In our daily routine lives, it is rare that we get the opportunity to wrap a feather boa around our neck and strut across a stage in our best heels.
Vintage Burlesque with Madame M was a jam-packed hour and a quarter that explored dance, sensuality, and self-expression, all in the name of fun and liberation. We were lucky enough to be taught by the passionate and encouraging Maree, who has extensive experience not only as a dancer, but also as an actor and tantric yogi. She specialises in sensual burlesque and has spent the past seven years teaching women all about having confidence in their sensuality, and how to embrace their femininity and female power.
There was no need to have ever danced before to participate in this class, even a total beginner of any age would find their feet and be dancing in no time.
Not only did we learn some classic 50’s burlesque moves such as the bump ‘n’ grind, shoulder-shimmies and booty-shaking, but these moves were then spiced up with bright red feather boas, gloves and even a chair. Everyone looked amazing dancing with their props, which added flair and brought a lot of life and fun to the routine. The feather boas were especially a big hit among the class, allowing a time for our own unique styles to come out as everyone danced together and explored the style of sensual burlesque. Maree made sure the atmosphere was always encouraging and supportive, which allowed everyone to fully escape any self-doubt they were holding on to and let themselves enjoy the night.
On top of having a lot of fun and trying out some new moves, we also learned that burlesque dancing could be a great alternative for your usual workout. If you’re sick of the gym, vintage burlesque can be a great way to switch things up while still strengthening your core, your thighs and your glutes, while improving your flexibility.
Having a teacher as experienced as Maree meant that we not only learnt about burlesque, but also some tantric breathing exercises. These exercises can help calm and ground you when you are feeling out of sorts. With our modern day lifestyles being so go-go-go, and at times highly stressful, who knew that you could learn techniques to relieve such stress in a fun and energetic burlesque class?
We can’t always control when we begin to feel stressed or anxious, so these breathing exercises can be an amazing tool to have on board to help us on those tough days.
Maree spoke ardently about the importance of modern day women not being afraid to embrace their female power and their sensual side. She also emphasised the importance of breaking down your walls and expressing yourself in any way that felt right for you. Maree’s passion made a simple burlesque class become a night of empowerment, where people left with smiles on their faces eager to take their new confidence out into their everyday lives.
Vintage Burlesque with Madame M is definitely a class to remember, providing a new and exciting experience for everyone. Laneway Learning is always seeking to have fun and inspiring classes where you can dip your toes into something you never knew you could do.
Gabrielle Downes is a recent Arts graduate from the University of Melbourne. She is an avid reader and writer and is currently working on starting her own personal lifestyle blog. Gabrielle is passionate about history and travel and hopes to continue seeing different parts of the world.
This article was written and produced as part of the CREATE Media Arts Internship Program.
Laneway Learning has partnered with The Mentorship to deliver this exciting new program to support young people aspiring to work within the creative media and arts sectors.