28 Dec 2016

After our short break for the festivities, we'll be back to gorgeousness with a sprinkling of titters (now, now. That's "titters", as in: "silvery bell-like feminine laughter". What on earth were you thinking?) on Wednesday 4th January.

We're brushing off a bouncy little breeze of an old favourite that's perfect for the beginner, and we'll start teaching it from scratch next week.

Do join us - it's the perfect time!

Yours, hoping that our corset laces will take the strain,

Burlicious x

22 Dec 2016

And smile!

The last class of the winter term is always a delight. Often we'll have a Christmas theme to our outfits. This year, we Santa'd up a week prematurely and saved yesterday for a triumphant bit of dancing, followed by a photoshoot.

Now, it's fair to say that our little hall has many good points, but being photogenic ain't one of 'em. So the Sparkly Bra Pixie and I arrived at class clutching bags of furry throws, quilt covers, and lengths of pretty material to disguise our surroundings. Showgirls were pressed into service, just out of shot, to hold up lengths of material to cover up crappy plastic chairs. the dart board, old pipes, and sweet little Sunday school collages of the Three Kings and shepherds watching their sheep.

Over the next few months you'll see some of our work and snippets of the everyday, individual, genuine beauty of our gorgeous girls.

Have a fantastic break, Showgirls, and thank you so much for humouring us last night. Your beautiful bits are safe in our Burlicious hands!

Yours, rejoicing in the varied loveliness of real women,

Burlicious x

8 Dec 2016

Our philosophy, made tangible

You will have seen the photo clips that we use to adorn our site and our posts. Apart from a handful of guest appearances (and it really is a handful), every single one of those photos that we have used over the seven years of this blog is a photo of a Burlicious showgirl... or a photo of a part of her.

This is really important to us. It's a regular demonstration of our core belief, which is that every single one of us is beautiful in some way.

We have never subscribed to the view that there is just one kind of beauty. We're unimpressed and frustrated by the increasingly sexualised, commercialised and homogenised role models that are offered up as being what all women should aspire to be. We believe that women are beautiful in different ways and that they should recognise and love what makes them uniquely lovely.

So, showgirls, here's an idea. We're cantering to a close with our current routine and we have two dance classes left this term. Do any of you fancy using a chunk of our last class as a photoshoot? It's always been a giggle when we've done it before.

There would be no obligation to join in (or, indeed, for us to do this at all). Any pictures that we then use here on the blog will be edited so that you are anonymous (unless you tell us you want to be seen, which some of our lovely showgirls have already said!). Trust us, we are pretty good at seeing the gorgeous in you and in capturing that for posterity.

Have a think about it. And, in the meantime, feast your eyes again on the impossibly lovely legs of one of your troupe mates. :-)

Yours, proud of you all,

Burlicious x

1 Dec 2016

Havin' a giraffe

No, we're not talking about the long, lean legs of some of our showgirls.

Nor are we talking about a Burlicious zoo sponsorship scheme (although we're confident that the Voluptuous Jules would do almost anything if it meant that she could wear a really, really nice long tail).

We're talking about the absolute best bit of our weekly class, which is that it's all a bit of a laugh.

Thrilled though we are whenever we see our troupe of luscious showgirls stepping through the routine like absolute pros (that's "professionals", people, "professionals"), we get as much of a boost from seeing them collapse with laughter at some small mishap and then totter about aimlessly just giggling.

It's such a  nice position to be in. We're chuffed to bits when we see how gorgeously they can bring our steps to life and we're just as delighted when we see them b*ggering it up and having a whale of a time.

Of course, we may have to turn up the music to maximum to drown out the sound of showgirl snorting and cackling. :-)

Yours, smiling at the happy daftness of it all,

Burlicious x

24 Nov 2016

What goes down...

... seems to get up again rather more slowly.

We've reached the fabulous floor routine in "All That Jazz" and a showgirl mutiny is brewing.

Twist, they all go, smartly down onto one knee.

Sli-i-i-i-de, they all go as they sweep one leg behind them and get closer to the floor.

Plump, they all go, as each showgirl puts her lovely derriere on the ground.

And, open, a battery of showgirl legs swishes apart as we sit bolt upright on the floor, legs akimbo.

And then I have to persuade them to get up onto their feet again so that we can repeat that little run of moves over and over. That bit, it must be accepted, is a little bit less smooth in execution and the troupe is just a tad less willing!

We could provide physical walking aids, like zimmers, to ease the clambering-up process, but we think that might detract a bit from the glamour of the routine. Maybe the answer is to recruit some strong Burlicious Boys to sweep us to our feet? I can see that being a lot easier to sell as a solution.

Yours, touting for hefting talent,

Burlicious x

17 Nov 2016

Start the car, I know a whoopee spot...

... and All That Jazz.

Yes, our "All That Jazz" routine is back after a three year absence. We'll be all-that-jazzing in class until our garters break. Or for the next few weeks. Whichever comes first.

Our showgirls are already rouging their knees and rolling their stockings down, and whip-cracking their boa with aplomb (whoever she may be). This week we mastered:

  • tail-swishing;
  • (deliberate) boa dropping;
  • boa retrieval (harder than it looks);
  • and a bit of Father Dick, ahem, blowing the blues.
Next week, my lovelies, we shall repeat all of that and add on the absolutely delicious floor routine. Can't wait!

