Friday, February 11, 2011

Spreading the Burlesque Love!

I started my burlesque school as the answer to all the ladies from my audiences who came up after a show asking, "How do I do this?". At the time I had a troupe, but it was already chock full of talented glitter queens, and I wanted a way to show all these other ladies how to shake it, and give them the tools to create performance and take it to the stage.

When I started Vivienne VaVoom's School of Burlesque in 2006 I took the great advice I received from Michelle L'amour and her Studio L'amour, Miss Indigo Blue, headmistress of the Academy of Burlesque in Seattle and Jo Boobs, headmistress of the School of Burlesque in New York and combined it with how I trained the girls who joined Burlesque As It Was, plus added a dash of all the things I wish I'd know when I started in 1998 with only videos and books to train with.

The school has grown and grown and now I sell out nearly every month! It started as a place for all those girls who wouldn't fit into my troupe, and has become an absolute labor of love. Every time I see a girl hit the stage with her first Queen number, every time a girl peels off a glove in the group Starlet act, and feels the warmth and encouragement of the audience and then runs off stage exclaiming, "When do I get to do that again!" I fall in love with burlesque all over again.

Most of my students come in ready to break out of some kind of shell- shyness, body image issues, stage fright, or the crippling idea that she'll never feel sexy onstage- and the process of breaking and finally destroying that shell is SO gratifying. They thank me after, but really I have to thank them for including me on their journey, for trusting me to take them where they want and need to go.

Last night was our first burlesque recital at Bender's Tavern and that room was filled with so much love (literally filled- standing room only) and encouragement. The back stage was chilly, but I never felt cold as I stood beside the light that filled all the ladies who took the stage last night- and I mean took it.

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