16.3.11

Burlesque Lessons with Hell's Belle's!

I was excited when Michelle asked me to take a burlesque class with her. I'd never taken one before, and had only seen a few shows live. Nonetheless, I was confident that I could handle it. After all, dance just takes it's roots in ballet, right?

Right. Hell's Belles is a burlesque group from Hollywood with a pedigree- they've appeared on national t.v. shows, have regular club appearances, and teach lessons on the regular. These ladies have made burlesque dancing their careers.



Michelle and I entered a large suite on the second floor of a building on Hollywood Boulevard for our first class. We had signed up for a Living Social deal: two beginning burlesque classes for one discounted $3o flat fee (you can add the Belles on Twitter to get updates on these deals).

As we introduced ourselves, it was made apparent that a lot of our classmates had previous dancing experience. Most of them were also tiny and lithe. Normally, I'm okay with my curvy, tall body. The mirror made me feel like I had only work to do.

All of the classes are taught for members of the troupe. They are fast paced; a forty minute warm up and a forty minute routine. The class broke for a few minutes between for water, and my legs were already feeling the burn. Yeah, I guess I do have work to do. Can't I be a Potsticker Burlesque dancer?

We learned how to do a come hither glare while we sashayed across the room. We learned how to get down on the ground and get up off it without being any less ladylike. Most of all, we learned how to dance with a chair.

Actually, the routine in class number one was built around the chair. And thank God, because by that time I was so tired I felt like I needed to sit down. I think the counting in ballet has coddled me, because this went so quick I could hardly keep up!

A few notes if you decide to take the classes:

*This is not traditional burlesque. This is dance based, pop infused burlesque. I felt like a Rock Of Love girlfriend, with less hair extensions. That's not a bad thing, by the way.

*Make sure when you sign up that you are placed in two classes that are different (A and B). You'll learn different routines in each class. Michelle and I experienced a scheduling snafu because we didn't know to check on this--luckily Hell's Belles were rad enough to comp us the extra class we needed. Lesson learned. Make sure you check!

*I wasn't kidding when I said the routine was quick. I'm really interested in technique, so going a little slower would have served me better. It seemed like most of the students kept up. I just don't know if any of us really retained it.

I loved taking this class with a lady friend! It was such a good experience that I bought the same package for another lady as a birthday gift. I can totally see groups of girlfriends doing this for a fun afternoon activity. Totally cute.

1 comment:

jessica mullen said...

This looks so fun!! Thanks for writing about it! I love finding new fun fitness things to do that aren't... RUNNING. :D