Yours, loving how this routine makes us smile like eejits,

Burlicious x

10 Nov 2016

Cooo-eeee! Early Christmas present!

OK showgirls present, past, future and those of you keen to stage your comeback, we're finally there - a new routine starts on Wednesday 16th November. 

Ease on those heels; tease on those fishnets; squeeze sexily into yer satins and sequins; fluff up yer feathers... we're off on a new adventure of glamour and delight and it will be really, really lovely to have you with us.

We had a ball finishing off our current routine last night. If we say so ourselves, it looks bee-yoooo-tiful. Now we're ready to strut our delicious stuff to a new tune. Well, we say new - it's an old favourite from three years ago and we can't wait to dust it down and see it shimmer and sparkle again.

Come and join us as an antidote to the run up to Christmas - it's the ideal time!

Yours, straining at the leash,

Burlicious x

3 Nov 2016

Teetering on the brink of perfection

Accidentally threading the heel of one little high-heeled, lace-up bootie through the ribbon loop of the other little lace-up bootie is not easy. It's harder still, once hobbled in this way, to dance without falling over.

Mistakenly popping the heel of one delicate dancing shoe into the slim gap between the instep of one's other foot and the side of that shoe isn't a breeze to do either. Similarly, it makes dancing while still upright a bit trickier.

Trickiest of all is hearing the little tinkle in the music that tells you when to get ready for the *!*@*!  #@1*^!* tip of the hat  move with which we finish this routine. Oooooh, but some showgirl faces last night were positively mutinous with crossness and frustration. Trust me, showgirls, that's exactly what we were like when we designed the darned thing! We feel your pain. We do.

What I love about times like this, however, is that, while you're busy growling and muttering to yourself about this particular step, you're gliding effortlessly through the "limburger bob", the floor routine with the boa, and the "step tap and twirl" steps without noticing. Just a few weeks ago and it was these steps that brought the troupe to the verge of snarling and unladylike language. :-)

We're really looking forward to just dancing this number with you next week, showgirls. When we do, do take turns to step out and look at the rest of the troupe in action. You really are looking very, very lovely.

Yours, loving the way that you learn,

Burlicious x

20 Oct 2016

Sprint finish

Each time we Burlicious Three get together for choreography we up the design ante a bit and so our current routine is a complex creation. It looks great, but there’s no denying that there are a lot of little moves to learn and remember and b*gger all repetition in the chorus that you can rely on.

Last night we had the bit firmly between our teeth and were cantering the troupe to a pre-holiday close, determined to get to the end of the routine before we shut away our sequins for the half term break.

This breakneck speed, together with the complexity of the routine, made for some rather ramshackle teaching at times. Trust me, showgirls, by the time I was talking you through the last few steps, I couldn’t work out which leg should be doing what.

It also made for some brilliantly disjointed glove twirling and a level of individuality in the “step, tap” part that had to be marvelled at. As we were explaining to the troupe how difficult we had found it to mistress one part of the routine (and remember that we designed the thing), one of our showgirls asked: “and didn’t that tell you anything?”

And, of course, it didn’t. You see, when there are three of us designing a tricky bit, there’s usually one who finds it a breeze, one who gets it after a bit, and a third who can’t get it at all and who jumps up and down in frustration, swearing like a trooper, whenever we get to that particular part. However, it does mean that we've learned that, with repetition, we can all get all of it. 

In comparison to us, ladies, you’re very well-mannered and patient. And, like us, we know that you'll breeze through it next time... which encourages us to design better and better routines. You see, you brought it on yourselves! :-)

Yours, with a bit of practice to do before we meet again,

Burlicious x

13 Oct 2016

Wait for it...

Our current sly wink of a routine is sprinkled with penis jokes. Please do not switch off in disgust - we promise you that it sounds much worse than it is.

As part of this sprinkling we have a couple of witticisms about the size of, er, male tackle. Don't worry, chaps, it's all done in the best possible taste and no, we repeat what you've doubtless been told before, size isn't everything. Then we have a swift boa erection at the groin, punctuated by a very definite beat in the music.

We tried that for the first time last night and had a positive Mexican wave of boas leaping up at the groin at different times as our showgirls varied between premature excitement, late rising, and - for the most quiveringly uncertain - a halting up down up down movement. Boa erections went off independently all over the shop like jumping beans on a hotplate. We couldn't have choreographed the effect if we had tried.

All together now: "... as long as he keeps himself in shape... da da da da da UP!"

Next week, ladies, it'll be hands on yer ha'penny (in the immortal words of one showgirl) as we roar deliciously through the end of the routine.

Yours, loving the individuality,

Burlicious x

6 Oct 2016

Working up a lather

We swept the floor with ourselves and our boa.

We kicked up our little heels deliciously as we languished on our belly.

We trotted our fingers temptingly down our shin as we leant over and peeked at the audience.

And we assiduously avoided what will now be known as "sad dangle" between the legs.

No mean feat, that.

Good work, showgirls. And da da da da da da-da-da-da BOFF!

Yours, slaves to our art,

Burlicious x

29 Sept 2016

Unintentional bondage

  1. Have the showgirls sit on the floor.
  2. Loop boa around bottom of right shoe, securing it between ball of foot and heel.
  3. Hold both ends of boa near foot in right hand.
  4. Lean back onto left elbow as raise right leg straight up in air, tethered pleasingly by boa still around right shoe and held firmly in right hand.
  5. Let boa flow sensuously through right hand as lower right leg to floor, turning onto belly as the leg goes down.

