Saturday, August 18, 2007

Burlesque Classes in Los Angeles . . . Finally!

I've been hunting for burlesque classes in Los Angeles since we had the burlesque master pole class. Los Angeles doesn't seem to be as hip and happening as San Francisco, Seattle and New York with burlesque. (I don't understand why L.A. isn't as hip and happening with lots of things, like pro football, especially since it's such a huge population center.) Anyway, through frequent visits to craigslist I found a class in Los Angeles. Huzzah!

The classes are held on Wednesday nights downtown. This is the same class I couldn't find a week and a half ago because of mapquest. I left my house 45 minutes before class to reach this place. I think every block had a red light within eight blocks of the studio. I was parked five minutes before class was scheduled to start. With my show opening in a month and my trip out of town next week, I couldn't commit to the full run of classes so I'm dropping in for $25 a pop. (As a side note, I'm too busy for pole class until the show's running. That's very sad.)

The class I attended Wednesday had two parts. In the first part, instructor Bella Beretta pulled out oodles of costume pieces and feather fans to serve as inspirado. She uses a lot of ribbons in her costumes. Before her class, I'd never considered fastening a bra closed with a huge ribbon. She had simple and beautiful shimmy belts made from ribbon and beaded trim, fringe or tassels. What was most amazing for me was seeing the costumes up close. They looked fantastic ten feet away, but when I got my hands on them I could see the wear and tear, the glue, the safety pins. She said there's a difference between costumes and street clothes. I felt a little bad because my corset required an extension panel and there's no way it would win a ribbon for sewing at the county fair. After seeing her costume pieces at a distance and up close, I don't feel bad about my work and I know I could have a few more errors and no one would care. Rock!

The second part of the class involved posture, bumping and strutting. Everyone bumps different, and it seems that different teachers teach the bump differently. The posture exercise was great. We did some across-the-floor struts in heels (character shoes for me) to music. It was a good gradient for new people and advanced what she said she covered the week before so no one would get bored.

She assigns homework in her classes. Wednesday night she told the girls to return with a boa and gloves next week and start building a playlist for dancing. I already have a playlist in the works for pole and for burlesque. The week before she assigned people to bring in something that is sexy to them. I got to look at all of these books and collages that girls brought in showing what they thought was sexy. Since I missed the class with the assignment, I figured I'd post a couple pics here. The big question is what to do with this inspirado?

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