(February 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California) Whip me, beat me, make me wear cheap shoes, but don’t make me miss the Pin-Down Girls! The Pin-Down Girls are a super sexy, sometimes silly dance company that everyone from 18 to infinity and beyond needs to experience at least multiple times. They are 10 hot, classically trained dancers, all with extensive stage and screen experience, all of whom gives them a wonderful kind of performance confidence that extends an invitation to play for anyone who’s watching.
I was able to pin down some of the PDG for a quick chat about their upcoming performance at Live Arts LA on February 25th and 26th. I think I knew that the answers to my questions would all begin with a version of “because we love what we do,” but I wanted more than that.
Melissa Berry: First of all, tell me the idea behind the group’s name…
Pin-Down Girls: It’s pretty literal! We wanted to take a more cheeky approach and not brand ourselves something typical like “The Pin-Up Girls” or another name that suggested we are a burlesque dance company. The Pin-Down Girls very literally and figuratively means we pin you down with our dancing, with our style, our personality, and our approach to entertain you. Of course we are not afraid to literally pin someone down either!
MB: With a name like that, there’s a lot to live up to. How do you do what you do as Pin-Down Girls?
PDG: We aren’t afraid to take risks and try new things. We really aim to incorporate all dance styles, which is why it’s hard to label us. People always ask “what kind of dancing is it?” and that’s the hardest question we have to answer. It’s sexy, contemporary, jazz with some modern and lyrical influences sprinkled with some hip-hop, throw in a little tap and flamenco influences, topped off by ballet and a little bit of burlesque influence and you have The Pin-Down Girls! Or a portion of what we are anyway.
MB:What does your dance background and training consist of?
PDG: Everything! We all have very diverse backgrounds and come from many different experiences and training backgrounds. From Scottish Highland dancing to flamenco, to classically trained in ballet…we really all have explored the gamut when it comes to dance.
MB:It looks like your dancing diversity is a match with your ethnic diversity.
PDG: Yes! That’s the beauty of the company--almost every ethnicity is represented. We are really proud that we have such diversity and that we can speak to a broad fan base and audience.
MB: How did you all get started as The Pin-Down Girls?
PDG: We started with an invitation to perform at The Playboy Mansion, which was our first big break. After that, we took a very grassroots approach and started producing and marketing our own shows. We worked really hard making a name for ourselves in the Ventura and Santa Barbara market, where this style of dance, or dance in general, is not over-saturated.
MB: What is it that captures your audience the way you do?
PDG: It’s entertaining, it’s sexy, it’s suggestive without being raunchy, it takes you on a journey that’s witty, funny, and just damn right enjoyable! Women eat it up and leave inspired to tap into their inner Pin-Down girl.
MB: Who exactly is your audience?
PDG: Anyone and everyone, really. The age ranges from 18-60s and beyond. We aim to make it appealing to the masses.
MB: So basically your audience appeal is that there’s “something for everyone”…
PDG: Absolutely! The audience becomes…very liberated. Lots of hooting and hollering and screaming and yelling. Men and women…everyone takes away something that they can relate to or that makes them feel excited and inspired. They appreciate the lighthearted approach, and they are able to let loose and really enjoy the dancers and the work. They don’t have to figure out some “master code” and can enjoy the work for what it is. An evening of explosive dancing, laughter and fun!
MB: What do you enjoy most about being in The Pin-Down Girls?
PDG: Dancing! Not to mention the camaraderie between all of the girls. We are lucky to really love each other, which makes the dancing that much better! As a woman, the choreography is really empowering, and it’s such a rush to perform on stage with such an amazing group of strong, beautiful women. We all offer something unique, and it really makes for an amazing experience.
This amazing experience can be yours when The Pin-Down Girls perform their first full-length show in Los Angeles on Feb 25th and 26th at Live Arts LA. This performance of "Sexy Slogans" will include extended material by company member Melissa Schade. They’re being joined by Dakaboom, who will be opening for them. Edgy music-driven comedy duo Dakaboom is two guys with mics and a piano doing comedy that collides musical genres including jazz, pop, opera, hip-hop, musical theatre, and a cappella.
Pre-Show at 8:30 p.m.
The Pin-Down Girls at 9:00 p.m.