5. Start to lower the leg, then realise that boa is inextricably tangled around shoe. Thrash about kicking and wriggling for a bit. Roll half onto belly, still waving right leg hopelessly. Collapse in giggles.

Both versions work. One is prettier than the other. One is a lot more fun than the other. Each has something rather special to say for itself.

Sometimes, the slick, perfect move is vastly over-rated. :-)

Yours, outsmarted by feathers,

Burlicious x

22 Sept 2016

Up close and personal

We performed on Saturday night at a big birthday bash for one of our glamorous showgirls. An afternoon of rain dashed our hopes of dancing on the outdoor decking, so we danced in her lounge instead.

It was a trifle snug for the three of us, it must be said. Old hands at this game, we set ourselves up to dance facing in three different directions, in the hope of minimising the opportunity for flesh wounds and collateral damage as three showgirl legs are kicked up and out at once or as three arms extend out smartly to the same side.

As strategies go, it wasn't entirely successful, as the Voluptuous Jules can attest having been hat-swatted by both me and the Sparkly Bra Pixie during one routine.

Initially a trifle perplexed, our audience soon warmed to us. A couple of chaps on the sofa, just inches away from the Voluptuous Jules as she leaned over, were excitedly encouraging each other to take photos. "That'll be a full-on cleavage shot, then," thought Jules as she did her showgirl thang.

Ah well, they may not recognise us by our face if they stand next to us at a bus stop, but they'll definitely have something to remember us by.

Having plied us with fish and chips; entertained us with a band and a DJ; and kept the drink flowing, our hostess then showered us with "thank you" flowers at class last night. As backstage Johnnies or patrons of the arts go, she's a class act.

Yours, filling up the viewfinder,

Burlicious x

15 Sept 2016

Measuring his assets

For our current, cabaret-style, delicious cupcake of a routine, we're topped off nicely by bowler hats. As a prop, they're crisp, sexy and suggestive and give us happy delusions of Liza Minnelli glamour.

To the wonderful line in our soundtrack: "he can be SOMEthing...", we have our showgirls stand side on to the audience, hat over the groin, and then doing a sharp, two-handed, push of the hat away from the body and back again. It's as if, well, you know, as if the hat were being thrust straight out by something, er, growing and expanding under it.

A couple of our showgirls were optimistically pushing our their hat as far as their outstretched arms would go. "Hmm," says the Sparkly Bra Pixie thoughtfully, "if that's your man, you're a very lucky girl."

Cue much laughter and a Victorian governess-type flutter of hats fanning hot pink faces.

We do love to bring a bit of harmless sauce to our Wednesday dance class.

Yours, up to our hat in double entendre,

iois x

10 Sept 2016

You shall go to the ball

Like Cinderella's petite little foot slipping into the glass slipper, we slipped smoothly back into our weekly Wednesday routine of Burlicious deliciousness this week.

Well, not quite as smoothly as Cinders trying on footwear, we must admit. There were a few bits of tussling and wrestling to be done with corsets that had become mysteriously smaller over the summer. However, as a reward for our struggles, we had the accustomed start of term treat of brand new showgirls (we love you for coming along, you little beauties), showgirl returners, and our lovely regulars, all joining us for the launch of a brand new routine.

As always, it's amazing to see what you girls can do in an hour. We loved seeing you do the classy, Bob Fosse-style intro. Those hats have definitely got a smoky Cabaret/All That Jazz nightclub chic to them.

Next week, we'll add a bit of sauce to that starter.

Now, repeat after me - da da da da da boooooo. Da da da da da bip bip bip bibbip.....

Yours, back to work and loving it,

Burlicious x

2 Sept 2016

Come play with us!

Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah - class begins again on Weds 7th September. 

We have new props, a brand new routine, some new showgirls to join us, and a sparkly, September spring in our step. Who would want to miss that?!

In fact, by next week we may even have learned the gorgeous new routine that we have been crafting for your delectation. :-)  And if we haven't, it'll be just as entertaining!

So, whether you're one of our experienced showgirls; a new lovely coming for the first time; or someone who is wondering whether now is the time to come back to our spangled fold... block out Weds 7th at 8pm and come and have a hoot of a time with us!

Yours, doing these bloomin' steps in our sleep,

Burlicious x

26 Aug 2016

Meltingly good

We started designing our latest routine in March. It was a lot cooler then.

We're adding the final touches to it now. In August. It's hot. Very hot. We're regretting just a tad the March choice of feather boa, gloves and other props.

Yesterday, on a steamy, breathless, sultry summer's day, we sweated and slithered and shone as we rehearsed the routine for the September term. With feathers stuck to neck, gloves refusing to peel off, fringe melted to forehead, and clothes positively drenched, we soldiered on heroically.

Even in this hothouse, there was fun to be had. The floor routine with little kicky mermaid legs is a positive delight when you roll onto your belly to see one of your partners in sequins thrashing her feet madly about two inches from your nose, clearly confused as to which leg she should be kicking when.

Ah, showgirls, you have a treat coming when we launch this number in September. Get ready for new props and a slick, witty, smile of a routine... if we say so ourselves.

See you on 7th September!

Yours, designing for deliciousness,

Burlicious x

5 Aug 2016

Therapy for the body and soul

We’ve just been allowed out to play with a lovely networking group for therapists*. We were invited to talk to yesterday's monthly meeting - twelve men and women, all with different therapy and healing skills and qualifications – about Burlicious, what we do, why we do it, and why it’s such a miracle of a tonic and a boost.

