Class Descriptions at GBE

The Conference at The Great Burlesque Exposition features more than 60 hours of class time over threee days. It is the original Professional Development Conference for burlesque performers, founded on the philosophy that "If we don't take ourselves seriously, no one else will either".

Whether you're looking to boost a skill set to the next level or develop some new skills, The Conference has something for you from costuming to publicity to philosophical discussions.

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Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp
Feb. 21, 2015, 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

This class is recommended for any individual who has physical limitations due to injury, over-use, surgery or age. You will learn to use yoga movement techniques to help stretch, strengthen and increase range of motion using selected props and a partner. Tune up your current body to help you make the most out of your performance! You do not need to bring a partner; students will be matched up in class.
Lottie Ellington
Feb. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes B

Panel discussing the use of stage names and personas and the risks/problems of being forced to use your real identity. How do social media restrictions harm us and benefit us? How can we move to marketing and outreach methods that rely less on social media or is that a new standard that we must deal with? Is it effective to switch social networks when our customer base is left behind on the old one?
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Corsets are one of those classic burlesque costume elements, but they can be baffling. Overbust, waist training, spiral, busks... What does it all mean? Let Miss Mina, an award-winning costumer and long-time corset-wearer, guide you through all aspects of corsetry. You'll learn how to buy a corset that's right for you and essential information for making your own. We'll also discuss how to properly wear a corset and, most importantly, how to remove it!
Roman and Jennifer
Feb. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Award winning professional ballroom dancers, competitors, instructors, and choreographers, Roman and Jennifer, bring their expertise in bridging the worlds of ballroom Dance and Burlesque to the Great Burlesque Exposition. Perfect class for singles, and partners (same sex, opposite sex, all are welcome), of any and all skill level. In this fun movement class, we will instruct on techniques normally found in the ballroom world, to enhance and expand or even start your burlesque journey. Incorporate the powerful tango walks, or the stunning shapes of a paso doble into your routines. Use the beauty and grace of waltz to add an ethereal feel to your movement, or bump, grind and flirt with some foxtrot sways.....and of course...Cuban Motion, making hip movements and sultry walks become easier and sexier than ever. brief introductions on leading and following movement will also be covered. Perfect for groups and troupes.
Whisper De Corvo
Feb. 21, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes A

You get onstage in a new venue and the stage is MUCH smaller than you were told, you had no time for a walk through and now you dont have enough room for your choreo... Your costume is attacked by gremlins and a piece comes off too soon, or not at all... What do you you? This class talks about what to do when smiling and pretending everything is ok just isn't enough. When you are so thrown off that getting back into your choreography is nearly impossible. Hear some ridiculous stories of stage mess-ups from the perspective of the performer, between laughing (sobbing) Whisper will explain how she fixed the issues and kept going. Learn how Whisper builds acts that are flexible, and accommodating to all stage sizes, and mishaps that can happen in live theater.
Chakra Tease
Feb. 21, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes A

Do you want to learn how to do stunning kicks, either in a group or on your own? Glorious kicks come from a combination of core strength and hamstring flexibility, but unless you have proper upper body carriage, nobody will notice your legs at all! Learn all about the mechanics of high kicks, how to properly hook-up in a kick line, and how to use your upper body to enhance your kicks.
Feb. 21, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Every successful organization relies heavily on volunteers. This class will cover how to recruit, retain, reward, and get the most out of your helpful volunteers.
Dot Mitzvah
Feb. 21, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes B

I recently wrote a blog post on the Male Gaze and the Female Gaze and it certainly relates to burlesque. I think it would be interesting to have a panel talk about their perceptions of the male gaze, how they perceive themselves on stage, and how that impacts their performances. I think it would also be helpful to have males on the panel as performers and viewers as well as others of various sexual or gender preferences to get a broad spectrum of what different gazes are and how they are perceived by the performer and audiences. I would be happy to be on or to moderate this panel.
Feb. 21, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

