Why You Should Take a Burlesque Class

… or at the very least, attend a burlesque performance.

No body shaming. The awesome thing about burlesque is that you can’t hide behind Photoshop. We need more real bodies out there to counteract all the Photoshop. And when it comes to performers, burlesque dancers are all ages, genders, sexualities and body types. And they offer zero apologies for what they look like.

stock-graphics-vintage-posters-0286 You’ll gain confidence. The positive reinforcement you’ll get in class is awesome. Even if you don’t take a class, attending a performance and seeing women with bodies just like yours, with curves and jiggles, and yes, cellulite, and seeing how sexy that can be … it’s empowering. Real people are sexy. You can’t f*ck make love to a photoshopped picture.

Total acceptance. Do you want to dance? Yes? That’s the only requirement. No prior dance or gettin’-naked experience necessary. Just sign up for a class, show up, and your teacher (and fellow students) will all encourage you to find your sexy.

It’s fun. Let’s be honest … we’ve all done a sexy dance alone at home. (And if you haven’t, good lord, let you hair down and put on some tunes.) Maybe you’ve thrown down some moves in public. (Or at least attempted it.) It was fun, right? Now imagine learning the most flattering way to do sexy moves. Even if you never do those moves in public, it’s still fun to know them. (Perhaps share them with a partner behind closed doors?)

Costumes! Make-up! Glitter? Fake eyelashes? Yes, please! Whether you’re wearing it, or seeing it on stage, fun make-up is fun.

Fun names. If you eventually decide to perform, you get to give yourself a fun stage name. Some of my faves are Dirty Martini, Nora Grets, Booty Garland, Lilly Rascal, and Hot Toddy.

It’s sex positiveIn a culture with slut shaming and rape culture (“she was asking for it!”), and being inundated with what men find sexy, and a media that’s scared of women enjoying sex … it’s refreshing to see examples of women owning their sexuality. Most burlesque troupes are 100 percent women – production, choreography, dancing, costuming, etc. It’s a true example of women’s sexuality. With zero shame.

If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Studio L’amour or Vaudezilla for classes and performances, and the Chicago Burlesuqe Calendar for performances. And let me know if/when you go to a show!! Maybe I’ll tag along. 

Have you ever taken a burlesque class? Been to a burlesque performance? If you were a performer … what would your name be? (Need help?) 

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22 Comments on “Why You Should Take a Burlesque Class”

  1. Well you know my answer. Love Studio L’Amour. 🙂
    Years ago I said my name would be Chesty Lareau. But now? Heidi Inappropriate. Because I am highly inappropriate. 😉

  2. I’m not sure if I’d work up the nerve to take a class or not… but I think for me it’s more the classroom setting- I barely can get myself to take a regular fitness class at Xsport!

    However, if I did, I’d be something like “Missy Prissy” or “Susie Q”.

  3. I can only speak for Studio L’Amour. Michelle is an amazing instructor. She makes class fun, she’s not overly critical, she teaches you to love your body. There is no nudity in the classes. She shows you the moves and HOW to take things off, but you don’t actually disrobe.
    Women of all ages, races, sizes and ability were in there together. And we encouraged one another. It really is an amazing experience. I highly recommend everyone give it a chance.
    Not up for an 8 week commitment? Se offers burlesque workshops that are one day only. A tease. 🙂
    The shows? Amazing! It’s so fun and beautiful and I can’t get enough. 🙂

  4. I can’t dance to save my life…that being said, I might take a class if given the opportunity. It’s a class for a reason. And I’d love to attend a burlesque show. I never have. We were going to go for my cousin’s bachlorette party but did something else instead (ahem…sugar shack)! Maybe we should get a group together to go to a show (although I’m sure you already have! lol)

    1. I’m always up for a show!! I’ll let you know when there’s one that looks really good. I think the Windy City Burlesque Festival is in June – I’m sure there will be lots of good shows.

  5. That sounds pretty fun!! I went to see Peepshow in Vegas when Holly Madison from Girls Next Door was in it (guilty pleasure in college watching that show!). If you do burlesque, could that count as cross training?? 🙂

        1. So in the class before mine on Sundays (at Vaudezilla) there is a noticeably pregnant woman. I don’t know how she does it, being so front heavy. She’s probably the same woman that ran the Chicago Marathon when she was 40 weeks pregnant.

          1. Dude, I have a hard enough time walking in heels NOT pregnant. I would break my ass trying that 8mos pregnant. Bless her soul, though.
            I’ll never forget when I was workin in the city. A client was further along and I noticed she had pencil thin stiletto heels. She was waking her dog, had a toddler intow and was KILLING it in those heels. I’m just not that kind of girl I guess. 🙁

          2. Who knows. It took me some practice just to figure out how to whip my hair in heels without losing my balance. I’m still working on standing in a sort-of kickline in heels without losing it. And I wear heels all the time at work. Some people are just built differently I guess!

    1. I’ve been trying to think of a good name that includes “Kitty” or “Kitten” since, you know, I’m a crazy cat lady. The hard part is, there are a lot of names already in use.

  6. This sounds like SO MUCH FUN. I saw that you listed some class times and locations – I would love to check out that Vaudeville intro class sometime!!! I’ll have to think of a stage name for myself in the meantime… =D

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