How Do You Burlesque?

You may or may not have been following my burlesque updates that began before I started this blog, so here’s the backstory:

I’ve had a gradual, growing interest in burlesque for the past couple years. I’d been vaguely familiar with it when I got my first Groupon deal in 2010, and found that I enjoyed pushing my boundaries and growing as a performer. So I’ve kept an eye out for other good burlesque deals, and decided to have a mission of actually performing. I’ve taken classes in L.A. and Paris, and learned how to make my own rhinestoned pasties. It’s a continuing journey… among my other journeys!

So I took the first of three classes at Hell’s Belles in Hollywood. We warmed up and then started learning a little routine. It’s interesting how different classes focus on different things. This one is very focused on choreography. I enjoy it, I like to dance, but I know a lot of my moves need perfected. But this isn’t the kind of burlesque show I intend to put on, anyway. I love the more classical performances. In fact, I’m hoping to grab the opportunity to see Dita von Teese next week, and get blinded by sparkles.

Back to my story! I find myself a little clumsy in class. I’m not used to balancing in nice curvy poses, or staying upright while bending and wiggling. This gets harder when you put me in heels, too. The way I topple over while trying to do three things at once, I seriously wonder if I have inner ear issues.

I don’t really know what I expect to learn from burlesque classes. I haven’t been in one that’s much like ballet class, where the teacher corrects your position, which I think might be helpful in burlesque, as I sure don’t look sexy sometimes. I guess I’ll use a mirror and a camera for that, but classes are good to get practice at it, see different approaches, methods, make use of giant mirrors… I do want to get into a fan dance class though, since I can’t afford fans of my own yet, or even decide if I should own them in the US or France. I think what I ought to do is pick a song and create my own choreography for it. It would force me to watch others, watch myself, and get creative!

I think the main benefit to taking burlesque classes and potentially performing is the boost in self-confidence. I don’t know about you, but I can be scared to be sexy. Like, it will just come off looking silly, I’ll make a fool of myself… It can feel ridiculous. But as part of my task of becoming a great actress, I can’t be afraid of this. In fact, I need to be willing to be ridiculous! I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone, which is a great thing to do once in a while no matter who you are. That’s where some amazing learning takes place… right outside of your comfort zone.
So I have two more classes in this series, which I will report on and if you’re lucky, I’ll perform the dance on camera for you. 🙂


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