BABEfit is the fabulous fitness class from The Boston Academy of Burlesque Education which combines burlesque flair with cardio dance. Keeping your fitness routine is easy when your workout is this much fun! Whether you're looking to add a fitness regimen to your life, or just looking for something new and different, BABEfit is the best way to bump, grind, and shimmy your way to a confident new you! This class includes a warm up, fun & heart-pumping dance combinations using The Boston Babydolls' favorite burlesque moves, floor work to tone legs and strengthen core, and a cool down & stretch. Students should wear workout clothes and athletic shoes or flat dance shoes. Dance sneakers are ideal! Bring a yoga mat for the floor work, if lying on the dance floor will be uncomfortable. And you'll definitely want a water bottle! There is no striptease in this class, but things will certainly heat up!
Evie Sphinx
Feb. 21, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - Thomas Paine A&B

Are you someone who dreads developing new routines because you have to.....come up with new choreography?!? This class will approach choreography development from multiple learning approaches to help every person utilize their strengths to make choreography creation easier, and even enjoyable!!
Red Velvet
Feb. 21, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes B

What inspires you as a performer? How do you make sure it is inspiration and not a copy? Where do you draw the line and how do you know when you have crossed it?
Nina La Voix
Feb. 21, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

NYC's Titan of Twerk, Nina La Voix, wants you to do #whatdatbootydo. Are you eager to werk that twerk? Left cheek, right cheek, left cheek, right cheek. Learn booty sculpting, booty tricks, and booty choreography with an award winning booty burlesque pro. No prior dance experience necessary. Everyone's booty is destined to do what it do! Booty shorts and sneakers welcome!
Lottie Ellington
Feb. 21, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - Molly Pitcher

This class is designed to help performers identify and define their characters, wither you need full character development or help with a specific act.
Bella Blue
Feb. 21, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Part of a dynamic burlesque act is being able to create levels. Learn floor work techniques that will challenge your body, mind, and creative processes. Bring high heel shoes and form fitting clothing is recommended.
Stella Diamond
Feb. 21, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

Beginning burlesque classes, whatever the name or format, are the most popular and versatile class or course in any teacher’s curriculum, and therefore the most profitable. That initial experience that a student has with you can either make them an instant disciple or turn them off of burlesque forever. This class tackles the common and tricky questions that arise from teaching people with no burlesque experience. What essentials are truly essential? How do you deal with a mix of different (sometimes difficult) personality types in one class? What about anxiety? Please note: this class assumes you already have the basic performance skills necessary to teach an introductory class.
Sailor St. Claire
Feb. 21, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

Feather fans are the beautiful, elegant epitome of classic burlesque in the minds of most laypeople. But one of neo-burlesque's most engaging properties is the way it can transform the classic into the clever and creative. This class will introduce students to construction techniques for non-feather fans, so that they can learn to make fans out of anything from flowers to porno magazines to Christmas ornaments to human hair! The class will also consider adapting classic fan moves for non-feather fans, as well as a offer theories for creating engaging fan reveals with non-feather fans. This class will be taught in a demo and movement format - we won't make any fans in class, but you will walk away knowing how to!
Diamond DeVille
Feb. 21, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes A

New to modeling? Experienced model but running out of ideas? Or just want to have a photo taken where you like the way you look. Diamond DeVille (Lady Luck Burlesque) will teach you some techniques to capture the perfect photo. She will show you how to pose to show off your good side, how to tilt your head so you don’t end up with 4 chins, and how to not feel like you just had your school photo taken. Accompanied by Mr John Bilotti, GBE’s very own photographer, to take photos during the class. Feel free to get all gussied up, bring an accessory if you’d like (boa, gloves, hats, etc).
Sailor St. Claire
Feb. 21, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes B

Do you find yourself in a panic when asked for a bio? Not sure what to say, or how much you should say? This class will introduce you to the genre of the performer bio, and provide a method for creating a stockpile of bios for various audiences – from festival producers, to fans, to potential bookers. The bio is a critical tool for performer’s self-presentation, and this class will instruct students on how to craft engaging biographies that maintain a consistent persona across multiple platforms. Bring a notebook and a pen.
Dahlia Fatale
Feb. 21, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Can't touch your toes? Can you put your feet over your head no problem? Either way, this class is definitely for you. Come get a deep thorough stretch with Chicago's Creature Contortionista, Dahlia Fatale. She will also walk you though a bit of anatomy and how to use some of your new found bendiness for fun choreographed tricks.
Iridessa Blossoms
Feb. 21, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes A

