How To Get Started as a Burlesque Dancer

BURLESQUE

Burlesque is a beautiful art form combining dance, performance, acting, glamour, and strip tease. Burlesque artists such as Dita Von Teese, Gypsy Rose Lee and Lili St. Cyr are the some of the women who have brought burlesque into the main stream. Here is how you can join their ranks!

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF

Burlesque is more than just a strip show. It is a variety show, combining strip tease with music, song, comedy and adult entertainment. Male and female performers can be burlesque artists, but women make up the majority of the performers. Read all you can about the history of burlesque and the pioneering performers behind the curtain. Look to the Golden Age of Hollywood for vintage inspiration, style and glamour!

2. LEARN TO DANCE

You must have a certain level of grace, mobility and strength to become a burlesque dancer. These days, size doesn’t matter as much as how well you move. The more dance techniques you are familiar with, the more resources you have when you begin to create your own character and routines. Pole dance workout classes are a great way to build strength and expand your range of motion.

3. TAKE VOICE LESSONS (or at least learn to carry a tune)

Lip syncing is a thing of the past. Even if you weren’t blessed with a beautiful voice, singing lessons will help you find songs that your particular instrument will perform well. If singing is something you do not enjoy, speech and projection are another alternative. The point is to strengthen your voice so that you won’t injure yourself while performing.

4. FIND YOUR LOOK

This is the fun part! Creating your own character is an expression of yourself, so don’t feel pressured to be like someone else. There are a few items that are necessary for every burlesque artist.

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a. Corsets – this is the signature item for every burlesque artist! Start with a few corsets in the basic colors (black, white, red) and expand from there. Simple and elegant satin corsets and bustiers are great because you can add your own embellishments such as rhinestones, ribbons and beads! Make sure your underwear matches! These corsets come with a matching thong so there is no worry!

b. Pasties – you might be stripping but in burlesque it is more about the act of stripping , not the end result. There are fully topless shows, but it isn’t necessary.

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c. Stilettos – bonus points if they’re covered in rhinestones! MORE POINTS if they match your corset.

d. Thigh high stockings – the more to take off, the longer your show!

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e. Scarves – These chiffon scarves come in a multitude of colors, so you’re sure to find one that matches or complements your corset. The slinky and sheer nature of this material makes this a perfect accessory to your curated look!

5. JOIN A BURLESQUE GROUP

The best way to learn how to become a burlesque dancer is by immersion! Join a troupe or take a dance class specifically dedicated to this art form. You will learn to gracefully remove your clothing. The hard part is making it look easy!

6. CREATE and CHOREOGRAPH YOUR SHOW

Your signature routine must come from your own personality and research! Find what you like, play with props and if necessary, consult with a choreographer. Think outside of the box! Play to your strengths. Tell jokes, sing, or even do magic tricks. You can create a routine around anything! The important part is that you stay true to yourself.

7. NETWORK

See other burlesque shows and get to know the people onstage and behind the curtain. There is a wealth of personal knowledge and experiences out there in the industry that can help you on your burlesque journey!

Visit Chicastic for corsets, heels and scarves! Let us help you create your signature look!

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