As I walked into my Intermediate Burlesque class at Femme Fatale Fitness in Kettering, Ohio, I expected to do some sort of warm-up to get my heart rate going and learn a dance that used feathers and boas. It sounded fun. I figured we’d practice the dance over the next five weeks, and then the session would be over and I’d pick a new class to take. Boy was I wrong!
We sat down in a small circle and things started to unfold… the art of burlesque!
Learn more about burlesque here.
By the end of the hour, I’d found out that I’d be choreographing a dance, making a costume, performing solo in front of a crowd, oh – and ending up in pasties! (Cue car braking screech….) I’m sure there are many women who would have walked out at that point, and although there was a little voice in the back of my head saying, “what will people think,” I was too consumed in the idea of creating something—a performance—that was completely mine. Obviously I was going to do a lion theme… and OH THE SPARKLES! The ideas were pouring into my head.
This whole burlesque thing was very new to me. I am not into musicals or show tunes, and didn’t know much about the art of burlesque. As I did some research, I started to become more comfortable with the idea and my creative juices started flowing. I was very nervous to share the news with my husband, my very conservative husband. It was one of those conversations that I started with all the positives: costumes, creativity, all me, so fun, exciting, perform, yay, and then… with my head down to the side very quietly I said, “annnnd I’ll end up in pasties.” It turned into an emotional conversation, but the conclusion was: I’ll do the performance and we won’t talk about it… ever. Oh, and he would NOT be at the show (per his decision).
Joe was not the only one who was less than thrilled. I had a friend tell me I was a terrible person for putting my husband through this. That is was unfaithful… But, all I wanted to do was be covered in sparkles and perform. Nothing more, nothing less. I felt like I was born for this kind of thing, and at that time, there was nothing I wanted more.
I spent five weeks building my costume. With the support of the other women in my class, my mom and many of my friends, I managed to still gain excitement through the process even though not everyone was onboard. I glued and sewed pieces to my costume. I also learned how to pronounce Swarovski (swore off ski, like you swore off skiing – you’re welcome). After all was said and done – my costume was GORGEOUS!
The night of the big show all of the ladies in the class arrived at the bar and piled into a very tiny room. There was no privacy and that was fine. Part of our training was to change in a small room with six other girls. Butts and boobs all over the place. (Just making sure you’re still with me).
My excitement and anxiety was at a 9.5, sure to reach a 10 by the time I hit the stage. Let me explain the layers to my costume: nude thong, nude fishnet hose (makes your legs and ass look amazing), bedazzled and fringed thong –very very bedazzled, ball room shoes, pasties, the best bra you’ve ever seen, a corset, a tutu, and a head piece that would make a queen go gaga! As you may imagine, by the time you get all these layers on you feel FAR from naked. Layers that come off: tutu, corset and, bra. Leaving me with still a decent amount of “stuff” on.
That performance was probably one of the biggest rushes I’ve had in my adult life. I felt beautiful and I had a blast. I had a huge group of friends that came to support me, and guess who sat in the front row…my conservative husband. 🙂
Would I do it again? You know the phrase, “Quit while you’re ahead.” I came, I saw, I conquered… Time to move onto the next adventure.