Learning Burlesque: Boost Your Confidence with our Top Tips

Many of the ladies we meet who are new to burlesque, whether they’re beginners in our weekly classes or ladies who attend our burlesque hen parties, feel a little nervous or unsure of what to expect. Do I have to get naked? Will other people be staring at me? How do I look sexy and not feel silly? So we’ve put together some top tips, to help you sweep aside those doubts and get started on your burlesque journey…

Believe in yourself and don’t worry about what others think.
Putting yourself ‘out there’ on a stage can be a terrifying prospect. What if I can’t do this? What if I make a mistake? What if people laugh at me? Thankfully, if you’re just starting out at beginners’ classes, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about these things yet! Everyone else is new to it too and is probably just as nervous as you; in fact they’ll probably be so busy worrying about these things themselves, they won’t be paying any attention to you. And if taking burlesque onstage isn’t for you, that’s quite alright too; many ladies take our classes for fun, for a confidence boost or simply to try something a bit different.

Remember: in the beginners class everyone else is just as new to this as you are.
Remember: in the beginners class everyone else is just as new to this as you are.

Focus on your own abilities and work with them.
Burlesque is a personal journey, everyone finds their own style over time, so stop worrying and just go with it. If you find something you’re good at, work it! As you figure out your strengths, incorporate them into your style / movement and later on, your own routines. If you have other skills that can be utilised to good effect, experiment with working them into your style too. Singer? Musician? Mime? Dancer? Gymnast? Poet? Contemporary burlesque is a fantastically varied art form which often interweaves with other genres.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to get naked.
One of the most common questions or ‘fears’ that we hear when we meet a group new to burlesque is The Naked Question. Yes, burlesque entertainment often includes nipple tassels and fancy pants, boobs and bums, but when you’re just learning the ropes, nobody is expecting you to get your kit off. Tassel twirling for example, although not as effective when dressed (due to the way clothing inhibits the body’s natural movement), is initially taught when dressed. If as you grow in confidence, you fancy trying some au natural twirly action, go for it! If that’s not your cup of tea, just move on and find another skill or element that appeals to you. Burlesque as a hobby, is all about your choices, what you are comfortable with and what makes you feel good.

Burlesque class Newport
Burlesque as a hobby should be fun, so try to relax, smile and enjoy yourself.

Relax and enjoy yourself!
Ok, so this might sound next to impossible, when you’re wobbling around in the heels you dug out of the back of the closet, trying to strike a ‘Showgirl Pose’ without tottering over, but it’s an absolute must. Letting go of your fears and hang-ups will allow you to start feeling more confident and if you’re not as tense, a lot of moves (shimmying, bump n’ grind) will come a lot more easily if you can relax and go with the flow.

We hope this has been useful to some of our new burly girls out there and those of you thinking about booking into our classes.

We’ve just started the summer term of our Edinburgh and Glasgow weekly classes, which include beginners and improvers classes. For more information, visit:

Edinburgh: http://www.dancebase.co.uk/classes/just-for-fun/

Glasgow: http://www.dancehouse.org/classes/stage-screen/burlesque/