Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diary of a Burlesque Beginner - Week Two

Well, last nights chair routine was actually kind of terrifying. The studio we practice in is a small old place with black and white hard tile floors. I did find this a benefit last week when trying to master the burlesque walk however when your laying on a chair with your legs in the air that hard surface is not so beneficial… especially if you say over estimate your skills and land face first on the ground. Don’t worry I am not typing this with a broken nose, I didn’t fall of my chair hehe. (* please note this was not due to my amazing skills, it was simply because I clung on for dear life lol).

The class started with the usual warm up a quick run through of the poses and basics we went through last week. The showgirl, pin up and glove pose and the burlesque walk had stuck quite firmly in my memory which is bonus. Oh, and we did some “wiggling” and some “grinding”. Our lovely instructor Kitty Kemble unfortunately had an accident during the week and burnt her arm severely. This limited her a bit with some of the poses and the chair routine, but one of friends or students (I’m not sure which) was kind enough to help out and demonstrate with her.

With some of the warm up and run throughs there are points where you are stood on one leg with the other stretched out in the front you, last week I had no problems with this but this week I seem to have left my balance at the door. I didn’t fall over or anything to exciting, but I did have that wobble you get, from well, standing on one leg in heels. All limber and ready we then grabbed a chair and “went to town”. The chair routine is apparently not the usual progression for the second lesson but as we all showed much interest in it our instructor shuffled things around a bit for a treat. Now, from my first paragraph you may think I am being a little dramatic about the tile floor but as I am not the most coordinated person, things that wouldn’t be hard for some can sometimes be quite an effort for me. I don’t have the best balance in general even when wearing flats, so whack some heels on me and ask me to stand one leg and look out! Let alone putting me on a chair on my back with my legs in the air… lol.

Dita doing a chair routine
Image from BurlesqueDaily

The chair routine is actually lots of fun and isn’t particularly hard (if you can balance) so far. You start sitting normally with you legs together, then spread them, put your head down between your legs in front of you and touch the ground, lift you bottom into the air, sit back down, lift your legs up and hold them (kind of like a tuck), spin your bottom on the chair so your facing the other way, drop your legs to the ground, stand on the edge of your heel and lift you body up arching your back (apparently think flashdance, but I haven’t seen it), lower your body back down to a seated position and spin on your bottom again until your facing the opposite direction, lower your body so you back in flat on the seat of the chair making sure to have enough support to lift you legs, lift both legs up stretched out completely and bend one at a time, slowly lift your self back up (gracefully) on the chair, leave your legs to the side but flat on the ground and point your toes with your legs bent slightly. Now, please keep in mind this is just a general gist of what we got up to and please do not attempt this from my simple interpretation of an attempt of explaining. We did also do a few variations were you lift your legs after tucking them up and holding them, then spread them apart in the air... which does sounds simple enough also but it certainly gets the thigh muscles pulsing.

The majority of this was painless enough (well, it was at the time but I give it until tomorrow to kick in) and easy to follow but the part where you are flat on your back with your legs straight out in front of you is kind of daunting when the only place you have to fall if you mess up is the tile floor. I believe I made a few comments along the lines of “shouldn’t we have safety mats or something” during this part but I was concentrating so hard on trying take in all the info. Apparently it’s better if you can find your centre, but after my extraordinary lack of balance in the whole class last night I am beginning to believe I don’t even have one… lol.

Overall the lesson was great but I am going to definitely going to need some practice though. The instructor was kind enough to tell me the name of the iTunes download of the majority of the music use at the lessons which I am going to download tonight. The music is great in general so it will make a nice addition to my iPod playlist. The album is called “how to strip” and costs $16.95, unfortunately though it is only available in digital form via iTunes so the only way to get it is to download, so you can’t get a hard copy (ie disc).

I didn’t mention this in my first post about this but last week I wore my work clothes to the lesson as I wasn’t sure what we were meant to wear. I had on my sailor pants I bought from Betty Jane Boutique at the Rock n Roll Rendezous and a red and white striped long sleve skivvy with mary jane wedges as I wasn’t sure if I should wear stilettos or kitten or heels or what not. I ended up cooking in that as I was dressed for the weather outside and when doing the class you certainly work up some heat. So, this week I wore some high waisted black capris, my bettie page t-shirt and red bandana rosie style with a brogue/gangstar style stack heel. This was much more comfortable to move in and much cooler when things heated up. However, now I am pretty much stumped for ideas of what to wear… I am thinking high waisted shorts and tights/fishnets and a loose-ish but nice top. Any suggestions?

I’m not sure what we will be up to for next weeks lesson so it will be as much as a surprise to me as it is when you read about it. I do know that we will be doing a “knicker routine” and I believe a “glove peel” in the coming weeks though, which sounds very interesting.

Opera gloves
Image from


  1. i love reading your updates :) Thanks again for sharing! It sounds like you're having a lot of fun and get a workout too! Sweet!


  2. Glad you enjoy it :) and no worries! It is a lot of fun and is most certainly a workout...


  3. I love Burlesque dancing, but I'm waaaayy tooo shy. Good luck and post some pictures!

  4. Amazingly i could actually follow the whole routine from your discription!
    I think shorts would be perfectly appropriate for class next week, looking forward to hearing about it.

  5. Sounds like you're having a lot of fun! At least you didn't smack your nose on the floor! I think your idea of wearing shorts is probably best, and a nice vest top maybe.

  6. Ruby - I am pretty shy when it comes to new people myself, but everyone in the class is lovely and its pretty relaxed. :) I will def try and get some pics, but it depends on all the other girls...

    Cherry - so glad my description made sense :) hehe. I think shorts are definitely going to be the go...

    Stefanie Valentine - I know, I don't think it would be much fun with a smashed nose lol. And great idea for the vest, I have one I had completely forgotten about until you said that.


  7. I love Burlesque dancing ♥
    Sounds great!
    have a nice day

  8. aww really cute blog. Hope you could follow me as well! im a happy follower of yours now!


  9. Hi Kim,
    Thanks very much... :) I am checking out your blog right now.