I’ve been teaching burlesque for 4 years now, and in that time I have had a whole range of students come through the doors. From those who are dancers and want to perform solo acts, to those who are shy and only come to group classes with friends. No matter where you’re at in life, if you’ve ever thought about or wanted to learn burlesque, here’s 5 reasons you should give it a go!
1 – No experience required.
People often think only dancers can do burlesque. Certainly some great performers have formal training, but SO many don’t! As long as you enjoy moving your body, and are willing to learn and try new things, you can do burlesque.
If like me you have injuries that make it impossible for you to do some moves, your teacher should be able to show you other ways or similar moves to do instead. It’s about working within your level of comfort and ability. There is no such thing as perfection in burlesque.
I like to think that it’s more an attitude or state of mind than a specific dance style. It helps if you can hold a beat, but honestly, I’ve seen plenty of people who can’t hit a beat get up on stage and entertain everyone.
2 – Every body is welcome.
I like to say every body can do burlesque. No matter your age, your shape, size, skin colour, gender, or station in life – if you can move, you can burlesque. Female presenting people, male presenting people, and non-binary people all regularly perform burlesque around the world to much acclaim. While it started out predominantly as a female artform, modern burlesque has expanded to be inclusive rather than exclusive, and taps in to both modern and traditional movement styles.
There are even specialists who teach burlesque for people with disabilities. Burlesque is a body accepting space where people learn to love their bodies and move them with love and affection. Burlesque is a feminist act focused on empowering people and celebrating their sexy side.
That being said, it is recommended people aged 18 or older do burlesque due to the adult nature of its history and intention.
3 – Build self-confidence.
If you haven’t already picked up on it, burlesque is an inclusive space that celebrates you. Many people find it challenging to celebrate themselves, whether it’s because of how they look, or what they’ve been told they can or can’t do, or how they have been raised. Sometimes learning burlesque can be challenging as it opens you up to be your true self, and that vulnerability can be a lot for people.
But, if you give it a go, you have nothing to lose other than some time and a small amount of money. At the very least, you’ll likely dance around and be silly for a while. But if you’ve got a good teacher, you’ll have fun, walk tall, and leave the space feeling a bit better about yourself. And that’s the bit that is addictive.
The more you learn, the more you try, and the more you let yourself feel good about your body and sensuality, the more in tune you will be and that’s where the real fun lies.
4 – You don’t have to perform and you don’t have to strip!
So many people get anxious about learning burlesque thinking they will have to get on stage and take their clothes off in front of strangers. While that can be a part of it, learning burlesque in its purest form is about just that, Learning! Burlesque schools will advertise performance and non-performance courses, and will usually indicate if the routine is a non-strip routine. However, even if you choose a performance course, and a striptease routine, there’s plenty of ways to fake a striptease with nude ‘stunt’ bras, and there is nothing forcing you to perform. Talk to your teacher about the options available to you.
5 – It’s about having fun and discovering your inner sensuality
Most burlesque classes and schools bring people together who have a common interest, and everyone learns together. Classes can move at a pace suitable to everyone, and if you’re not picking up a certain move, I always tell my students to ‘Fake it till you Mae’ke it!’.
Forgot the choreography? So what, it’s your solo moment. Can’t do a move? Fine, just let your inner sex kitten shine through and pose up a storm. Don’t think you’re sexy enough? Then you DEFINITELY need to come. Everyone is sexy, everyone is gorgeous, and sometimes you just need to be in a space that lets you discover and celebrate your own unique you-ness.
Try a burlesque class, come with an open mind and heart, be willing to try something new, and who knows – maybe you’ll walk away with a new found love and some best friends for life.
Still think you can’t do it?
I give you permission to try. It doesn’t matter if you’re any good, the goal is to explore a new world and have fun. Let us help you find your sexiness.
Can’t afford classes? Many burlesque schools are run by artists, so we understand the financial challenges people face. I encourage you to reach out and ask about what options are available to you.
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