Don’t you just love the idea of being confident and competent enough to let loose and dance sensuously?
I’ve never really been a dancer, even though I took ballet for a whopping 2 years when I was a kid, and did a salsa and tango classes…uhhhh, almost 20 years ago.
I was never comfortable at the dance club, to be honest, compared to the other girls and boys who seemed to have all the moves.
So, was signing up for a burlesque class a little scary? Maybe…which is why I invited a friend to join me!
BurlesqueUni was founded by Rosie Mae and Pastel Supernova, two fabulous dancers and friends who decided to bring a little zing to the Toronto fitness scene. They established themselves by teaching out of a rented studio, but have since opened up their own studio on Spadina Avenue near College.
The theme for this class is burlesque dancing, but using chairs as props. They recommend wearing stilettos, but with a broken toe, I had to stick to my Chucks. Very disappointing, after seeing how rocking their heels make the other students look so sexy!
The warmup got me lightly sweating, and then we moved on to the main part of the class: the routine! This was such a treat, because I wasn’t sure if we’d be doing an actual dance, or just exercise moves based on burlesque.
Rosie means business, though! You are NOT leaving her class without learning to look fabulous, and she was full of tips to get us there. For instance: how to caress your legs as you rise out of a squat; how to look over your shoulder at your ‘audience’ and strike a pose; how to gracefully spin yourself on the chair seat; how to go down into a squat without looking like you’re taking a dump.
For those of you with bad knees, there were some tough bits that require you to put your whole weight on one folded knee, which I found uncomfortable. But I did notice how much stronger that knee felt the next day (I did my best).
What I loved
One of the things I loved about this class was how much fun everyone seemed to be having. There were all different levels of competency, and so it was really neat to see how it would look if you stuck with the training. (I was inspired enough that I will definitely be back.)
Another thing I loved about this class is the opportunity to dress up for it! For most exercise classes you’re trying to figure out what you can be comfortable sweating in. With burlesque, you’re definitely going to want to get a little costumed-up, with sheer leggings or some booty shorts; perhaps a cropped tank, or just a fancy sports bra. And of course: it’s a chance to wear your sexiest heels!
Rosie Mae is essentially a classic dance instructor, but with an avant-garde style. She ran us through the routine in chunks, letting us learn segments until we’d mastered the steps, and then stitched them all together.
She broke the class up into two different halves and had us also perform for each other, because performance is a huge part of burlesque.
She’s fun, light hearted, cracked jokes but also takes her subject seriously – the same as you’d expect from any fitness instructor.
Why you should go
It’s so easy to feel happy and full of joy when you’re dancing to good music. But other than that obvious point, it’s also great for core and for all those small stabilizer muscles, which help you to be more graceful as you go about your everyday life. And just think of your posture!
This is a great class if you want to work on your confidence, or if you want to add a little fun and spice to your relationships, because it WILL make you more aware of how you move.
It’s also quite the experience, and it is absolutely the perfect class to do with a group of your favourite girlfriends – you’ll find yourselves supporting and complimenting each other. You can practice the poses and flirty-ness with each other!
Trust me, do this class together, you’ll have plenty of stuff to talk about for weeks afterward over a glass of wine.
You can book classes with BurlesqueUni on FitIn by clicking on the links below:
Catherine Chan is the Founder & CEO of FitIn.io, a new fitness platform connecting Canadians with personal trainers/instructors, fitness, exercise or movement classes near them in mere minutes. A mental health advocate, she has dedicated a part of her platform to mental health and wellness classes, promoting movement + mindfulness in order to find profound, sustainable health.