A girlfriend of mine convinced me to attend a burlesque show back in June 2012. At the time, I didn’t really have much of a concept of what burlesque was. Like most people, I just assumed it was a more theatrical and lavish form of striptease. While this is the case, the show I attended was presented by real women. Wives, daughters, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and girlfriends. Women of all shapes, sizes and ages. They strutted around in their corsets, vintage hairdo’s, fishnets and heels. My breath was swept away as I literally started salivating the moment I walked in the room to be surrounded by a throng of exquisite babes. I was enchanted immediately by the dancers. They were humourous but also technical (especially those level 4 and 5 dancers). The women teased us with their hands, eyes, props, legs, and smiles.
How is it possible for these women to be so damn confident in a room full of strangers? These ladies were not stripping at all. That’s not what Burlesquercise is about. Burlesquercise was created by renowned ballroom dance coach and judge, Di Lefebvre. It is a form of fitness that embraces the beauty of women and allows them to feel confident inside and out through dance. Women come from all walks of life and all income, age, and size backgrounds. All are welcome and appreciated! Once you are part of the tribe, even if you leave, you still remain friends with some of the most beautiful women you’ve ever met. And man do they have killer curves and moves!
Immediately after the show, I signed up for Burlesquercise 101. I was so nervous to attend that first class in the summer. It turns out everyone was just as nervous as me! Were we supposed to strip? I didn’t really know what to expect.
Miss Annick was my instructor and she was a petite, fiesty brunette. Her piercing dark eyes and calm face revealed nothing…until she opened her mouth and we all started laughing. She made us feel instantly comfortable in our bodies by forcing us to close our eyes and then feel ourselves up. Annick cracked all sorts of dirty jokes and we giggled our way to abs! We oooooo’d and aaaaahhh’d our way through the vowels while “zoning”. Each zone represents a different part of the body. Zone 1 is the hair, head and face. Zone 2 is the breasts. Zone 3 is the stomach and torso. Zone 4 is the hips. Zone 5 is the butt and legs. Sometimes I zone just to put an extra spring in my step!
The next lesson was to open our eyes, look around the room and watch everyone else doing what we all just did with our eyes closed. When no one was looking, we were safe. But now here we were, women touching our own bodies and actually sounding excited and positively orgasmic doing it! I was so turned on in fact, I rushed home and mauled my dear husband in my sweaty gym clothes, which I never had the audacity to try before!
How had I gone through my life without this course? Why are more women not doing this? This could literally save marriages and relationships by making women more comfortable in their own skin! I fell in love and never stopped signing up for classes again. My burly resume now includes 3 galas and 1 Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix performance. I never thought I’d ever perform like that! I look in the mirror now and smile brightly at myself. It takes several minutes for me to behold the beauty in front of me and check out my body a few times a day. My curves are downright dangerous and I know how to use them!
Miss Leslie and Miss Kim round out the foursome of delightful teachers. Both are energetic and powerful dancers. If you’ve ever seen Leslie dance with a giant headdress of ostrich feathers and sequined outfit on a hot day at a street festival, you know what I’m talking about! The ladies crack all sorts of jokes in class! We sweat to death with ballroom drills and Zumba warmups. These women are not only mentors but they really try to get to know all the students. I feel cared for and appreciated. They hug me and ask me how I am. They know my name! I don’t think I’ve ever gone through that in a spin or yoga class before.
I still can’t walk in heels for the life of me…until you bust out some music and all of a sudden I’m strutting and spinning like I actually know what I’m doing. It doesn’t even matter because the confidence overtakes any flaws in the execution!
Nowadays I get turned on by feathers and high heels. I even feel daring enough to wear fishnets to the office from time to time. My heart beats a little faster when I slide into a body hugging dress. I strut in the Plus 15’s and make eye contact with strangers. We were encouraged to practice this by our Burlesquercise instructors to improve our performance skills.
I love the power I have now with a hip sway, a sideways glance, a scarlet pout, and a flip of my hair. It’s mastery and it’s divinity. I am a Goddess. Thank you, Burlesquercise for giving me body confidence that I never had without you and your vixens!
Thanks for reading this series of posts on body confidence. My next post will take us back into the spiritual realm where we explore confidence related to mediumship and psychic readings. Everything we experience in our lives is connected to the overall plan. Becoming confident in one part of your life means confidence comes easier for everything that you do.