What a nice morning! A bit of introductory chat and then into the larger room for a demo, followed by the all-important chance to try the Burlicious treatment for themselves. As the dulcet tones of Lady Marmalade slammed through the peace and quiet of this country house retreat, our therapists were soon up and shaking their groove thang with the best of them.

Perked, as usual, by the experience of seeing people dance and laugh and dance and laugh, we then packed up our medicine chest and headed back to Burlicious Towers for an afternoon of choreography.

We slave for you, showgirls, we really do! J

Yours, enjoying spreading cheer and daftness,

Burlicious x

* You can find them at the Kent Therapists' Network - https://www.facebook.com/lbishopp/

29 Jul 2016

The show must go on

While I retired to my boudoir, sick as a dog (feathers and chucking up do not make for a happy combination), the Sparkly Bra Pixie and the Voluptuous Jules went off to wow one of our local WI groups. And, oh my, did they melt for it! The two of them sashayed forth from Burlicious Towers all fresh and saucy and sassy and came back a couple of hours later, limp-feathered, rosy-cheeked and beaded with sweat.

Ah, but it was worth it. The evening progressed in the way that these things so often do: polite and slightly uncertain applause for our first routine; a bit of whooping and catcalling in the second; positive foot-tapping for the third and then a rush for the boas when the crowd was invited to feather up and get involved.

After that, it's the kind of mayhem that we love best - a big crowd of women, all shaking their groove thang and having an absolute hoot, as temperatures soared and inhibitions fell away.

Even now I'm smiling at the juxtaposition of the Sparkly Bra Pixie shouting "bum!" and "tits!" as instructions and then everyone finishing off the evening sedately with Jerusalem and tea and cupcakes. It's this kind of gentle battiness that is England at its very best.

Yours, looking forward to seeing some of you WI converts at class when we re-open in September!

Burlicious x

21 Jul 2016

And a new exercise craze is born

OK, so it was hot and humid last night, very hot and humid. Knowing that none of the troupe needed to warm up, we decided to do some slow stretches instead. The Sparkly Bra Pixie settled each of us down on a chair and started taking us through some yogic leg moves.

Now, picture the scene. It's hot. We're all sitting in a circle, in our drawers, wearing the minimum possible. As we hitch one leg over the opposite knee and generally wave our legs around, one of our lovely troupe says: "ooooh, it's like slutty yoga!".

I regret to tell you, Dear Reader, that it all went a tad downhill from there for the rest of this steamy and slippery class.

Demonstrating to the troupe a leg move borrowed from tango, in which we slide the sole of the left shoe swiftly along the floor and flick the foot up behind us so we're then looking at that sole, I was inspired by the lowered tone of the evening to suggest that the move is like stepping in dog sh*t. First we lift the foot to the right to check the underside of the shoe. Then we put the foot back down, decide it probably isn't clean, then sweep the sole up quickly to the left of us so that we can see it from a different angle. Finally, we wipe the sole of that same shoe on the leg of the chair, then scrape it along the floor for a bit, and then walk off.

It seemed to work.

Henceforth, this rather lovely move will be known by us as the dog sh*t flick kick.

I tell you, we're class, pure class.

Yours, with sparkling clean soles,

Burlicious x

15 Jul 2016

Random number generator

Having been off gallivanting for a couple of weeks, I returned to class on Wednesday night to see what the Sparkly Bra Pixie, the Voluptuous Jules and the troupe had wrought in my absence.

They've clearly been cracking along at a spanking pace and have almost mistressed the second half of our current routine.

Just as well, really, given that I was still in a holiday dream, all ready to teach them the right steps in the wrong place. They're a well-mannered lot and humoured me graciously while I did so. It's nice to see such respect for the bewildered. Take me away for a couple of weeks and I can come back and generate a brand new number by simply re-ordering in a random way the ingredients of the original - I'm a proper little ERNIE.

They'll be snapping me up for the lottery next and
I'll be producing bonus balls with the best of 'em.

Yours, accidentally creative,

Burlicious x

23 Jun 2016

Avoiding the double entendre

Oh my word, but it was sticky and steamy in our little hall last night. Despite the fact that we're dancing a cool, collected routine full of poise and disdain at the moment, the temperature rose steadily.

The current routine doesn't require a boa (thankfully), nor does it require gloves. A steel-boned corset is not an asset either as we swivel on the chair seat from one side to the other and then flop deliciously over an outstretched leg.

However, knickers are de rigueur. Which is why it was such a surprise when the Voluptuous Jules peeled hers off and marched them towards the front of the class before discarding them. Until then, her much-admired posterior had been clad in a cheeky little pair of knickers with a large cat's face on the back, complete with a pair of pink 3D ears standing proud.

"His little face was sticking to the seat," she explained airily.

You would be proud of us. Nobody went for the obvious "pussy" jokes. Mind you, many showgirls were too busy trying to breathe in their corset; untangle their fishnets from their corset fasteners; or re-assemble their shoes to have a spare breath for commentary.

We do love a wardrobe malfunction.

Yours, wrestling with our undies,

Burlicious x

16 Jun 2016

Rough language, smooth showgirls

Last night we re-launched our beautiful, subtle, seductive routine to "Temptation". (Don't worry, those of you regulars who missed it, you'll be able to catch up next week, we promise).

