Indigo Blue’s Burlesque Class: Day 1

My, oh my does the time fly!  Even though I attended my first burlesque class several weeks ago, I haven’t had a chance to sit still long enough to write out my experiences.  Let me fix that right now.

I am smack dab in the middle of a six week Introductory Burlesque class taught by the famed and fabulous Indigo Blue of Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque.  In six weeks, I’ll not only learn a bit about the history of burlesque, I’ll also create a character, craft my very own burlesque routine, and perform it in public at two shows in the Seattle area!  I’m not a performer by nature so that last part makes me slightly nervous.  On the other hand, I’m super excited about trying something new.  After all, what better hobby for a Lingerie Addict than burlesque?

The first class was all about fundamentals.  We discussed the political origins of burlesque and learned that it used to be a form of protest art performed exclusively by men in response to people who abused their power (such as government officials).  Later, in the mid-1800′s, women adopted burlesque as a way to critique traditional ideas of sexuality and gender.  Unlike those other famous female performers, ballet dancers, burlesque artists invoked meaning through puns, winks, innuendo, and laughter.  They defied notions of what it meant to be a “good girl” and put their bodies on public display, eventually resulting in disapproval and outright condemnation.

Burlesque has never really been fully legal, but as more sexualized dancing became available (i.e. strip clubs), so too did burlesque.  The early 1990′s saw a burlesque revival and Neo-Burlesque took center stage with the creation of events like Tease-o-Rama and the worldwide popularity of artists like Dita von Teese.  Now, there are thriving burlesque scenes all over the world and the movement shows no signs of stopping.

After this brief history, the class spent some time discussing character names and how to pick one.  Indigo Blue emphasized that our character’s name was an important part of setting her personality.  Was she a coquette?  A seductress?  A vixen?  A good name could convey any, or even all, of that.  I struggled with finding the perfect name for my as-yet-undeveloped character.  Tipper Velvet?   No, too perky.  Alanna Monroe?  No, too bland.  Cocoa Velvet?  No, too unsophisticated.

Finally, with the assistance of my good friend K. and Yahoo’s Babelfish, I found the perfect name…Velvet La Soie.  I’ll introduce you to her later on this week.

30 Comments

  1. CMA
    26/01/10 at 0:49

    love your blog!
    keep it up
    thanks for sharing as always
    and thanks for your sweet comment, i really do appreciate it!

    -cma
    COSMICaroline.blogspot.com

  2. Kristine
    26/01/10 at 1:59

    Oh my, the class sounds like a blast, but the public shows would freak me out. Of course I don't have your legs . :) I'm sure you'll pull it off. I look forward to hearing more.

  3. Leah
    26/01/10 at 3:20

    This is awesome… great that you were able to attend the class.

    I love your burlesque name… so mysterious!!!

  4. Ligeia
    26/01/10 at 3:44

    Hello miss velvet :DD

    I adore that name!!! It must be awesome to attend to those classes, so much fun!!

    of course you can add the photo whenever you want, always an honour :)

    mwaaah!!

  5. Rochelle
    26/01/10 at 4:11

    Oh wow that would be amazing to learn!!! keep at it girl i wish i could dance i have to left feet!
    xx
    http://larochellerochelle.blogspot.com/

  6. Angel
    26/01/10 at 4:53

    I'm right behind you… I recently joined a burlesque meetup in the Los Angeles area, and I'm attending an open house this upcoming weekend. My hubby is looking forward to it too :)

  7. Miss Caitlin S.
    26/01/10 at 5:27

    I love burlesque. I think it's so awesome and beautiful and the lingerie is divine in it.

  8. Petra Bellejambes
    26/01/10 at 5:51

    Dear Treacle ..

    The name is superb. Any cross dresser will tell you that adopting a new name and persona is an empowering thing. I am sure you get a little tingle too out of the exercise.

    Burlesque and Lingerie … the boyfriend should be telling at least 10 random strangers a day how lucky he is.

    Keep dancing …

  9. Christen
    26/01/10 at 6:52

    What a crazy awesome experience! I can't wait to hear even more about it!