Learn the sensual rhythm that's in the art of belly dance. This is a drill based class. We will focus on posture and body control while doing isolations and various movements with different parts of the body. We will also touch base on some layering techniques. Iridessa is known for her pop n’ lock isolations and hybrid style of belly dance. You will learn hands on how to execute fluid, abrupt and smooth transitions. Class will start with a warm up and end with a warm down. We will also learn a short combo. Get ready to experience your inner goddess!
Maggie McMuffin
Feb. 21, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

Do you want a beehive but don't know how to get it? Do you have super fine hair you're convinced won't hold style? Do you look longingly at pictures of Elvira and 60's pin ups thinking 'I wish my hair would do that?' Well it can! In this class Maggie McMuffin, known in Seattle for her huge hair, will teach you multiple ways to get your hair closer to god. Even better, she'll show you the one tool you need to bring it back down to earth. Maggie will be doing demonstrations on her own head and any willing volunteers. If you have a teasing brush, bristle comb, and mirror feel free to bring them and try out methods for yourself.
Scandal from Bohemia
Feb. 21, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes B

No one wants to unintentionally offend their audience or another performer. This facilitated discussion touches on how the awareness of other people's experiences can help us become better allies for each other.
Bella La Blanc
Feb. 21, 2015, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

This workshop will show performers of all levels how to construct a pastie with different kinds of fabrics and materials so all budgets are met! Bella will also show students how to make and keep permanent patterns for you nipple shape as well how to make unique shapes and patterns such as stars, hearts, etc! Of course...there will be tassels! Bella's class will be covering how to attach a removable tassel and even how to MAKE a tassel! There will be a $15 materials fee for this class. Supplies will be provided but students are strongly urged to bring with them... E6000 Hot Glue Gun Sewing Needles Scissors Note taking supplies
Iridessa Blossoms
Feb. 21, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes A

Prior experience is not necessary. Learn the unconventional art of hip hop as a dance form fused with the sensuality of burlesque with founder of Creative Motion Dance. We will get down and dirty with swagga. You will learn moves and techniques demonstrated in her signature acts “Billie Jean” and "The Robot. Class will consist of a warm up, warm down and some choreography. Get ready to work up a sweat and get your groove on!
Scarlett Letter
Feb. 21, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

This class will help you conquer your fear of (shoe) heights. We will examine the natural motion of walking and adapt it to a graceful and powerful presence in high heels.
JZ Bich
Feb. 21, 2015, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

Sometimes, you wish to perform a topic which is more serious than the usual burlesque act. This class discusses how to include political agenda into a performance without being overtly didactic and over the head pushy. Feel free to bring ideas which you consider too difficult to put on stage, and we will discuss how to make them accessible to your audience.
Bella Blue
Feb. 21, 2015, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes A

Boas and gloves are more than a prop or costume, they become an essential part of your movement needed to create anticipation and tease. Please bring elbow length gloves and a feather boa.
Scarlet Starlet
Feb. 21, 2015, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

In this class, students will explore large movements and learn techniques to properly execute them on stage during performance. First, we will start with a brief stretch to warm everyone up. Then we will cover leaps, kicks, headkicks, jumps, leg lifts, laybacks, as well as different ways to move across the stage and utilize space. We will also discuss how to integrate these moves into a routine. Please wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. If you have jazz or ballet shoes, feel free to bring those. If not, bare feet work just fine.
Prima Vera
Feb. 22, 2015, 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

A total body stretch class is great for relaxing and lengthening muscles as well as preparing for your day/performance. Class will begin with easy movement to get the blood flowing (to make stretching easier)and will then move to deeper stretching working larger then smaller muscle groups. Not flexible? Not a problem. Options will be given for all levels. Yoga mat/towel recommended (especially for the less flexible),but not necessary.
Prima Vera
Feb. 22, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes B

This roundtable discussion will allow performers of all sizes and gender identities to gather to discuss issues and challenges that performers face with regard to body image. Topics to be addressed may include: How does your body image affect your performance style? Are there certain moves or costume pieces you’d like to try, but feel limited by body image issues? Have you come up with ways to combat your own body image issues that you would like to share with other performers? Have you found the burlesque community supportive of exploring and overcoming those issues? If not, how do you handle it? If you have an “othered” body (fat, disabled, POC, gender non-conforming, etc.), what has been your experience within your local community and how have you navigated it?
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 22, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