Now, as we have mentioned before, there is often a significant mismatch between the amount of instruction that we would like to give about a particular move as we dance, and the time available to us beat by beat to give it. This is why the instruction: "arch back, thrust chest forward and, at the same time, look at the audience" has become shortened to a shout of: "TITS!"

So apt is this prompt that showgirls who last danced this routine more than a couple of years ago all shouted "Tits!" in proper Pavlovian fashion last night when we reached this part of the routine for the first time.

Ah, it does we Burlicious Three good to know that  our genteel words of wisdom are seared into their little showgirl souls! We'll have 'em tango flicking in their sleep next.

Yours, washing our mouth out with champagne,

Burlicious x

PS: the photo is the fabulous line up of the fantastic 1940s party girls who invited us to play a couple of weeks ago.

9 Jun 2016

Feathering nests

Apologies for the silence during the last couple of weeks, Dear Reader - despite it being half term, we've been rather busy.

We performed at a lovely birthday celebration on Sunday. Eleven gorgeous women, all in their 1950s-themed finest, dancing around the garden to one of our showgirl numbers, before trotting off to a vintage cafe for afternoon tea. Now, if that sounds impossibly refined, it might be worth knowing that the previous night they had been making cocktails at a nightclub and living it up until the small hours, and so some of them were just a teeny bit fragile on Sunday.

Still, a glass of fizz; a feather boa; and a bit of dancing and posing with us and they were good to go. And the local birds (feathered) were delighted with the high class array of feathers left strewn around the garden. It's nice to do our bit for nature when we can.

We finished a routine last night and so we'll be starting a new one next Wednesday. Although both are tango style routines, they're very different - the outgoing one is a bit of contemptuous stamping and some delicious thrashing around whilst the new one is smoky, sexy and very seductive. Look forward to seeing you there, showgirls.

And we're setting up the next performances as we speak - another WI meeting (we can't wait!) and another birthday party (shhh. You know who you are! :-) ).

Yours, delighted to entertain,

Burlicious x

26 May 2016

Flappin' gorgeous!

Here's how we teach a small fragment of any routine:

  1. Without any music, demonstrate the moves slowly and with as much instruction as possible, picking out musical cues that will tell the troupe what they need to be doing when
  2. Step through those moves again, roughly at the tempo that they'll be at when we add the music
  3. Play the music and get the whole class to dance the moves together for the first time. I dance in front of the troupe and the Sparkly Bra Pixie and the Voluptuous Jules dance behind them so that, no matter which way the routine turns us, the troupe has someone to follow
  4. At the end of that dance fragment. turn off the music and turn around inquiringly to look at the troupe and the other members of Burlicious to see how it went.
I love that moment. What I see as I turn round tells me all I need to know.

Last night, having demonstrated a few moves from the boa routine in our current dance, I turned around to see showgirls collapsing with laughter; showgirls flapping about with boas demonstrating the mess that they had got into trying to control two metres of feather; showgirls giggling each other through what had happened as they tried the steps; and the Sparkly Bra Pixie saying blandly: "I think we'll do that again."

One boa each. A few arm movements with boa to manage. And an infinite number of cat's cradle and spider web variations produced, together with some mad scrabbling about trying to reach the boa behind the back as if it were being borne away on a strong wind. Our showgirls were like little feathery whirling dervishes, but with fewer clothes. Cracking stuff!

Enjoy half term, showgirls, and we'll flap on with this in two weeks' time. :-)

Yours, as sleek as little birds of paradise,

Burlicious x

19 May 2016

Tricky walking

There are a few bits in our current routine that are freestyle - i.e. not choreographed. One of them is a little walk of about, oooh, three to four steps, across the stage.

"OK," says I, "what we're after here is a bit of slutty strolling to take you back to where you were standing a few moves ago."

Now, there appears to be nothing more likely to take the sexiness out of the showgirl than the surprise invitation to vamp it up a bit in her own way. Hoping for a sort of slow, meaningful stroll, laden with meaning and promise, what we got was a sort of cheeky, bouncy, "aw right then, missus, ow's yer father", Cockney Sparrer strut, one step short of twanging braces and tipping a cap, Artful Dodger style. Brilliant, just brilliant, but not exactly sexy.

We settled instead for what shall become known as the "whatevs" move - the confident, careless, promenade of the gorgeous, sexy woman who knows that she's fabulous but - frankly, my dear - couldn't give a damn whether you take her up on it or not.

Still, the cheery, knees-bendy, Michael-Jackson-singing-"Rockin'-Robin"-long-before-his-voice-broke style of bouncy little walk is rather endearing and will definitely be missed. :-)

Yours, loving our showgirls and their inventiveness,

Burlicious x

12 May 2016

A bit of a thrashing

We returned last night to one of our very earliest routines, created all those years ago when we were first setting up Burlicious as baby showgirls (aah). 

In terms of steps, this dance is a thing of simplicity. In terms of attitude and sheer front, it's full on, with all the contemptuous stamping of the tango and some lovely boa work with arms flicking crisply in and then out at full stretch.

Of course, this is slightly marred by me saying one thing and demonstrating another. At pains to point out for one section of the routine that the feet go right, left, right, left while the arms holding the boa go sharply right in, left in, left out, right out, I then managed to get myself into what can only politely be called as a mucking fuddle, with  arms and boa windmilling around randomly looking like a feathery dervish on speed... or Big Bird getting a bit of a skip on on the dancefloor...which is a long way from the crisp, confident, strutting look that we're after.

