club had ever done what had been done here----thanks to a fine entertainer named Selena, a Washington Park Club called C Mowes, a dancer named Rose, Plone and Jack. Publications in the area that would like to think they are the last word as a publishing medium will soon realize that they are toast and are soon to be relegated to the dust bins of history for lack of imagination and style.
And as for Selena.........whether she chooses to come out of retirement to resume a dancing career or do something else with her many talents, the photography she just starred in, her interview, her stirring video, and the poetry we are thirsting to get more of, assure her to a certain hall of fame the most memorable dancers should have if such a thing is ever constructed and implemented.
Selena's dancing video as a guest performer at C-Mowes
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