  10. sarah
    26/01/10 at 7:22

    great post!! i have ALWAYS wanted to try burlesque! im going to have to see if they offer anything in my area now… can't wait to hear more!

  11. Couture Carrie
    26/01/10 at 8:44

    So much fun, darling!
    Love the name!

    xoxox,
    CC

  12. Festy
    26/01/10 at 8:45

    I like your blog! I'm following it!
    xoxo
    Festy

  13. Sher
    26/01/10 at 10:11

    Oh my, I do love your burlesque name! Sounds sexy and mysterious all at the same time!

    The class must be really interesting and fun, teach us something:P

  14. Rachel
    26/01/10 at 10:17

    The class sounds great! I'm sure it's a lot of fun!

  15. Reaper
    26/01/10 at 10:48

    WOW…..

    nice and the name is fun…

  16. Isquisofrenia
    26/01/10 at 11:56

    is that katy p?
    she looks cute !
    i dont know girl i think its just one pattern?

  17. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl
    26/01/10 at 12:10

    You are right! There's hardly a better hobby for a lingerie addict than burlesque! Wow, I am so excited for you somehow, it all sounds like a lot of fun :)

  18. Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle
    26/01/10 at 13:29

    Wow! Bravo! You are brave! I know someone who decided to become a burlesque dancer, trained and everything and LOVES it! Can't wait for your follow up posts!

    xo

  19. Miss Eve
    26/01/10 at 13:42

    Love your burlesque name darling! Also the class sounds so much fun :-)

    Cheers: Evi

  20. Katie@Knickersblog
    26/01/10 at 14:15

    That sounds like too much fun! Do keep us posted.

  21. Kelly
    26/01/10 at 15:38

    Oh this sounds like SO much fun. Can't wait to hear more!

  22. Monica Bedi
    26/01/10 at 16:44

    sounds like such funnnn!

    wowww.

    sincerely, the fashionista from
    thesilentswagger.blogspot.com

  23. Charles
    26/01/10 at 18:49

    that is BEYOND exciting! can't wait to hear more! :D

    &
    love the name!
    xx

  24. Mish Dish
    26/01/10 at 19:58

    Your class experience sounds amazing. I really do love Dita Von Tesse. Great post! xo Mish

    http://www.themishdish.blogspot.com

  25. clarewbrown
    26/01/10 at 22:12

    Oh I love that you are doing burlesque!! I have a coworker who does it and she loves it!! I LOVE your name :)

  26. michelle_
    26/01/10 at 22:16

    LOVE ur burlesque name . must someting interesting to try out.. sadly i dont think burlesque is available in indo ! hahah

    thanks soo much for dropping by at my blog :D
    hope you'll check out my new post up now :D

    love . michelle @ GLISTERS&BLISTERS

  27. Jennifer Fabulous
    26/01/10 at 22:46

    Oh my god that class sounds like a BLAST!! That is so freaking cool you are learning burlesque. I'm jealous. :)

    I love the name you chose. It is sophisticated and sexy at the same time, which is so hard to do.

    Wow, I would love to have a fun hobby like that. I have always been longing to try belly dancing…you might just have inspired me to go ahead and do it!

  28. trishie
    26/01/10 at 23:26

    Ooo, i love burlesque, so sexy!

  29. bsblove9
    26/01/10 at 23:52

    I jealous, I've wanted to do that ever since I saw "A wink and a Smile: The art of Burlesque". I'm sure you'll have loads of fun. Good luck!

  30. Treacle
    27/01/10 at 3:49

    @Angel
    Thanks so much for commenting, love. I understand what you're saying about boyfriends…I think mine is looking forward to the final performance more than I am!

    @Festy
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love it when new readers comment. Please feel free to do so whenever you like.

    @Isquisofrenia
    No, those photos are actually of my burlesque instructor…Miss Indigo Blue. :-)

    @Jennifer Fabulous
    You should totally do bellydancing! I bet you'd love it.

    @Petra Bellejames
    Once again, I find myself wondering what I've done to deserve such fantastic readers like you. Thanks so much for the kind words.

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