I'm delighted to say that this caused much hilarity in the troupe. 

Which is great, 'cos we feel that we've done our job if our showgirls get in at least one belly laugh as a work out during the class. 
At the rate we're going on with the belly laughs, we'll have six packs of steel in a few weeks' time. Mind you, what with the windmill arms, we might also have featherless boas.

Yours, walking and arm waving,

Burlicious x 

5 May 2016

Rhythm and bums

There's a pleasing rhythm to how our regular class unfolds over the weeks. We show the troupe a new routine. We teach it over a number of weeks. We close by getting the troupe to dance the routine that they have now mistressed in a different direction - i.e. instead of always dancing it facing the stage, they dance it facing the rear of the hall, then the side, then each other. It's a great brain teaser and a good way of  testing whether they really know it.

So, last night was the last night of this routine. Under the watchful eye of a patron of the arts ( :-) ) who has booked us for her birthday do, we taught the final few steps to this routine and then turned it around.

And it's looking damned fine, showgirls, damned fine. The legs (mostly) go in the correct direction. The arm sweeps are almost always the right version each time. And we have cracked the "bob and bum salute, right, left, right" that previously was resulting in arses going up and down randomly like a bunch of kids on a trampoline. It's all looking very nice indeed.

Now all we need to conquer are the facial expressions that tell the world that your mind is working like the clappers and that sometimes it's a veeeery last second choice between going left or going right, and we'll be laughing.

Well, to be fair, we're all laughing anyway simply 'cos this stuff is such a hoot to do. On second thoughts, maybe we don't need to change a thing.

We start a fresh routine on Weds 11th, laydees, so that's the time to come back to class or to come along for the first time.

Yours, bobbing like a good 'un,

Burlicious x

28 Apr 2016

Brain work

Two thirds of Burlicious have been swanning about on holiday recently leaving the class in the capable hands of the Sparkly Bra Pixie - hence the cyber silence from us over the last couple of weeks.

Reunited last night for our regular weekly injection of fun, fabulousness and frippery, we are delighted to report that normal service has quite clearly been going on in our absence. We cantered very close to the finish line of the routine that we're currently dancing, accompanied by the usual melange of missteps, muck ups, brain overload and laughter.

You know that old trick of trying to pat your head with one hand while stroking your belly in circles with the other? Pah. that's nothing. Try reversing away from the audience as you bob the knees and stroke one hand along the outstretched other arm towards you, then swap hand and arm, then swap again, reversing and bobbing all the while - hilarious and a guaranteed recipe for little stamps of frustration and a sprinkling of not very genteel language.

What this means, you showgirls-to-be and you regular lovelies who have had to miss class recently, is that your opportunity to join us as we start a new routine from scratch is nearly here. We'll finish our current little gem next week and then start teaching a routine from the very beginning on Weds 11th May. Join us, do. It's a great mental work out. :-)

Yours, delighted to be back with you all,

Burlicious x

7 Apr 2016

Cooking up a storm

  1. Take 4 dozen lively WI women
  2. Add three Burlicious showgirls
  3. Fold in three gorgeous Burlicious routines
  4. Bring to a simmer by demonstrating a bouncy little routine for the crowd to learn
  5. Add bite with a cracking Shirley Bassey sound track
  6. Sprinkle liberally with feathers
  7. Cook gently in a friendly hall for 90 minutes.
And, voila! Settle back and enjoy an evening of fun, dancing and daftness with the fabulous - and very "up for it" - women of Rough Common.

Ladies, you did yourselves proud. We loved seeing you strut and shimmy your stuff. And as for the brilliance of your pinging... we were overwhelmed :-)

Thank you for a great evening.

Yours, just loving that WI zest for life,

Burlicious x

PS: and here's what they say about it over in facebook-land!  https://www.facebook.com/roughcommonwi/posts/1375871205772259

26 Mar 2016

Using one's assets

The Voluptuous Jules took to the floor to lead the troupe in our last warm up of term this week. This is a rare treat. Jules is misplaced in time and place and was clearly intended to be a sassy goodtime girl entertaining a delighted audience in a saloon bar somewhere deep in the Old Wild West.

Within seconds she was leading the troupe in a series of bumps and grinds, punctuated by death-dealing hip thrusts forwards and accompanied by a knowing, smouldering expression.

"Are you drunk?" asked one showgirl in concern.

Nah, this is just Jules at her bootylicious best, using every curve that she has to stunning effect. Proof positive of the Burlicious philosophy that confidence and individual style are what make a woman sexy.

Forget what the Hollywood movies, the women's magazines and the manufacturers of unnecessary beauty and clothes products tell you. There isn't just one way for women to be beautiful and desirable. We all have our own way of being powerfully female and fabulous, if we can only see it and use it. And Jules certainly can!

Yours, loving that sass,

Burlicious x

17 Mar 2016

Stroker needed

A host of other commitments, holiday absences and evil bugs brought our little troupe to half its usual size last night. For our latest routine, we have our showgirls in groups of three. In one move, the middle lovely bends over slowly, rear to the audience, and the other two stroke slowly down and up the back of her legs.

"Oh," says one of our showgirls last night, having spotted that her two regular partners in sequins were absent, "who's going to stroke down my legs?"

