If you have ever dreamt of expressing your sensuality through dance, then, perhaps, burlesque dance is just what you need. Burlesque is a dancing art which combines erotic and dramatic elements with… humor! The word itself comes from the French word ‘burla’ which stands for ‘joke’ or ‘grotesque’. This is our step by step guide on how to be a burlesque dancer.
Step 1. Research the history and aesthetics of burlesque dancing
Before you begin your journey into the world of burlesque dancing, it is important to know some facts about its history and aesthetics. Allow some time for studying classical and modern burlesque, get inspired by the outstanding performances from the past and the present. Feel your inspiration and understanding of what makes burlesque dancing unique and attractive.
The best known burlesque performers are: Sally Rand, Gypsy Rose Lee, Dixie Evans, Rosita Royce, Betty Rowland, Blaze Starr. The brightest star of contemporary burlesque is Dita von Teese.
Step 2. Grow Your Dancing Skills
Have your dancing sessions regularly in order to get better. Besides visiting the burlesque dancing lessons, it is recommended to get professional training in different styles of dancing, such as classic ballet, jazz, contemporary dancing, etc. Burlesque dance has various elements, and the more experience you have, the better your performances will get, thanks to better variation options you can use.
Step 3. Study the Art of Seduction and Gain Better Command of Your Body
One of the key aspects of burlesque dancing is the use of your body to create the impression of fragility and glamour. Study some seduction techniques, control what and how you look at things and people, control your gestures in order to grab the attention and admiration of the audience. Keep your body busy physically in order to be flexible and move dynamically on stage.
Step 4. Create your own style and persona
Your style and persona is what makes you different from other burlesque dancers. Define your persona, think of your individuality and create a unique artistic image you could wear on stage. Stand out with your originality and style.
Step 5. Start Performing and Move Your Career Along
Find performing opportunities and begin to build your career in this area. What is the best way to get into burlesque?
Participate in burlesque shows, festivals and other events to gain experience and meet people from the professional community. Use social media and create your own website in order to spread information about yourself and your artistic goals.
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It is worth noting that the pay may vary depending on many factors such as experience, professional level, and place of work. According to the latest data, income in US burlesque jobs ranges from $16,640 to $68,640 dollars, averaging at $29,120. The average 50% of burlesque dancers earn $29,120, while the top 75% earn $68,640. If you make a star career in the area, your earnings will be calculated differently, just the same as it is with any star celebrities, and your salary will be discussed separately for each performance you make.
Dita von Teese is an American burlesque dancer and a pin-up model, a costume designer, an entrepreneur and an actress, whose wealth is estimated to be $16 million. She is arguably one of the best known contemporary burlesque performers who is referred to as Queen of Burlesque’.
There are burlesque shows which allow for direct tipping. Viewers get a smile or a kiss on the cheek in return. However, the majority of professional shows do not welcome people from the audience to come on stage.
If you are new to burlesque dancing and you are willing to learn, it’s best to start from the basics. There are many resources and video guides which can help you learn the basic movements and gestures. Getting burlesque dance classes with an instructor may also be helpful to get feedback and advice from professionals. It is necessary to remember that everyone starts from scratch, and time and practice can get you through to becoming an experienced burlesque dancer.
Burlesque is not some art that is only available to some. It is open for everyone who is keen and willing to express one’s individuality this way. Burlesque dancing can uncover the best in every person and helps emphasize the unique things about you personally. It is important to understand that being confident and willing to open up is key to your success in this art.
Just as any other skill learning burlesque dancing requires commitment, practice, and an open mind. It includes dancing, comedy, and eroticism, all of which require time and effort to master.
One of the key learning aspects is accepting your unique body and individuality. It lets people of any shape, size and origin to present their sensuality. Another peculiarity about burlesque is that you can mask the lack of an exceptional dancing talent with a shining image, a character you create, along with your natural sexuality and expressive entourage. Even though you can learn the basics relatively fast in the burlesque classes for beginners, mastering this whole art is a continuous process.