October 13th – 14th 2011: Workshop and show with Cabaret New Burlesque

An opportunity to learn from and see the stars of Cabaret New Burlesque in action – how could I say no? I couldn’t of course, I’m a rampant believer in continuing to learn and grow in my profession and a workshop which offered tips and advice from Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Kitten on the Keys and Mimi Le Meaux was too good to pass up.

In a studio in London I learnt about the importance of choosing the right shoes from Julie and advice that the low character heels I was wearing were not doing me any favours. I totally agree Julie, and I went out and replaced my broken black 6″ heel stripper shoes that week – just like I had been promising myself I would, I just needed a push! I actually find group classes a bit daunting, especially movement classes, and very especially when we had to demonstrate our walks by ourselves! Comfort zone breached, ouch. That’s why I go to these workshops though, I’m going to learn nothing if I stay where I’m safe. Plus I got to dirty dance with Julie. Total win!

Dirty’s part of the workshop was about connecting to our audience which was immensely useful. We practised holding a conversation, even flirting with someone, using only our eyes, then extending that intimacy out into the space, “all the way to Jersey!” as Dirty said. I think of that every time I’m on stage now and project out as far as I can to catch everyone watching me.

Mimi taught us bump & grind moves which was awesome and something that I wish was taught more in London as regular classes. I’ve never felt completely comfortable with bump & grind moves because I was never sure how to move my body. Mimi showed me that the most thing is that you throw yourself right into it. On stage she looks as powerful as hell, and her hip isolations…no words…wow.

Kitten rounded the workshop off with some very useful advice on making costumes look bling on a budget (tip: go to New Orleans for the best, cheapest diamante bling) and how to get unique music. I love the fact that Kitten in class was pretty much the same as Kitten on the stage, cute, funny and real.

The following night I had the chance to see the girls, plus Rocky Roulette and Evie Louvelle, shake their stuff on stage in Cabaret New Burlesque at Charing Cross Theatre. I fell in love with Julie’s bubble act (again) and loved watching Dirty and Mimi own the stage, with Kitten providing laughs, commentary and an incredible array of costumes (she changed between every act and they each did 2!). Then I went home and watched “On Tour”  , which, shockingly, I hadn’t yet seen, to complete my Cabaret New Burlesque experience. If you get to have a workshop, or even just a chat, with these ladies, do it. If you have the chance to see them perform, do it. If you can’t do either of those things, definitely watch On Tour. These gals are at the top of their game, loads of experience behind them but they’re still having fun and inspiring others. I love them all, they make me proud to perform burlesque.

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