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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Bling Your Bra

Jeannie Martini

Do you have a blah bra? Let Jeannie Martini and Devastasia show you how to dress to your champagne taste -- even when you've got a beer budget. Students will learn different techniques for designing and embellishing a bra. Please bring a bra you wish to decorate; started or not!
DeeDee Queen, Mister Twister Maximus Sinsation, Red Velvet, Trixie Santiago
Feb. 10, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

Burlesque is touted as being about all body types, but is that really the case? What do you do when you don't match the Hollywood ideal? What do you do when insensitive people let you know you don't match the Hollywood ideal?
Chakra Tease
Feb. 10, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Are you ready to dance and sweat away everything that you no longer want? This class is the ideal way to let out all your pent-up stress, frustrations and anxiety. Using 8 counts of high energy dance choreography, strung together into choreography "blocks" you will challenge your mind and body to the point of blissful, dance-fueled bliss! Please wear shoes with some support!
Chakra Tease
Feb. 11, 2017, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

This one hour Vinyasa Flow Style class allows participants to stretch and strengthen their physical as well as their energetic bodies. Having a conscious awareness of our body in space as well as the texture and quality of our breath, gives us control over our presence on stage, whether we are moving or are in stillness. Learn how to use the breath and body as one, as a form of communication with the audience, as well as with yourself.
Satine S'Allumer
Feb. 11, 2017, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes A

"Embrace The Face!" Before twirling my way into burlesque I was in theatre, specializing in musical theatre for the last 20 years. I feel like a workshop that is structured in a few sections would work well and be of use to burlesque performers and theatrical lovers alike! Utilizing theatre sports and exercises, I would love to work on use of the face in performance and in particular running some theater style exercises such as "1-10". This exercise is where two lines of people stand facing each other, and are given the name of an emotion to display (only with their face) at levels 1-10 (one being neutral and 10 being extreme) and taking turns to complete the range of emotions towards each other. Other facial exercises such as "pinup vowels" A-E-I-O-U, and physical warm up "Power Posing" to get confident before your show! Other exercises involve becoming comfortable making hyper-expressive faces. What might be 20% of facial effort to convey emotion in a photo shoot, needs to be an extra 80% on stage, for the audience to read energy and evoke emotive response. The 30ft rule - if you are on a large stage or 30ft away from the audience, the movement must be bigger, more exaggerated. As a photographer as well, speaking about aesthetics and practicing pinup style poses that can be choreographed into routines for stillness, also concentrating on having strong lines and breaking up the pace of the act (if high energy, for example).
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 11, 2017, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes B

Corsets are one of those classic burlesque costume elements, but they can be baffling. Over-bust, waist training, spiral steel, busks. . . What does it all mean? Let Miss Mina Murray, an award-winning, internationally ranked costumer and long-time corset-wearer, guide you through all aspects of corsetry. Students learn what to look for when buying a corset, secrets of making your own, how to properly wear a corset, how to remove it on stage, and corset care.
Bal'd Lightning
Feb. 11, 2017, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Musical Audio Editing for Burlesque Performance - Tips and Tricks. From rhythmic basics (keep your music's beat thumpin') to time adjustment (how much can you get away with?) to delivering a format which producers and venues can use to help your act sound and look its absolute best! Garage Band, Audacity, ProTools, LogicPro, and so many more tools have given computer users great power to manipulate audio and video... and with great power comes... well, you know! Bal'd firmly believes all elements of a performance must serve the performers' intent. Musical decisions must be made, and these decisions must also be executed with precision. Learn the tips and tricks that Bal'd has amassed through 25 years as an audio engineer and editor.
Ruby Spruce
Feb. 11, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes A

Smooth out your floor moves, and show off your assets! You'll work up a sweat while learning poses and transitions to melt the floor. You'll explore ways to get up and get down to find what works for you and your body. Class structure will provide poses, movements and transitions as a kit of parts rather than teaching choreography. This class is for new performers, or for experienced performers who want more floorwork dance tools in their toolbox. Bring something to protect your knees - leg warmers, long socks you can fold over your knee, or kneepads. Wear pants or shorts you can move in. And you and your knees will have a much better experience in heels! The taller the better - we won't be standing much! I get so excited when I can perform on a raised stage, and you will, too!
Mr. Scratch
Feb. 11, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes B

While a good M.C. can't make a bad show into a good one, a bad M.C. can definitely make a good show worse. If part of your job is public-speaking, or you've ever wondered what goes into being one of those people with the microphone, this class is for you. Topics covered include: preparation; projection; memorized material vs. improvisation; dealing with hecklers; trouble-shooting; the place of the M.C.
Iridessa Blossoms
Feb. 11, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Twerking. Come learn to twerk with Iridessa Blossoms. All levels welcome.
Lucy Buttons
Feb. 11, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - Thomas Paine A&B

