My heart flickered and then fell. I had always been in love with burlesque, the 40's, 50's (hell the 60's, 70's & 80's), vintage glamour, and the overall vibe they evoked. However, as much as I wanted to leap after the opportunity, as mch as it would be a dream realized, a wave of self-conciousness fell over me.
"Well, as long as we aren't taking it all off. I'm not even in shape for a bikini. Pregnancy was not kind to my body." I replied.
We walked into our first class quiet and unsure. We had quickly realized that all the women in the class/teaching were already in Black Cherry Burlesque. We were pretty much the only complete novices. And we were scared. How do we hold our own with these master vixens? These beautiful professionals at the art of the tease.
We would try.
It's been about 4 weeks since our first class, and with every new class came a new sense of confidence.
"I can't believe I'm finally doing this" I told Colleen. "It's always been just an idea in my head and now we're actually here doing this."
Every night after our class I come home smiling. Every night after our class there is a bit more spring (or bump) in my step.
"How was it," Greg will greet me."Awesome, as usual....did you know..." and I gab on and on until he throws his arms around me and says- "I'm so happy you found something you love doing."
At our last class, we finally commited. We decided we'd try to take it to the next level and join the troupe. We still have a lot of practises, history learning, costume constructing, and music selecting before we finally audition. Before those ruby stage lights illuminate us. But we're there, taking it all in and enjoying every second of it.
"Well, how does a class change your life," you may wonder.
But it's more than just a class. It has become a lifestyle. A place to go to for refuge. A place where you are allowed to have more jiggle in your step, stretch marks, or cellulite AND you're still beautiful. A place where you can give the finger to what society has deemed "the norm" (i.e.- a size 2 and below and manufactured looks) and you can celebrate being a WOMAN. A woman with curves. A woman who celebrates her sensuality and individuality. Empowered.
The women in my class inspire me. They are strong, feminine and wonderful. They are the types of women I've been seeking out for friendships for so long, but was always too shy to approach. Islands in a sea of catty, back-stabbing, girls. I had had little to no confidence in the female until March 11th, and now I'm actually happy to be one again. I haven't found a way to thank them yet.
"How's the dancing going" a friend IMed me last night.
"Fantastic. I think I've found a whole new lease. I'm so happy. I'm in love," I gushed.
"That's so great! I knew you had it in you" they replied.
Maybe I have had it in me all along. I suppose it was just hiding behind the curtain waiting.
I'm ready now.