Mommy Fearist introduces her students to her darker side Mommy Fearist introduces her students to her darker side
“Hey Miss Erin, when are you going to write about scary stuff and dance?” I’ve never been a person that fits neatly inside a... Mommy Fearist introduces her students to her darker side

“Hey Miss Erin, when are you going to write about scary stuff and dance?”

I’ve never been a person that fits neatly inside a box. Growing up as a dancer I was the odd ball who wasn’t into princess fluff and fairies. As I grew older I had an affinity towards the dark and macabre with a dash of feathers and rhinestones for added flair. A couple years ago I was inspired by a maze at Knott’s Scary Farm and decided to take a risk with one of my competitive dance groups.

My husband, who finds a lot of music for me, suggested a piece from one of the Spiderman films. When I heard it, I imagined a deranged scientist in a doll factory. I began to introduce the students with some off the wall choreography. I told them to think of movement that would induce fear into the audience. Anything unsettling and awkward would do the trick. I was impressed that a group of young teenagers were able to grasp the mood that I was going for.

The choreography matched the music that ebbed and flowed through the diminuendos and crescendos.

The kids were really getting into it. As their first competition loomed in the near future and they tried on their costumes I felt as though something crucial was missing. I took a page from my own twisted mind and a few nights before competition, my husband and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning painting masks. We stood back in our kitchen with a dozen or so masks laying on our counter and gazed upon them with smiles. It was creepy and it was perfect.

The students were fired up about the new addition to their costumes. It was a challenge for them to reach down and find their inner spookiness. For any of the doubters, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they conveyed the emotions that I wanted them to portray. Children in the lobby would shrug back from them. Parents would comment on how scary they were or how uncomfortable the masked dancing dolls made them feel.

 

Time and time again they would take the stage and judges at the competition would make comments on how creepy the piece was. It was an oddly successful competition season where I was able to make two worlds collide. It has been a few years and people are still talking about “that creepy doll dance.” Every time I see a porcelain doll with a distant, unsettling look in her eyes it doesn’t freak me out any more. It makes me smile.

erin@misserin.net'

Erin Jefferson

Erin Jefferson-Foley (Mommy Fearest) is terrified of scary movies, gore and zombies. But she loves all things Halloween and Haunt related! Slowly but surely she has been dipping her toes into the realm of horror movies with great results. Pretty soon she will work her way up to watching a scary movie when it is dark outside. Erin has had a love affair with theme park Halloween events for the past 20 years. Her first time at an event was at Knott’s Scary Farm in the late 80s when a family friend, a Knott’s employee, escorted her into the park to watch Elvira and give her a behind the scenes tour. She was intrigued as she walked through the break room and realized that they were just people in masks and makeup. It seemed like only a short time later, Erin was performing for Halloween Haunt which led to her meeting the love of her life, her husband. Each year she cheers on her husband and his friends as they set up and run a home haunt. You can catch her helping with line control and repeating the same instructions over and over and over to the guests each night. She has been a professional dancer and actress for over 20 years. When she is not in the studio teaching dance or in her office writing, you can catch Mommy Fearest with her husband and two kids at various conventions throughout California. She enjoys Cosplay, Star Wars, Renaissance Faires, Halloween, haunted attractions, paranormal happenings, special effects makeup and horrible reality television shows.

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