Buttons' Burlesque 101 takes students through a short routine including many staples of burlesque movement.
DeeDee Queen, Red Velvet, Scarlett Letter, Scratch
Feb. 11, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes B

Want to start a show? Have a show you produce but you could use more assistance? Come take this class with a panel of producers to learn the show production basics and beyond. These producers will share their expertise and answer your questions on production topics.
Sunny Sighed and Bal'd Lightning
Feb. 11, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

Combining two performers' energies on stage can be a tricky calculation. We'll discuss character development in a duo, explore the relationship between characters within a storytelling framework, and reveal ways to include the audience as a third character.
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 11, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - Molly Pitcher

This simple beading technique anyone can learn adds a hint of sparkle to hems, cuffs, collars, or any edge of your costume! Beautiful on its own, edge-beading can also be used as a base for more elaborate beading. In this workshop, students will make a beautiful choker and learn techniques they can apply to other, larger projects. there will be kits for $5 each, as supplies last.
Bal'd Lightning
Feb. 11, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

Microphone Technique for the Stage - For any performer who amplifies their voice on stage, from operatic singers to MC's, knowing how to use a microphone properly can transform your performance. In this workshop we begin with an exploration of how sound travels within a space (room/theater) and discuss ways to amplify the human voice. A survey of different microphone types and characteristics leads to a discussion of how a single inch distance from a microphone can make the difference between being heard in a crowded room, being UNDERSTOOD in a crowded room, or sounding like the distorted bass thumps from the low-rider parked in front of the venue.
DeeDee Queen
Feb. 11, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

So, you’ve got this great idea or you’ve found the song you absolutely must dance to. How do you go about putting together an impactful story? Don’t miss the mark, leave out a beat, or turn your number into a cute — but confusing — inside joke. In this session, we’ll discuss methods for mapping out a dance that tells the story you mean to tell, from props, to costumes, to music, to dance. Come armed with your great ideas so you can leave this session with a map for writing your next big signature number.
Willy Barrett
Feb. 11, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Wiley's most famous class. From graceful, to powerful, to profoundly nuanced expression, we will see how the arms and hands can empower your art and communication. Your arms and hands are a universe of every emotion and human feeling. You will learn the symbolism of each and every part of them, many of their most fundamental expressive movements, and how to use them as a master artist to construct your choreographies. You will also learn an essential arm warm-up that unlocks their freedom and eliminates stiffness, while strengthening them technically.
Mary Strawberry
Feb. 11, 2017, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

I use my experience of over a decade of making clothing and costumes to discuss the important things to consider when creating the right costume for your act, including functionality, durability, materials, and building methods. I share some of the unique pieces I've created for myself in a show-and-tell format for inspiration and hands-on learning.
Iridessa Blossoms
Feb. 11, 2017, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Fusing the groovy nature of hip hop and the art of burlesque. Are you looking for something new to spice up your number? We will be gettin’ down and dirty! You will be introduced to the unconventional art of hip hop as a dance form. Prior experience is not necessary but will be helpful. You will get an up close and personal opportunity, to learn some moves and techniques that Iridessa is known for. Class will consist of a warm up and a warm down with hands on instruction with 1-2 short choreographed combinations. Be ready to get your swagga on and take the stage like a hip hop showgirl! Dress for movement and bring an open mind and water. Sneakers and booty shorts are welcome!
Betty Blaize
Feb. 11, 2017, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes B

Want a syncopation in your step? Want a trill in your tease? Does you G-String need tuning? Don't know what any of those jokes mean? Then this class is for you! An introduction to music theory for those looking to bring a greater degree of musicality to their Burlesque performances but with no background in music. Learn some of the language of music with an eye to navigating choreography in a new way and communicating with live musicians. We'll cover some basic vocabulary, try out our knowledge with some hands on (or maybe even hips on!) exercises, and then take a look at some common music on the Burlesque scene.
Chakra Tease
Feb. 11, 2017, 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes A

Spend a blissful 90 minutes learning about your energy field, how it impacts you, your interpersonal relationships and your persona on stage. Then, using tuning forks and vocalizing we will balance your seven chakras, leaving you refreshed and ready for life, and for the stage!
Blaze, Kevlar B. Lightning, May Hemmer, Phaedra Black, Scarlett Letter
Feb. 11, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes B

Nerdlesque is here to stay, but we still need to convince fans and audience members that we are doing justice to their fandom and are still burlesque artists and not fans copying costumes. Join in a discussion about audience perception, expectations, and artistic prerogatives.
Lucy Buttons
Feb. 11, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

