29 Nov 2009

Foray to Folkestone for Burlesque

Off to sunny Folkestone two Fridays ago for a splendid night of Frills and Frolics courtesy of Skinny Pete Productions. We poured ourselves into our little black outfits and went to see a number of experienced burlesque performers do their thing. This was mainstream burlesque, i.e. women in gorgeous outfits using witty or sensual storylines to support the fine art of stripping down to nipple tassels and thongs. It's not what we do, but it's still great to watch.

What was a nice surprise is that the event was in no way sleazy. There's no overlay here of desperate men ogling women they would never in their wildest dreams be able to get close to, nor is there that rather nasty hint that you get in strip clubs of women being objects that are bought and sold for male sexual pleasure. These women are utterly in charge of the experience and take off their clothes with humour and panache. The audience is mixed with a lot of couples having a great time together - no braying, alcohol-fuelled men shouting "get 'em off!" and no hints of borderline prostitution. Highly recommended!

Ladies, if ever you want to see what burlesque can do for your body confidence, go to an event like this. You'll see women of all kinds of shapes and sizes doing their burlesque thing in public with great aplomb. No size zeros here - just ordinary women looking good and demonstrating that each of us is sexy in our own way. The gorgeous women who come to our classes tell us that this is part of the reason that they come - strutting your stuff in a slinky little outfit while learning a sexy dance routine in a safe environment does amazing things for confidence....as well as being a laugh.

End of term approaches for us in a couple of weeks. More soon about plans for the new year - new routines; new nights out to see other women do their burlesque stuff....and definitely an excuse for shopping for new outfits!

Yours, in satin and lace,

Burlicious x

11 Nov 2009

Music to strut your stuff by

So, you're all glammed up and ready to go...what music do you choose? It's both harder and easier to find good tracks to dance burlesque to than you might think. What makes it easier is that lots of different styles of music work - smoky jazz from basement clubs; slinky ballads by suggestive songstresses; dicso hits from our misspent youth; and raunchy tracks by powerful female singers.

What makes it harder is that the beat really matters. We've found that you need a slightly slower beat than you might imagine if you don't want to be scuttling around the floor in your heels looking like you're trying to catch up. You need a beat that lets you accentuate your hip movements and take pplleeeeenty of time to draw attention to your body.

So, what are we using? Well, we started off with a version of Big Spender - good strong beats and lots of lazy bits (think of that long drawn out "spend a little time with me"). Then we went onto something darker and more dramatic - the tango version of Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. This son'g subject material is spot on and it gives us the chance to spice things up with a few tango-style moves. Next, we're onto Big Bad Handsome Man which is more flirty and flippy. All the tracks we're using are on "Hear Burlicious" under the "I want to go shopping!" heading to the left.

Next term....ah well, who knows?! We've almost completed the design of a dance to Lady Marmalade, and we have a couple of other likely front runners to test drive. Watch this space!

Yours, in looooong black gloves,

Burlicious x

1 Nov 2009

Is burlesque for me?

Ah, now, that's a very good question. You'll know from the previous post that our definition of burlesque is about learning some great dance routines; dressing the showgirl part; and removing very little clothing while we dance. Might this be your kind of thing?

It's fair to say that most women come to class for the first time in some trepidation as they just don't know what to expect. However, here are some of the things that they have said at the end of the first class:

"I feel twenty years younger!"
"This is absolutely me!"
"When I come to class I stop being a wife and a mother of two"
"It's really liberating"
"What a fantastic excuse to go shopping!"
"This has been the most amazing boost to my confidence!"

So, who would enjoy our kind of class?

Well, if you're a woman who loves to dance and doesn't have enough opportunities to do so, this is for you. If you have a collection of slightly risque pieces of clothing that you no longer wear, here's your chance to slink back into them and strut your stuff. If you like having a laugh with a bunch of other women in a very friendly and supportive environment, you'll enjoy this. If your inner showgirl is drawn to buy clothing that is more sequins and satin than staid, sensible, and suitable for Tesco, you've found your natural place. Burlesque is just a great opportunity to wear clothes you can't wear anywhere else and to look gorgeous while you dance with a great group of women.

Dance burlesque and go home on a natural high!

Yours, in fishnets,

Burlicious xx

What do we mean by burlesque?

Whenever one of us says to someone "I run a burlesque dance class" we know we need to follow up immediately by saying "...but it's not what you think. We don't strip. The most we ever take off is a boa and some gloves." It's clear that, for most people, burlesque means doing a striptease to music, all the way down to a couple of nipple tassels and a thong. That's not what we do. However, if you take a trip around youtube looking for burlesque clips, that's what you'll see most frequently.

Other people understand burlesque to be like old fashioned music hall - a series of variety acts like singers, comedians, maybe a contortionist, and including at least one glamour piece in which a woman removes her clothes.

Both these definitions are right...but they don't describe what we do.

Our burlesque class is more about dancing than stripping. We teach dance routines that use some fabulous, sexy moves and that might lead up to peeling off our gloves and boa. To get into the mood, the gorgeous women that come along to our class dress up in whatever makes them feel good - fishnets and heels; basques and corsets; little sequin shorts; cheeky little skirts and dresses. Every one of them finds her own style and outfit. It's an opportunity to wear the kind of "look at me" outfit that some of us haven't worn for decades and to dance some glamorous and seductive routines. What more could a girl want?!

Yours, in feathers,

Burlicious xx

Shopping Burlicious

So, one of the first questions we're asked is "where can I buy my boa and gloves?". Have a look at "Wear Burlicious". You'll see there a range of gorgeous stuff. Everything we put up here has been tried and tested by us.

So, the boas are available in a range of colours. Unlike some of the cheaper boas on the market, they're nice and full. They're also a good length for burlesque dancing - they stretch comfortably from hand to hand when you have your arms out wide and look great being trailed seductively along the floor. And, for those of you with longer legs, these boas are long enough to enable you to step over one easily before sliding it coyly up between your legs!

On first wear you get an average amount of feather shedding. We'll let you know later how these boas perform over time.

Now, the gloves. These gloves are not evening glove quality. They're thin and quite big in the hand. However, they're good for burlesque...unless you have tiny hands. They're long; they look good from a distance; they come off easily; and they're cheap enough that you're not heartbroken if you sling them moodily to the ground and one of your fellow showgirls tramples them. A pragmatic buy!

Over the next few months we'll be seeking out other burlesque accessories - masks; canes; maybe top hats. We'll let you know what we find!

Yours gorgeously,

Burlicious x




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