Frankly, we can think of a long list of complete strangers who would jump at the chance of being recruited for that particular task, especially when you remember that our little hall is next to the Fire Station. However, our chances of then getting the lucky volunteer to dance the rest of the routine with us or to leave the hall afterwards are zero.

Ah well, maybe at the next performance we'll raffle that job off?

Yours, withholding treats from the masses,

Burlicious x

10 Mar 2016

The art of the reveal

A small plumbing difficulty at our little hall meant no heating during our class last night. Now, clearly, we showgirls are smoking hot, but, even so, it was a teeny bit too fresh in there to be dancing around in our smalls.

Forewarned, we turned up sensibly muffled in our layers like grannies going on a winter coach trip to some bracing British seaside resort. As the routine developed and we warmed up we removed items of clothing bit by cautious bit. Typically, as you know, the most that we take off is our gloves and a boa. Last night, we peeled off far more... and still had more on by the end of the class than we would usually have on at the very beginning.

And as more showgirl beauty was revealed, more sultry confidence in the routine unfurled. Ah, showgirls, how sexy you look as you turn out that left shoulder and caress down that outstretched leg. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Which makes the contrast with the "bunny in the headlights" eyes as you do the new glove removal even more delicious. :-)

As we were saying when we wrapped up (in more ways than one) at the end of class last night. It's great when the routine is perfect and it's fun when it isn't - what's not to like?

Yours, ordering thermal vests,

Burlicious x

3 Mar 2016

Individually gorgeous

Last night we launched our latest routine. It's a sultry, smouldering little number, all lazy hip swings and long arm caresses. Think, if you will, of long, humid afternoons on the verandah with a mint julep and a lean, weathered cowboy (one of the cleaner ones with a few social graces, natch), exchanging bold and lingering stares heavy with promise.

OK, it's not very like our little hall, but you get what we're aiming for.

Already pretty much step perfect through the opening moves, we're now enticing the troupe to try to circle their lovely hips in time with each other. The routine calls for groups of three, standing close together, and includes a series of little grinds (basically, hip circles). Now, if three women all circle their hips in the same direction at the same time, it looks bloomin' lovely. However, last night, it was a bit like looking through a microscope at a drop of water and seeing a number of organisms all swirling away randomly in every direction - like a Newton's Cradle, if you like, when one of the balls has been disrupted.

It's individually expressive - which we like. But it also looks endearingly bonkers.

But, do you know what? By next week they'll have it sussed. What looks now like a disco throwback to everyone dancing "The Bump" will in next week's class become co-ordinated and slick and beautiful and effortless.

We do love seeing you eat this stuff up, Showgirls. You're a class act.

Yours, we do declare,

Burlicious x

26 Feb 2016

The Avengers in undies

Wednesday's class saw us canter to the satisfying close of our latest routine. Like very British superheroes, put together from Mary Poppins; cross-dressing City gents and The Avengers, we taught those brollies a lesson.

We swung them open; we snapped them shut; we caressed them; we (ahem) polished their little ends; and we twinkled our legs coyly behind them. As the Sparkly Bra Pixie observed when fifteen showgirls each took the tip of a furled brolly lingeringly up the back of her leg to her behind, "Steed would have loved this!"

Of course, this meant nothing to the less mature members of the troupe. However, those of us who grew up wanting to be Purdey loved it.

You were fabulous, as always, showgirls. Next week, it's time to put those brollies to one side and get yerselves ready to slink about with a bit of Slow, Southern Style as we launch the next routine.

Yours, as Purdey as a picture,

Burlicious x

15 Feb 2016

Get ready for glamour

Yes, showgirls, we'll soon be returning to class. Hooray for laughs and lusciousness, giggles and gorgeousness, sexiness and sassiness... they're all on their way back.

So, put Wednesday 24th February in your diary in a big lipsticked heart with spangles around it - that'll be the first class of this half term. We'll be back then with a "pop" of brollies and a shiver of boas.

And... we'll start a new routine on Wednesday 2nd March. So, new lovelies, here's your chance to come and join the fun!

See you soon!

Yours, stroking unworn corsets wistfully,

Burlicious x

4 Feb 2016

Who is this Bob?

Picture the scene:

We dance in a small hall. We have around 15 showgirls... plus the three of us. So it's pretty full.

The music is turned up LOUD.

I'm at the front, pretending I know what I'm doing.

The Sparkly Bra Pixie is at the back, chuntering instructions to showgirls near her who can't hear me to save their life.

The Voluptuous Jules is at the back or side, in her own dreamy, seductive world.

Not everyone can tell left from right.

To overcome the fact that the music is loud and that we dance without mirrors, instructions need to be short and pithy, as well as coming up with ingenious "left/right" alternatives.

Which is how we get to Sergeant Major Burlesque and shouts from us of: "Bob OUT! Bob OUT!" and "bum STAGE and bum BUS STOP!" and "TITS!" and "CARESS!!" (which, as instructions go, does seem an odd one to be shouting).

Add to that the unpredictable and recalcitrant nature of our childrens' umbrellas, and it can get a bit random in there. "WHIZZ!!!" I yell dulcetly, meaning, "fling yer umbrella open over yer shoulder in one seamless movement". And they do. Some brollies open. Some don't. Some turn inside out and refuse to turn back again. Some try to clock their showgirl on the head. Gentle chaos reigns.

It's amazing the fun you can have with a great bunch of women, some props and a dance routine.

We'll miss you until we meet again on 24th February, showgirls.