Learn the foundation of every fabulous vintage hair style by finally learning how to wrap a good set! Then learn how to customize your set for your hair type and preferred style whether it be jazz era, 40's pin-up, victory rolls, 60's bouffant, or the perfect feathered disco realness. This class will teach you the basics to have the perfect coif every time. It's hands on so come un-done and get ready to roll. Bring your own hot rollers/rollers/curling iron duckbill clips, tail comb, brushes, hair spray, MIRRORS, etc, etc.
Red Velvet
Feb. 11, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

One hour class to improve strength and flexibility. Through a series of guided strengthening and stretching exercises students will learn to improve their leg flexibility, strengthen their ankles (important for dancing in heels), and generally loosen muscles. This class teaches mix of exercises taken from ballet, yoga, and other dance forms. All levels of flexibility are welcome; attendees will be checked during exercises for proper form and to prevent injury.
Kevlar B. Lightning
Feb. 11, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Not knowing your song or motivation in burlesque can be intimidating to attempt the first time, but improv burlesque is a highly fun and rewarding form of performance. Students will learn tricks to master improv burlesque by focusing on persona, attitude, theme manipulation, musicality, flow, and increasing movement vocabulary. Movement clothes needed, as well as 1-2 removable costume pieces you feel comfortable working with.
Madame Anabel
Feb. 11, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes A

Find your own, beautiful, “strong sound." A workshop in vocal technique for those who want to sing in “shout voice” or “belt voice” without harming the throat. Good singing requires both strength and stamina. In finding your “strong sound” you will learn to relax, to find your center and to use your breath in a healthy manner as you increase your vocal strength, stamina, intonation and range — helpful for all singers!
Caramel Knowledge, Scarlett Letter, UmA ShAdow
Feb. 11, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

This panel is to explore the dynamics of competing and/or winning titles. What are the benefits you seek once you win a title? After winning is that a chance to become arrogant or is that a chance to open doors? Do winning titles guarantee bookings? What if you lose? This discussion will allow performers to have an open mind when entering festivals and prepare themselves for the outcome.
Mr. Scratch
Feb. 12, 2017, 9 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

These days, not having your own website and domain is like not having your own business cards. The good news is, with a little guidance, creating a website is easy! This comprehensive class teaches you the A-Z of the WWW. Learn everything you need to create and manage your own high-quality website. We'll cover everything from securing your own domain ( to evaluating hosting services to what tools are available to create a fully functional website, complete with background, event calendar, photo and video galleries, blog, on-line store, and personalized e-mail list.
Red Velvet
Feb. 12, 2017, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Need a good start out for the day? Stretching is a vital part of any exercise routine as it gives your muscles the ability to lengthen, to expand and restore more quickly and effectively after exercise. Get your body warmed up, and then we will strengthen it, and stretch it out. We will start with gentle warm-up movements from tip to toe, then delve into deeper strengthening and stretching movements to get you open and limber and ready for the day!
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 12, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes B

Nothing can ruin a stripteaser's day faster than a closure which opens too soon...or won't open at all. Closures range from the simple to the esoteric, and each one has an ideal use. Master costumer Miss Mina Murray teaches you the advantages and disadvantages of different types of costume closures, from adhesive to zippers.
Willy Barrett
Feb. 12, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Do you ever feel afraid of dance and steps? Not counting jumps, low floor work or acrobatics, the sum of nearly all stage dancing can be broken down into three basic step patterns. That's right. Only three! Become confident with them, and with combining them, and you are well on your way to fearless dancing across the stage!
Red Velvet
Feb. 12, 2017, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - William Dawes A

Do you want to learn to raise your skills on stage and better express yourself through performance? Join us as we discuss concepts of embracing our sexuality and strength and what that means to us as performers. We will cover a variety of tips, tricks and exercises to help express ourselves through our movements, our face, and our physicality.
Mister Twister Maximus Sinsation
Feb. 12, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

Ever felt like bringing out your masculine side in your performances? Or just simply in your regular, everyday life? If so, this is a class for you! "Exploring Masculinity in Burlesque" is the class for all genders, and is intended for anyone who wants to explore their masculinity and/or butch up their acts. The class will begin with an open discussion about what is stereotypically considered masculine in our society, and how that can be applied to burlesque expression. Students will participate in a group of exercises that includes movement, postures, posing, facial expressions and live improvisation. Bring your suits and ties, vests, sexy boxers or just anything that will make you look and feel sexy. And you are welcome to provide the music of your choice.
Iridessa Blossoms
Feb. 12, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - Thomas Paine A&B

