27.2.13

Guest Post: Exercise Your Lady Marmalade

Burlesque… Yes, it’s a work out!

I'm a bit of a fan of an evening class, and a huge fan of dancing, so imagine my excitement when amongst the offers of hair removal, novelty USB sticks and manicures, a discount email offered me a deal on a six week Burlesque course with Twist & Pout.

I turned up at my first class with no expectations other than to feel fabulous and perhaps pretend, for just a few moments, that I was Dita Von Teese... In a basement bar in the City, my classmates (about twenty women of all ages, shapes and sizes) and I met our teacher, the beautiful and bubbly Lauren, a trained dancer with a mega-watt smile and endless legs.

As a bit of a front-row keeno, I was quick to immerse myself in the Burlesque ‘personality’ warm-up, the aim of which was to get us all relaxed, unembarrassed and embracing our inner Immodesty Blaize. For those not as keen (read ‘show-offy’) as me, the entire class and the atmosphere is very relaxed, with no pressure to perform perfectly, and Lauren never, ever singles anyone out. If you were happy to bumble along quietly on the back row, there was no need to come to the front.

I wore what I felt most comfortable in: Black leggings, a leotard (I did say I was a front-row keeno!) and my black work heels. My classmates were in everything from their office suit to the full burlesque get-up, complete with elbow-length gloves and a fluffy boa. One routine is taught per hour-long class, and several of the routines require props such as gloves and boas, and these are supplied.

Elle's take on Burlesque for an evening out :)
The music is what really made the class fun for me- that and Burlesque the facial expressions. Sing-a-long classics by Etta James and Peggy Lee helped get us all into character; it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself when you’re shimmying your shoulders to ‘Fever’ by the mighty Peggy Lee.


The facial expressions – or poses – are hilarious and a chance to really get into the Burlesque state of mind: Lauren teaches the wink, the ‘c’mere’ beckon, the cheeky face and the naughty bum-slap. Combine these with learning how to own a room with a strut that would put Beyonce to shame, and using your thighs to work slow hip circles down to the floor and up again, Burlesque is a workout. I didn't sweat buckets, but I definitely worked hard and with some of the faster routines/ combinations, there was an obvious cardiovascular element.

Aside from the exercise element of Burlesque, the most important thing for me was how much fun I had. It was a great release after work, with no pressure on performance, just sheer good fun. If your inner minx has gone astray, Burlesque is an excellent way to rediscover a flirty, playful side to your personality, as well as giving you confidence in your body and your personality.

So if you see a woman, strutting down the street with a playful smile on her face, she’s probably just come out of a Burlesque class. Why not join her?!

Written by Lex Rees (@Lexilicious21)





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