Yours, dancing for pleasure,

licious x

28 Jan 2016

Cor blimey, Mary Poppins!

Our current routine is a cheeky little number - all double entendre and pert innuendo. We originally launched it using rather lovely parasols as our prop. Having seen the damage that the average showgirl inflicts on these fragile things, we downgraded swiftly to children's umbrellas.

A favourite move is when, facing away from the audience, the troupe leans over slowly, takes the brolly through their open legs and "POP!", opens the brolly smartly towards the audience.

Ah, the sight of all those doe-eyed Disney characters, flashing suddenly into view between fishnetted thighs is a sight for sore eyes, we can tell you. Of course, it takes a few goes for the troupe to learn that you have to close the brolly before you can bring it back through the legs and stand up again. Once they've mistressed that, though, you get this amazing sound, like twenty teeny sails cracking in a stiff breeze at the same time, and a sudden flash of pastel colour.

We think that Mary Poppins should have added this to her repertoire of brolly moves. Who knows what nifty little outfit she may have had on underneath that severe raincoat? We reckon it would have put a smile on Bert, the chimney sweep's, face.

See you next week, showgirls, for the brolly whizz - we'll have St John's Ambulance on standby in case of over-enthusiastic take-off.

Yours, with just a spoonful of sugar,

Burlicious x

21 Jan 2016

Under your lovely nose

A veritable galaxy of new showgirls turned up last night to test drive the Burlicious experience. And such a wealth of womanly wonders reminded us all over again exactly what we're about.

Yes, we delight in providing a little levity in the week - an hour of giggles and nonsense and thrashing about with props.

Yes, we're proud to have created a space in which women can prance around in their undies and know that they're loved, not judged.

Yes, we love the fact that we're getting a bit of exercise and having an absolute hoot while we do so.

Most of all, though, Burlicious is about women feeling good about how their body looks and feels and about having the opportunity to be sexy and fabulous, away from the chores of everyday life.

Is this important? You bet your spangly drawers it is! As women, we're trained to aspire to some popular picture of feminine perfection. We have an idea of how we would like to look, and the bits that don't match this ideal are what we notice and fret about most.

But if you stand where we stand, watching a whole troupe of women, you notice the beautiful bits about each woman - a firm arse here; preposterously long legs there; a velvety decolletage here; a smouldering expression there; dewy skin; a flirtatious grin; a sculpted back, the teeniest waist... need we go on?

We've said it before, but it warrants repetition - give yourself permission to enjoy your beauty, showgirls. You've all got it!

Yours, positively surrounded by gorgeousness,

Burlicious x

14 Jan 2016

A thing of beauty

We finished teaching our current routine last night and started just dancing it. We did this in our time-honoured fashion of getting our beautiful troupe to dance the routine facing the usual direction; and then facing in the opposite direction; and then facing in other directions. It's a good test of how well you know a routine if you can dance it happily wherever you happen to have been popped down (probably best not to do this in the petrol station or at the bus stop, however).

One of the delights for me is that, instead of being at the front of the troupe and seeing glimpses over my shoulder of what they're all up to, I now get to see the routine from the back of the troupe and from the side. It's a whole new view.

And, wow, what a view!

It's a consistent story - moves that feel pretty good in the design stage are transformed into something stunning when fifteen women all do them at once. Watching all those seated legs open wide in a pulse of invitation, then SNAP back together like a courtesan's flirtatious fan makes my sequinned posing bra fair burst with pride and delight. Honestly, showgirls, we bet you have absolutely no idea how good you all look.

So, bottoms up to you in all your glory (or, "bum, elbow, twist", as the latest instruction goes). We could hug you all.

Yours,positively beaming with pride,

Burlicious x

7 Jan 2016

Carefully calibrated

Toilet, bus stop, clock. Toilet, bus stop, clock. Toilet, bus stop, clock (stage).

No, this isn't a list for the hard of thinking as they prepare to leave the house to meet under the town clock. It was what we used last night to clarify which direction the hips go in if we're doing an anti-clockwise grind. Right towards the toilet; forwards towards the bus stop; and so on - you get the picture.

Clockwise? Anti-clockwise? It all sound so simple, doesn't it? And it starts off as easy as it sounds... until you lean over at a 90 degree angle when, suddenly, some showgirls find that their happily anti-clockwise-circling hips reassert themselves and start describing confident clockwise circles. Bizarre. It's like watching water going down the plughole in an irresistibly different direction depending on whether you're north or south of the equator.

You see, you think we're just swanning about shaking our tail feathers, don't you? In actual fact, we're part of a living, breathing science experiment.

In fishnets. And heels. And corsets. Actually, I'll stop here before we get too clear a vision of Dr. Frank N Furter creating Rocky in his lab. On the other hand, we think he would have luuuurved our troupe!

Yours, gyrating gorgeously,

Burlicious x

2 Jan 2016

Ooooh, look what Santa brought us...

... another year of fun, frolics and fripperies at Burlicious.

Shake yer sequins, showgirls, and flash yer fishnets, we're back for a brand new term, starting Wednesday 6th January. Hurrah!

Yes, there may be a little more of you to lace into your corset now that Christmas is over, but who would want to stint themselves of something as gorgeous as you? Come and strut that womanly stuff with us, you delicious things - you know it always puts a smile on your face and roses in your (ahem) cheeks.

Yours, bursting out all over,

Burlicious x




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