Express your femininity and sensuality through 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 demonstrated in her signature acts “The Robot” and “Roustabout". Class will start with a warm up and end with a warm down. You will also be instructed on a short combination. Get ready to experience your inner goddess with some sex appeal!
Mary Strawberry, Phaedra Black, Red Velvet, Willy Barrett
Feb. 12, 2017, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes B

Are you a dance, theater, music, or burlesque teacher or want to be? Come listen to this panel of teachers who can provide you their guidance and insights. We will cover such issues as how to start classes, the best format for your classes, keeping teaching fresh, how to deal with problems students in class, and a myriad of other teaching issues.
Red Velvet
Feb. 12, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Yes, you can cancan! Learn cancan basics! We will start with a full body, gentle, warm up; move into traditional barre work to strengthen our legs and core; practice across the floor cancan movements and turns and learn basic cancan kick series. We will end the class with some gentle stretches. Wear comfortable clothes and low-heeled shoes such as ballet slippers or jazz shoes. We will learn these movements and a simple cancan dance choreography.
Guilted Lilly, May Hemmer, Mister Twister Maximus Sinsation, Scarlett Letter
Feb. 12, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

Being a great kitten isn’t easy. Being a kick-ass kitten is even more difficult, but these top-notch kittens are willing to share their pointers and hard-earned experience with you. Being a kitten is a great way to get stage time, get to know performers and producers, participate in a lot of great shows, and watch and learn what it takes to be amazing on stage. Being a kitten is fun and also a great opportunity. This panel will provide insights on what to do and what not to do in your kittening forays. Be prepared – all the best kittens are!
Willy Barrett
Feb. 12, 2017, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes A

The Three Pillars Arts® method works with a total nine laws, and this class covers the first four, the ruling laws. With these basic principles we can recognize patterns that we've always seen in great performances, and then make fundamental choices that help us move toward the powerful artist we all can be.
Betty Blaize
Feb. 12, 2017, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

In this 2 hour workshop, students will learn to measure and make a pair of stage worthy, tassel twirl capable pasties and leave with the finished result. We'll cover:
  • Measuring Techniques
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Decorating Tricks
  • Even more tassel attachment tricks
  • Crazier Pastie Construction for Future Projects
  • Durability and maintenance
Kevlar B. Lightning
Feb. 12, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

A performer's face is their identity, and everyone wants to showcase it the best. This class covers the theory behind understanding the colors of your face in order to pick the best shades for your look, and understanding the individual shapes and contours of their face for creating natural or supernatural looks. A blush, contour (dark) and highlight (light) are suggested to follow along with. No experience necessary, working understanding of makeup terms suggested
Mary Strawberry
Feb. 12, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

combining ballet and clowning for unique choreography. We will discuss the history and development of ballet dancers and clowns and do some group exercises that combine both disciplines. Participants will explore the importance and joy of juxtaposing opposite performance forms for unique character and choreography development and the benefits of improvisation as live performers. All bodies, abilities, and skill levels welcome. Please dress to move, wear dance slippers or bare feet, and bring your imagination!
Madame Anabel, Phaedra Black, Ruby Spruce, Scarlett Letter
Feb. 12, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes B

This panel will discuss 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.
Miss Mina Murray
Feb. 12, 2017, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes A

Miss Mina Murray wants you to be a better burlesque performer! For years she has been posting helpful tips for improving life on-, off-, and backstage. In this class, she will share some of her tips and tricks as well as discuss how her book, Miss Mina Murray's Little Book of Better Burlesque, came to be.
Boysinberry Cupcake
Feb. 12, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes A

Do you get stuck with your choreography or character? Do you think so hard during your acts you forget your facial expressions? This class will get you out of your head and into the movement. We will utilize movement-based improvisation exercises to help you explore your character and have more fun on stage and off.
Phaedra Black
Feb. 12, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

When you're working a day job, putting together a new act, and booking shows on top of maintaining a social life, how do you keep everything straight? Phaedra Black will walk you through some tips and tricks with calendar management, costume organization, and file organization that will help you stay on top of all the roles you have to play.
Scarlett Letter
Feb. 12, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

"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.
May Hemmer
Feb. 12, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

The wrong music plays....the music shuts're working with a live band? What do you do?! Did you feel yourself slip and want to make that save? Let's work on the fine art of going with the flow. The class will start with basic stretches to warm up. Afterwards we will share a couple of stories of on stage nightmares to look back and laugh about. Then we will have a series of movements in which you will not know the song....the song might shut off.....start over....etc. We will also have moves that are simple to do when tripping, falling, slipping, etc Then afterwards we will have a cool down period and a Q&A. Bring your dancing shoes because we will be grooving. There will be NO choreo to learn for this class. It's all about getting out of your comfort zone.