This is me a couple years ago at a shoot I did as part of our burlesque class.
Now before your mind instantly runs away to nipple tassles and strippers stop! It was first and foremost and exercise class, with some fun, flirty elements added in. But we did do the class in heels and corsets were optional 😉
I started the class when my weight was getting lower and I was feeling more confident. Luckily it was a brand new class and there were only three of us there. I emailed the instructor back and forth and she really put me at ease.
The class was BRUTAL! I’ve never had a workout like it.
Imagine you’re on a stage. Music starts playing. You’re wearing you’re regular gym clothes but also a pair of killer heels. You’re sitting on a wooden chair, side on. You’re miming along to the music, pretending to sip champagne, flicking your hair and making flirty winks at the other girls on the stage. You bite your elbow glove off with your teeth and throw it away. Sounds quite saucy, even a little fun?
But that chair you’re sitting on, side on. You’re leaning back at a 45° angle. You’re legs are also up at a 45° angle, and you’re pretending to cycle, kicking your legs in time with the music, for the whole song.
Can you image doing a bicycle for 4 minutes straight?
The acting distracts you and keeps you focused on something else for a little while.
It was an absolute killer!
Then comes the next song. A mix of squats (in stilettos) and those leg lifts you do when you lie on one side and lift one leg up and down, pulsing at height.
It was great fun though, and we got to do little routines and wear feather boas.
I even performed a couple of times. That was absolutely terrifying. First time it was me and one other girl performing as a sort of midway act in a pole dancing class showcase. Those girls were athletic! No way could I hold myself sideways using only the strength in my arms. We also did a dance as part of a big opening event for a swish hair salon. We got to dance down the posh stairs and perform using the salon chairs, it was such a buzz! It still feels odd sitting there to get my hair done.
I met so many lovely people in the classes, from the young, old, fat, glamorous, confident and even shy girls at the classes.
Most of them I met at our big charity fundraiser.
Although it was predominantly a fitness class, we did have one big night where we ran a charity fundraiser for the women’s health unit at the hospital. We sold tickets, did raffles, and even a dancers sponsorship. This meant costumes, hair, make up, photographers, videographers and even the local press.
Me and two of the other girls made it into the paper under their celeb readers section, shown on stage reading the paper. (Yes it has a very small readership lol).
All the different classes came together for one night. We all did two songs each and there were filler acts. The girls from the pole dancing class came back to join us this time, we also had singers, street cheerleaders and an elderly women’s tap class. It was a fantastic mix
Friends and family bought tickets and came along to support us all.
Our two songs involved us being dressed as ‘the soldiers sweethearts’ and a circus act where I got to be the LION! (Or the leopard anyway, I already had a swimsuit, ears, tail, bow tie etc. (as you do).
This class gave me an incredible boost of self confidence, and not only that, I learned to love how I looked, exactly as I was. For burlesque you need curves, something to put in your corset, skinny just doesn’t cut it.
Not only was I happier and more confident, but with the intense workouts and extra rehearsal time running up to the show I lost a bit more weight and toned up dramatically.
Far more fun than the treadmill!
But unfortunately burlesque will always conjure up images of nipple tassles, so I had to stop going when I finished college and started work. I needed to be professional. But I still miss the thrill, and I still have all my costumes just in case.
Have any of you had any different fitness classes?