The fan dance has become a staple of burlesque routines. This class will show you how you can incorporate fans into your act. Learn dramatic poses and graceful movements for fans of all sizes. Discover how to reveal, conceal, tease & flirt. There will also be information about buying, caring for, and transporting fans. Please bring your own fans.
Willy Barrett
Feb. 22, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes A

In this class you will gain knowledge about the body language of the torso and how the most minimal adjustments to your presentation of your body can affect the way the audience sees you and the way you make them feel. Use consciousness of the positions of your shoulders, upper torso, and hips to help put the audience in the palm of your hand! Bring a button-down shirt or cardigan to class if you can.
Scandal from Bohemia
Feb. 22, 2015, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Whether you want to add a sly nudge to your classic act or perform an all out ridiculous number, this class will help you identify beats, timing, and the various types of comedy so your audience can leave with the knowledge that Naked Is Funny.
Kim Carrell
Feb. 22, 2015, 10 a.m. - noon - Thomas Paine A&B

Learn the basic principles of stage combat and how to utilize them in partnered routines. We will cover essential safety elements; key moves such as falls, slaps, hair pulls, punches (and reacting to them); how to make a fight comic; basic level swordplay; and how to assemble fight "phrases" to tell a story. Please come prepared to move - and to have a bit of violent fun!
Kitten Natividad
Feb. 22, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Join Kitten Natividad for an intimate discussion where she will share her life story, and you can ask her practically anything you wish about her life and career.
Feb. 22, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes B

This is a class for potential stage kittens/hands/managers. So often volunteers are thrust into this position with little experience or guidance. Experienced backstage workers talk about what the jobs require and how to do them well without stressing out yourself or the performers.
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 22, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes A

Stockings make our legs look sleek and lovely, but it's so exciting when they come off! Learn how to gracefully remove your shoes, elegantly peel off your stockings, and master the one-handed garter pop. Students should bring thigh high stockings (or tall socks) and (optional) a garter belt. Wear clothing that makes it easy to show off your legs!
Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp
Feb. 22, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

Learn how to set the mood for your act. Do you want to be mysterious, sensual, silly, outrageous, angry? In this combination lecture and movement class we will discuss how music choice, your entrance, facial expression, body language, stage lighting and costuming can set appropriate mood for your piece.
Bella Blue, Kitten Natividad, Lili VonSchtupp, Miss Mina Murray, Scarlett Letter
Feb. 22, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes B

A discussion of how to stay fresh in an ever evolving artistic medium, while still producing work that can be identified as yours and representative of your ideals and perspective. Ideally a mix of new and seasoned performers, maybe a legend, if available.
Devora Darling
Feb. 22, 2015, 11 a.m. - noon - Molly Pitcher

This class will touch upon various elements of costuming, from everything to embellishing a bra in a pinch to getting maximum sparkle from your rhinestones! Useful for novice and more experienced performers.
Betty Blaize
Feb. 22, 2015, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

With the help of our friends at Mead Hall in the vendor space, we'll talk out and then get hands on practice at a first attempt at Bra Decoration. We'll cover aesthetics, sneaky tricks with bra cup cleavage generation, tips and tricks for finding and layering decorations and basic techniques for sewing common fabrics and trims. Some hand sewing experience will make this project easier, but mastery is not expected. Please bring a padded underwire bra that you are willing to utterly destroy and some money for shopping at MeadHall ($10-20 is adviseable) or your own trim or fabric. Sewing basics will available (thread, scissors, needles, pins, etc).
Lili VonSchtupp
Feb. 22, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

This 60 minute class helps to understand options you have and why you should be promoting your shows in all of them. Learn what works, what doesn't, and how to plan things to help them work for you. Get real world information to strengthen your marketing plan. Social Media, Press Releases, Stunts and more will be discussed. Q&A last 15 minutes. Lili VonSchtupp has 10 years of radio production & sales, and has produced over 500 live burlesque events, including a gallery show & the Hollywood Burlesque Festival in the last 9 years.
Dahlia Fatale
Feb. 22, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

The top attended class from last year is back again! Chair are not just for sitting down. Bring out your inner rock and roll while learning chair dance moves that will surely wow an audience and make you feel great!
Willy Barrett
Feb. 22, 2015, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes A

