December 8, 2013

Once a month, I take a burlesque class at a ladies gym near my apartment. I started going there when I saw an online deal for a half-price punch card. Figured the place was okay because a friend of mine does their pole-dancing classes. Burlesque sounded fun, and I didn’t really know what to expect when I showed up to my first class, but I loved it from the first moment.

In each class, we get a take off a new piece of clothing. Sometimes it’s gloves, sometimes leg warmers, and sometimes we get to take off our shirts and fling them across the room. Every class, we learn a new routine, and pretty much every class, I forget most of the routine, or so I think. I definitely have found more confidence in my regular dancing. And I know I haven’t forgotten everything; just the order of the movements. With any skill, I get better with each class, and retain a little more. It all feels incredibly empowering.

The instructor dances with a local troupe, Cin City Burlesque, and they had a Christmas-themed show last night at a club called Bogart’s. Bogart’s is one of those places with a storied history. Pretty much anyone who has been a fan of the local music scene has been there, and it was kind of weird that I had never been there before, considering how many shows I have attended. Anyway, it kind of smelled funky and the chairs were super uncomfortable.

And then I did this stupid thing. I forgot to bring a book. I showed up early because I knew parking was going to be awful, and then sat there for a moment a little bored. Then I realized that while I may have forgotten a book, I did not forget my notebook, so I wrote a few ideas down. I was in the midst of jotting down some thoughts for my next blog entry when someone from dance class came over and sat next to me. We started talking about class and the show and such, and how much fun it would be to take the workshop and actually get up on stage. And that was how I learned the name of one of the other ladies from burlesque class. She seems incredibly extroverted, and like one of those people who is always encouraging others to do fun things they’ve never tried before. I like to watch people like that, wonder how the hell they do that extrovert thing. And that is so very like me, so like an introvert to take all that in and ruminate on it.

We talked about how even when you flub the steps, you can still look good. She told me, “You always look confident out there.” And that made me really happy, because I have absolutely found a ton of confidence in these dance classes. So I think I might actually end up doing one of those workshops, maybe.

The show was fantastic. It was my first burlesque show. It was amazing to see so many different sized bodies up on that stage. Everyone looked amazing, and it was so much fun to see my instructor dancing her heart out. When she dances, she seems like she’s enjoying every second of it. Every move, every twirl, every reveal. It was a beautiful thing to behold. One of my favorite parts of the entire show was the routine by a few ladies who did the latest workshop. One of the ladies was about my size, and she had made her own sparkly skirt, and had a Hello Kitty corset. My kind of people. It was incredibly inspiring. And all she had to do to get up there was take a chance, learn the steps, and shine.

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