Photo: Philippe Vogelenzang
Miss Viqui is often the first person a student will encounter when telephoning the academy for information. Her lovely, polite voice, sets the tone for your future encounters. Miss Viqui expects you to be a gentleman and a lady and will settle for nothing less. She helps to plan the student’s curriculum with Miss Vera. Miss Viqui was taught by her mom how to cook and to sew and she can teach you to do the same. She grew up in a household where the ladies always stopped for their afternoon tea break. She teaches tea party etiquette. Miss Viqui is also a graphic artist who was graduated from Parsons School of Design and has studied in Italy. Along with Miss Vera, Miss Viqui designed the academy crest and she designs many other academy visuals. Her first book is called, “Absolutely Angels”. She helps to make your experience heavenly.
Licensed Cosmetologist and Professional Make-Up Artist. Miss Deborah applies make-up with the lightest stroke, as if a feather brushed over the face. “You can always add more”, says Miss Deborah as she instructs our girls. Miss Deborah is “the queen of tweeze” in her crusade to remove stray brow hairs. “Just a few and no one will know the difference, You will just look well-rested.” Miss Deborah is also a fashion maven who knows how to pull an outfit together. She is a woman of great taste and style. She knows how to accessorize...the perfect jewelry, scarf, etc. She loves to go on shopping sprees with you girls and help you to find that one perfect accessory that might be missing or outfit you from head to toe. Miss Deborah can walk into the ladies’ department and within minutes zoom in on the outfits that will be just right for you.
Miss Kate, our Dean of Hearts, lives another life outside the Academy as Kate Bornstein: author, performance artist, columnist, actress, and girl about town right here in New York City. Due to the popularity of her three books, Gender Outlaw, My Gender Workbook, and the novel she wrote with Caitlin Sullivan, Nearly Roadkill, Kate tours North American campuses with an edutainment evening of slam poetry, monologues, and strange theories on gender. As a matter of fact, Miss Kate and Miss Barbara tour together in a piece they call, “Two Tall Blondes Do Sex, Death and Gender”.
Here at Miss Vera’s, our Dean of Hearts teaches basic and advanced classes in Wardrobe and Voice. Miss Kate is a post-operative transsexual, so she can also answer any questions you might have regarding that kind of girl. She also teaches advanced courses in “Opening Your Girl Heart”, “Discovering Cute”, and “Finding Fabulous”. Miss Kate’s specialty, however is as your teacher/companion either out on the town or within the Academy walls, where her gentle conversation and companionship make your experience here truly rewarding.
Miss Maryanne brings her experience in ballroom dancing to the art of walking in high heels. After receiving an M.A. in Dance Education from Columbia University Teachers College, Miss Maryanne decided that the world of ballroom dancing-rhinestones, sequins, feather boas, romantic music, moving in the arms of a partner-sounded more fun than teaching modern dance at a college. The opportunities have been many and varied. Participation in competitions around the country for several years brought rewards and trophies but teaching has been Miss Maryanne’s primary focus. She has been affiliated with many studios in the city, teaching both social and competition style ballroom to large groups, couples and individuals; taught social dance for credit at Hunter College; currently teaches social dance and swing at the New School; briefly taught dancing and etiquette to children in private schools in Bronxville, NY and Southport, Ct.; does a regular gig at the Yale Club; was invited by her undergraduate alma mater, Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, to teach mambo at the reunion weekend; and has produced many dance teachers currently working in the field. All of this is background for learning how to move with confidence and grace in high heels. Sometimes the technique of rumba will create just the right walk for the right situation.
Barbara Carrellas is a sex educator, sex positivist and pleasure activist. She offers a holistic, metaphysical, practical, humorous and entertaining approach to conscious sexuality. Miss Barbara’s goals include helping students of the Academy to take the knowledge and energy inspired by her instruction and integrate it into their daily lives, whether in the boardroom or the bedroom.
