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Tease as you tone. Dita Von Teese, the Pussycat Dolls and a seductive selection of other scantily clad darlings have seen to it that the old, nay ancient, art of burlesque dance has had resurgence. The risqué technique, once an exaggerated form of theatre before becoming associated with striptease and ‘ladies of the night’, is now a great way to shimmy into shape and put a lot of fun back into fitness.

How does it work?

Most burlesque dance classes offer beginner sessions so that may well be the place to start unless you were an extra in Moulin Rouge. The instructors will ease you in slowly, and everyone has a great laugh along the way so there’s no need to worry about your less than perfect dance moves.

In terms of kit you don’t need to turn up complete with basque, stockings and a feather boa – unless that’s your style. Class costumes can range from joggers and leggings for comfort, to swishy skirts and vests for an extra bit of oomph, so just wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Make sure you take trainers and a pair of heels though, and bear in mind that there will be some floor work. Intensity can range between classes and routines, but the general rule is to just join in with the moves and routines you feel happy with and have fun along the way.

Is it for me?

Burlesque, whether on stage or in a dance class, is undeniably sexy so you should come prepared to reveal your inner exhibitionist. That being said, it’s a great way to build confidence and learn to appreciate your body. Curvy, voluptuous or slender, burlesque will teach you how to move your body seductively, and execute the sexiest of dance moves. The class inspires a real sense of ‘dance troupe’ too - great if you need the motivation of a group. If you’re looking to get some exercise, have a lot of fun, and morph into a confident seductress, then burlesque could well be for you – you could even take a friend along for an alternative night out.

Good to know

The word burlesque actually means "in an upside down style" and originally, burlesque acts were performances of a classical opera with an exaggerated, humorous and risqué twist.

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