This class that Indigo Blue called a "Game Changer" is on the subject of the body language of arms and hands, including how that language can inspire work with gloves. We will look at the emotional content and symbolism of every single part of the arms and hands, and how you can use that knowledge to enrich both your dancing and your tease.
Dot Mitzvah
Feb. 22, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes A

Through a series of freeing (and silly) acting exercises, we'll uncover the beating heart of every performer - the innate stage presence that lives inside of us. Learn how to break out of your shell, tear down the fourth wall, and have more fun with your audience!"
Red Velvet
Feb. 22, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Are you a dancer? A non-dancer? Have you heard of Isadora Duncan? Come learn the basic concepts of Isadora Duncan dance and find out why she is one of the "mothers of modern dance." Learn the underlying movements, exercises, and basic Duncan "vocabulary" moves. Isadora Duncan was falling out of her Grecian tunics and dancing barefoot in the days of corsets and long skirts and her sensuality and stage presence were renowned. Wear comfortable clothes for dancing and no shoes or socks only please!
Scarlett Letter
Feb. 22, 2015, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes B

"I'm not in burlesque for the money." That's fine, but, there is money involved, and we all need to keep track of it. Class topics will include opportunity costs, break even points, invoicing and what your accountant is looking for during tax season. Time permitting, advanced tax topics like depreciation and amortization will be covered.
Scarlett Letter
Feb. 22, 2015, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

In the process of introducing hand stitching technique, students will build their own simple shimmy belt. Topics will include proper selection of needles, thread, and materials, as well as reinforcements, fasteners and a selection of basic stitches.
Dot Mitzvah
Feb. 22, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes A

Imagine this: You're surrounded by beautiful, strong, talented burlesque performers, and it's your job to introduce each one of them to an eager crowd. As a performer, you understand the complexity of each act, but how do you prepare the audience for the show? In this fun, interactive class, learn the steps to getting over public speaking anxiety, tightening transitions between each act, and bringing your own flair to the realm of burlesque hosting!
Mr. Scratch
Feb. 22, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes B

Without a venue -- a theater, a nightclub, a bar -- we'd be performing in cornfields and public parks. Learn how to get the most out of the relationship with your venue so that both you and they end up happy.
Angie Pontani
Feb. 22, 2015, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Learn to shake, shimmy and do the earthquake with Miss Exotic World champion, burlesque superstar and Go-Go Robics DVD creator, Angie Pontani of Brooklyn, NY. In this class you will learn a complete dance routine chock full of classic 60’s go-go steps and bawdy burlesque moves - including lots of bumps and grinds. Go-Go Robics will make you the envy of everyone on the dance floor, improve your stage game and have you burning calories in a way that is so fun you won't even notice. Angie created, and has taught her unique brand Go Go Dancing throughout the World! She has hosted sold out classes throughout the USA as well as in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Australia and more! Angie has shaken her tail feather on-stage with Lady Gaga, on the Conan O'Brien Show, the tv hit Gossip Girl and in multiple films and music videos. She has been featured in 4 instructional Go-Go videos that have garnered her a cult following and been profiled on Entertainment Weekly, and Good Day New York. Angie's patented blend of Burlesque and Go-Go combined with a background of classical training makes this class a fun high energy entertaining one hour that is suitable for all levels of dancer from the Baryshnikov professionals to the "I only dance in my living room" twisters! Dance wear or stretchy clothing is recommended, go-go boots, sneakers, bare feet, or any type of dance or work out shoe is encouraged, and don't forget your water too! Taken Go-Go Robics with Angie before? Well don't worry, each class features a new dance routine!
Julie Hennrikus
Feb. 22, 2015, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

Do you ever wonder how to budget an event, or even how to start? This workshop will help give a broad overview of the process, including what types of budget there are, what you should think about while budgeting, how to use Excel, and some best practices around budget planning.
Bella La Blanc
Feb. 22, 2015, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes A

So you have have tassels...wanna learn how to twirl 'em and also get an amazing upper body workout while we are at it? Then step right up! You will learn tips, tricks, twirling, and most importantly aftercare for when you are done twirling through the day/night. Please bring comfy clothes to move in...because you will be! Also don't forget to bring your pasties. If you do not have any. There will be some for sale the morning of the class!