After a long and successful career in the New York theatre, Miss Barbara turned the focus of her work and her art to sexual healing and sex as a spiritual path. She has facilitated countless healing circles and support groups for women, men, transsexuals, artists, and people with life-threatening illnesses. For four years she was a facilitator and on the Board of Directors of the New York Healing Circle, which was founded in response to the AIDS crisis and incorporated the principles of Louise Hay’s work. As her workshops grew in popularity and in attendance her work expanded to include people from all walks of life and in all stages of their sexual evolution. And she is a perfect guide to help you in yours.
Miss Barbara has combined her experiences in Tantra, Tao, Quodoushka, Reiki, rebirthing, metaphysics, performance, ritual, herbal medicine, body work and erotic massage into unique and pioneering workshops that create a vision of what conscious and sacred sexuality can bring to an individual’s personal journey and to the healing of seuxal abuse and misuse on the planet. She will help you to soar to new heights of pleasure. Are you ready for the flight?
Miss Barbara has been featured in such sex positive videos as Selfloving, The Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop, and in the film Sacred Sex. She has also appeared on HBO’s Real Sex, Australian television’s Sex/Life and the documentary Sex In America. She collaborated with Annie Sprinkle, the Academy’s honorary Ph.D. in Pleasure, to present Metamorphosex and directed the Australian premiere of Annie’s renowned one woman show Post Porn Modernist.
Currently in the process of writing her own book, Miss Barbara has written numerous articles about sex and writes a monthly feature for the sex magazine, Over 40, highlighting the lives and wisdom of sexually mature women, including the stars of the “golden age” of porn. She has written and produced “The Pleasure Priniciple” a series of educational audio tapes. Miss Barbara has lectured at colleges and together with her partner Kate Bornstein, the Academy’s
, performs their gender-bending lecture performance piece, “Two Tall Blondes”. And they are. Their advice column is featured in Transgender Tapestry magazine.
Miss Barbara was recently named the best Tantric Sex Seminar Leader in New York City by Time Out Magazine. But here at the Academy you can luxuriate in her as your private tutor.
Miss Tiger is a classically trained ballerina. Her talent and love of the dance have won her professional placements and prizes. She’ll certainly keep you on your toes, Missy. While living in Florida, she was a soloist with the Florida West Coast Ballet Company and later, in Puerto Rico, ran her own studio. When on sabatical, she vacations at Noyes Rhythm Camp.
Miss Tiger has the training and the pointy stick that encourage you to stretch your limbs and your limits. You will emerge from her class ecstatic not simply because of the tutu placed perfectly at your hips but because Miss Tiger has released the grace you hoped and prayed was inside you, but until her lesson, you did not discover.
Of all of our deans, Miss Tiger is the most knowledgeable New Yorker, among her many talents, she is a licensed tour guide.
Miss Topaz is our newest faculty member, having worked for many years as a Legal Assistant for the American Civil Liberties Union, where she was very active in promoting the rights of all minorities: women, people of color, gays and lesbians and the transgendered community. Today, she focuses her attention largely on working and playing with gender illusionists. She was recently in a serious relationship with a cross-dresser for two years, and believes that she, herself, is a drag queen trapped in woman’s body. She is also a cabaret singer and performance artist, and frequently appears as Marlene Dietrich in drag. She was recently interviewed by Annie Sprinkle about her wild and diversified forays into sex, for the magazine Over 50. She also had a short story published in Prometheus, the magazine of The Eulenspiegel Society, which won Third Prize in their literary contest. The title is Life is Stanger Than Fiction and was about a serendipitous blind date with a cross-dresser.
Her credentials for her work at the Acdemy are best described by a recent admirer, who wrote:
much for -- for --
. You are as sweet and understanding as a ‘real’ lady can be. I hope some of this true womanliness rubs off on your students -- that’s the definition of a real gal: truth, understanding, tenderness.”
Amazing Grace: How to Walk, Sit and Pose in High Heels - A Walking Class for All Women
These integrated group walking classes are a delightful addition to Miss Vera’s academy curriculum. A unique and enlightening experience for all.
Spouses and Significant Others
Are you the wife or significant other (s.o.) whose man loves to wear a dress? There is so much more understood about the transgender phenomenon and crossdressing than was known at the time I created my academy. I encourage you not to live in the dark ages. Whether you crossdress or are the partner of someone who does, I can help.