Getting Into Burlesque: Part 1

It’s a new year and a new you! You’ve decided to take the plunge into the sparkly world of burlesque, but where to begin? Perhaps you’ve attended a couple of shows and been inspired to become a burlesque performer, or maybe you come from another artistic background and wish to expand your horizons. Whatever your motivation, here are some starting points so you can get that glittery ball rolling…

Join a Class

If you want to become a burlesque dancer but don’t come from a performance background, the thought of strutting onstage before an audience whilst posing and peeling might seem like the most terrifying thing in the world! But it doesn’t have to be. One of the first steps, in this case, might be to find yourself a class, where you can build your confidence, learn some moves and start to get a feel for performing. Don’t be daunted by the thought of everyone else in the class; remember – you’re all new to this and they’re probably just as scared as you!
Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret offers burlesque classes from beginners to advanced, as well as private tuition and hen party burlesque classes. Whether you’re keen to tread the boards of burlesque onstage, or you simply want to learn some burlesque for your own confidence, the Academy can help build your confidence and get you started on your burlesque journey.

Do Some Research

We’re not talking about boring old study here, we mean get out there and find out just what burlesque is all about! The increasing popularity of burlesque in the UK over the last decade means that there are lots of shows all over the country, from large-scale, high-end theatre shows, to smaller, more intimate cabarets, so have a look and see what events are on near you.

Also, head over to YouTube and check out some burlesque videos. With the release of ‘Burlesque’ the movie in 2010 featuring Christina Aguilera and Cher, many more people became aware of the genre as it was pushed into the mainstream. Dita Von Teese has also played an enormous role in helping to bring burlesque to a wider audience – who hasn’t dreamt of splashing about in their own giant crystal martini glass, right?!

Gypsy Charms performs burlesque in Oban. Image Kevin Wyllie.

However, burlesque is so much more than this – it’s not just feather boas and corsets. It incorporates many different dance and performance styles, costuming ideas, music and concepts. Unlike any other type of performance, burlesque can be what you want it to be! Obviously there are some ‘given’ tropes such as bawdy parody, striptease, or tongue-in-cheek humour, but once you’ve chosen your basis, it’s pretty much up to you where you want to take it from there! Incorporate your own styles, ideas, music tastes and themes to come up with something that is uniquely ‘you’.

Tip: if you’re searching for burlesque on YouTube for the first time and don’t want to end up with hundreds of videos from the aforementioned movie, try ‘Burlesque Hall of Fame’ (the ‘Miss World’ of Burlesque) and go from there.

That brings us to the end of ‘Getting into Burlesque – Part 1’. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and we’ll be back next week with Part 2. Stay tuned!