If you follow me on social media you’ll know that my most recent endeavour has been burlesque. For a long time, I’ve been interested in taking lessons but it’s only been since I’ve discovered body positivity that I’ve actually booked the damned classes! And what can I say – after winning a ‘gold star’ for the best come to bed eyes – I’m loving it.
If you’re still doubting the body positive benefits of burlesque – even after reading my post, ‘7 Reasons Why Burlesque Rocks the BoPo World’, then look no further! I cornered my burlesque teacher, the fabulous Lizzie Cheeld of Burlesque Jems and we enjoyed a little Q&A session…
What first attracted you to Burlesque?
In 2012 a friend took me to a show in London and I was amazed by the costumes, the sparkles and the dancing – but most of all I loved loved loved the way confidence that was oozing out of all the woman – I wanted to be part of it. The next day I googled local Burlesque classes and found the ‘Jems’. I never looked back and began teaching Burlesque myself in 2014.
How has Burlesque influenced your life?
Massively, it has made me more confident, fitter and most importantly embracing my body and just being me. Last year, I went to a job interview wearing nipple tassles under my clothes. I didn’t get the job but it made me walk and talk with confidence and a cheeky smile.
Do you think Burlesque influences body confidence and female empowerment?
Massively! For me, Burlesque is about owning it – your body and your attitude. It allows women the space and power to do this on all levels. Whether it just ladies who just attend the weekly classes or the inspiring Dita’s of this world. Women’s bodies are a gift and Burlesque is a way of celebrating them in all there wonderful forms.
Do you think that men can feel the same empowerment trying burlesque?
Absolutely the Boylesque is a thriving scene – although I have to admit that I haven’t seen a lot of it. Everything that applies to woman’s ability to be empowered can be applied to men as well.
What are your top tips for burlesque?
Connect with the audience (even if there isn’t one), try different styles until you find the one that suits you best, keep your legs closed as much as possible and enjoy it!
What would you say to anyone wanting to give burlesque a try?
DO IT! Dance experience is irrelevant (if fact non-dancers find it easier I think). Anyone who had attended my classes will tell you how much of the class you will spend laughing – that is what I love the most about my Wednesday nights.