more burlesque classes and tassel twirling!

May 3, 2010

After the exciting night of kittening I had two more days of burlesque fun filled activities to go – Saturday choreography class and Sunday Classic Burlesque movement class.

Saturday’s choreography class ended up being only Jezebel, Cheeky Lane and myself, so we took the time to work out choreography issues Cheeky and I were having with our routines.  To sound like a broken record, this class has been super helpful and Jezebel is a great teacher! I always leave that class with a bunch of helpful notes and a renewed confidence in my abilities.

Sunday’s class was a different kind of set up but still helpful.  This class is a 4 week intensive on the essentials of burlesque and is taught by the school headmistress herself, Jo Boobs.  Only 10 students could register for the class and I was the last one to get in.  The class is two hours long each sunday and covers two different skills in the burlesque world. 

Weekend #1 was classic burlesque movement and tassel twirling.  The movement part was very similar to other classes I took at the Jim Thorpe Burlesque festival and the one Flirting with Burlesque class.  Jo taught us all a routine which she has taught over the years and incorporates classic moves she learned from some of the original 1930’s burlesque performers.   

For this part of class we did do boa work, so I brought in my own vegan ‘boa’ which was actually a tube scarf I had knitted with fun fur yarn.  Although it definitely looked different from the feather boas, I had no problem working it like the other girls in the class while not having to compromise my beliefs.  Eventually we will do fan dancing, so I will have to start work on creating a fabric fan like I talked about in a previous post.

The second hour of group was about tassel twirling.  Now, for those of you new to the world of burlesque, a typical performance will end with the performer close to nude, but typically they will be covered by small decorated pasties.  Some of them are plain, some super decorated, some are comedic and some are tasselled like the ones on the right created (and for sale) by the Cheesecake Burlesque Review etsy shop.  Pasties prevent the performer from being nude, which means they can perform in bars and clubs without any laws being broken.  At some point in the world of burlesque, tassels became a part of pasties which resulted in the stage burlesque act of tassel twirling.

In the class each student got a pair of practice tasselled pasties which we put on and practiced several different ways of twirling them.  As Jo instructed, she pointed out that different techniques work better, or are easier, for different people and we should practice at home to be able to do them all.  I think people would be surprised at how natural some of the moves are and how fun it can be.  If you ever wanted to try you can always buy premade pasties or make them yourself following directions that can be found online.

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