I’m all too aware that I’m beginning to look like a Miss Polly Rae fan girl (you’re not wrong, I am) , but I can honestly say that attending one of her burlesque dance classes was the best thing I could’ve done with myself that week.
It had been a stressful day, it was boiling hot and, being the proper massive ginger that I am, I had the hump about this so had not thought to dress suitably vintage for this class at all, chucking on some denim shorts and a strap top in my huffy morning rush.
Despite feeling like an overheated sexless potato, a force pulled me to Fulham Dance Attic Studios, where I got my sexy on (without taking my clothes off, I might add), had an absolutely hilarious time with Polly and her lovely students and left with so brimming with confidence that it was spilling out onto the pavement.
This class is suitable for absolute novices upwards, and despite having performed at live shows, dance classes still bring back horrible memories for me of stage school teachers barking instructions at me and it all feeling very much like a budget remake of Fame. This was not like that. Polly eased us in by explaining a little about the basics of burlesque, about getting to grips with our burlesque character and bringing that across within the routine and, what felt like the most important bit, encouraging freedom to adapt throughout the dance.
To the tune of Blues To Strip By by burlesque playlist staple Sonny Lester And his Orchestra we set about bobbing from the hip, grinding away, striking some saucy pinup poses, flashing a little thigh and whipping off the good ol’ satin gloves with more than a hint of frenzied passion and sexy ‘tude. It was an hour and a half of just getting down with it, learning a full routine and getting the chance to make it my own… and it was perfect.
A thing that I find truly impressive to have gotten out of this very laid back class is the development my character Ruby Woo underwent. As Polly talked more about what poses reflect what character and how these alias’s blossom, I found Ruby shaped and moulded into exactly who I wanted her to be. Quite a thing to undergo during a dance class I almost ditched because I was too warm and sweaty to feel seductive.
Miss Polly Rae’s feelgood beginner dance classes are a very lovely £13 (plus £2 entrance fee if you’re not a member of Dance Attic). I cannot recommend them enough, but make sure you sign up to her newsletter to hear about her next ones, as The Hurly Burly Show is back at the end of this month and she’s gonna be one hugely busy lady…
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