Two weeks ago, a friend of mine, invited me to Denver to try out a Burlesque Intro Training, at Bon Vivant Burlesque Academy. HOLY WOW it was fun. $15 for some wine, chocolate, and a little history lesson about Burlesque. Oh, as well as gloves on Boa Tossing and classy routines, to excite even the biggest critic in front of the mirror, ourselves. Turns out it was an accidental "Janet Jackson at the SuperBowl" style incident in a Vaudeville Act, that brought about the American Burlesque in the 20's and 30's. How exciting! I love accidental profits!
When I first planned on going to this class, I was a little nervous, no joke. I am not particularly excited by my reflection in the mirror, nor do I have the best dance moves, aside from my single finger twirl-twirl. Guess that is the point of the wine at the beginning of class, for those who might need a bit of liquid encouragement. Alas, I realized that I have hips, and large bosoms, and well, I like to shake it! Yes, I like to shake my ass, and bring my hips alive in circles and swirls. I know this, because I dance when I clean my kitchen on the regular.
We went around, one by one, and each had a few words of our expereince in this genre of theater, and why we were there. I was captivated by the sounds coming out of mouths, instantly. I could also see my stage performance unfold. I heard the words, "no body shaming", that was my own ticket in. I heard the words, artistic expression, and I was transported to a stage, where a banjo, mandolin, and drum beat slowly began to play. I heard the words, "comical reveal", and as my hips shook to the base beat, my arms and body began a mating dance. It was amazing. Before I could even remove one thing, it was my turn to answer the question. Yay day dreaming.
My response was along the lines of... I suffer from severe body shaming. I am testing out anything that brings me back into my body, and this is one of the most exciting ways to do it. I like to be on stage, and my friend, Sheena, next to me, brought me here. That was when we all got up and started to move our bodies, and began the class in embodiment. It was great! DD Honey B, is a TOTAL inspiration. I am finally not afraid of BOA's and will wear one at anytime, for any reason, to show off my newly acquired skills.
There is place for everything, in burlesque. Here is the Wikipedia first line definition: Burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which, in turn, is derived from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.
I have so little sex in my life, that trying to be sexy, looked very funny in the mirror, but awakened something inside myself. News Flash: I realized 3 things. #1 I was doing this for myself. #2 I am here to enjoy my body, however that shows up in my life. Where ever it is at, here and now, until I die. #3 I now have to add, "Large room with wall of mirror" to my "future home" list of amenities. The mirror became my friend by the end of the class. It is wonderful to be able to watch oneself get into the roll of dancer/ stripteaser. Truth be told, I was rewiring my brain with each step, and hip shake and face move, and barely noticed what I looked like in the mirror. When I did look up, I was instantly reminded how my left is your right, oops, try that again, and again.
Way fun, liberating, and a place I plan on going to more. Bon Vivant Burlesque Academy is so much more than a dance studio. Neo-burlesque on this side of the Atlantic, can be the removal of just one item, not your whole outfit. This is like the tossing of old habits. What if we all casually, and humorously removed items, or people, or thoughts, with the sassiness of a Burlesque Show? Might there be more empowerment in our own raw truth of how we feel good, when we remove all judgment and judgements? I ask you, what else is possible when we do this?