This challenge was set by my gorgeous friend Georgia and it’s probably one of the challenges that I was most nervous about. Though I have loved burlesque for a long time and I used to do a bit of performing (mainly drama and singing) back in’t day, the prospect of shimmying, shaking and strutting my stuff as a grown woman made me feel pretty uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, myself, George and a few willing victims from my office (thanks for joining in guys!) popped along to Burlesque Baby’s Level 1 class taught by the extraordinarily talented Ruby Deshabille. It was a four week run of one hour classes in Covent Garden, the first of which took place on the 16th Jan when myself and around 25 other lovely ladies took our first steps into the world of burlesque.
At level one, there is absolutely no clothes removal. For these classes it’s all about learning the skills of burlesque, as well as finding the confidence and letting out your inner diva. The first class made me feel pretty awkward and incredibly un-coordinated but we paraded our way around the room, working on burlesque arms, struts and bumps, as well as learning the importance of facial expressions, posture, and props.
Fast forward four weeks and me and the girls found ourselves at the final class having (pretty much) learned a 45 second routine, eight of the 52 (I think) ways to remove gloves and where to find the confidence for the art of burlesque. Told to dress up to help us let out our own Sasha Fierce style alter ego, I donned my ballet leotard and a splash of red lipstick and was ready to boogie. (Apologies in advance for these pictures, but I thought photographic evidence was a must…? Awkward).
Unfortunately, the tube strike meant that the teacher who was meant to be covering for Ruby, who was performing in Burlesque on Ice, got stuck on a bus somewhere en route to Covent Garden and the class had to be cancelled. We’re re-doing the last class in a couple of weeks but as the challenge was to do at least two classes, I’m declaring this one complete.
So many women have said “I’m not sure that’s for me” but level one is so keenly focused on just being bold and fabulous, I can’t recommend it enough for helping women move a step closer to fierce fearlessness. The increase in my own confidence has been almost immeasurable and I think finding that is priceless, wherever it comes from, so I’m heartily recommending every woman gives at least a couple of burlesque classes a try in their lifetimes.
This challenge exemplifies exactly what #25at25 was about for me. Despite making noises about doing something like this for years, I’d likely never have committed without being given a push. This class pushed my boundaries, got me out of my comfort zone and made me do something new and awesome. And for all it was uncomfortable at times and I’ve never liked seeing myself in a mirror less, I loved it and I’m looking forward to doing Level 2 in the future.
FYI, this is our amazing teacher Ruby Deshabille performing a fan dance – most probably my favourite style of burlesque routine. She’s a total a pro.