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Burlesque Inspired Fitness Classes

Over the last year Burlesque has really hit the UK with a bang!  Thousands of women in every city are embracing the 21st Century answer to loving your self image.

The beauty of burlesque, apart from the ladies who take part in the art form, is that is allows you, whoever you are, to be who you want to be. 

Burlesque has been everywhere – it’s in the media, in our fashions, it’s in our hair, it’s even in our nightlife.  One city embracing the burlesque phenomenon in particular is Newcastle upon Tyne.  Clothing, events, food, gifts, even magazines; the 1940’s and 50’s are heavily influencing many aspects of the North East culture.

What you may not have realised, is that in addition to the entertainment side of burlesque, performers are using their dance skills and experience to offer fun and alternative ways to stay fit, and of course, do something interesting in the process.

Across the North East performers in alternative performing arts are offering fitness classes for women with a difference.  Having recognised that many women were becoming bored and frustrated with the mainstream gym and aerobic sessions on offer, performers have taken what they know best and turned it into a fun and feminine way to keep fit and healthy.

Fitness classes like hula hooping, burlesque-kicks, poi, pole dancing, can-can and even burlesque itself are being offered to women who want to get or stay fit, whilst having fun and doing something interesting and challenging.  Not sure what these classes entail?  Here’s a bit of background information to help you decide which class suits you:

Hula Healthy: A Hula Hooping fitness course will start from simply spinning the hoop, and leading on to moving with it, and dancing with it.  Hoop classes are perfect for toning bums and tums and improving balance and coordination whilst having lots of fun and learning a new skill.  You don’t need to be able to hoop, beginners classes will take it from scratch, and they’ll supply you with hoops too, so all you need to do is turn up and enjoy the class.

Burlesque-Kicks:  Combining the performance art of burlesque with aerobics, offering a modern style of fitness which gives you all the calorie burning benefits of aerobics but with the dance/performing art side of burlesque, making a fun and feminine way to stay fit.  The classes often learn routines like those on MTV music videos for Divas like Beyonce.  Burlesque-kicks is a fabulous way to feel good about your body, learn great dance routines, and keep healthy – girls, you must try this!

Poi Play: Poi is a swinging art form, and whilst the name may not sound familiar you will have seen it before.  Often associated with street and circus performing, Poi is mostly performed with LED lights, or even fire, Poi is a form of dance where you spin suspended balls, held in the hand, in circular patterns.  In most classes you’ll start with light weight beanbag type balls, and you’ll learn to spin the Poi, move with them, turn and dance.  A great class to tone up the upper body, learn an amazing skill and keep fit while having fun.

Can-Can: Everybody has heard of the Can-Can, but how many know how to Can-Can?  Another creative fitness workshop which offers a great aerobic way to keep fit, whilst learning a classic dance form.  A class should start from scratch, looking at everything from the footwork, to the skirts.  Most courses do not need you to have any experience, so don’t be put off if you think you need to do the splits to join – you don’t!  A great cardio class for keeping fit, and learning something new and exciting at the same time.

Burlesque: Usually the props are supplied, so all you need to do is turn up, and be prepared to let your inner diva out to play.  There are beginners and intermediate classes available, and whilst it is a very low impact class from a cardiovascular aspect; burlesque is good for people looking for a gentle, fun way to get into fitness and embrace their feminine side in the process.


These fitness workshops tackle all levels of experience and interest.  They offer something for the beginner right through to the experienced.  Whatever your level of capability their teachers will work with you to make sure you get the most out of your class.

If you are looking for an interesting alternative to the gym, take a look for a fabulous performance art inspired class in your area and start reaping the benefits, making new friends and of course having fun!

This article was kindly supplied by Ellouise Hempstead of Etrois