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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Moxie LaBouche
Jan. 6, 2018, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Molly Pitcher

Is your song almost perfect?  Need to make it shorter, longer, louder?   Do you want to make a medley?  The days of begging tech-savvy friends for help are over!  Moxie LaBouche will teach you how to do all of these things to ensure your song fits your needs and sounds great to boot. 

The best approach to this class is to attend with a laptop with Audacity already installed.  Download it for free here -  

Tapitha Kix
Jan. 6, 2018, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - William Dawes B

Promotion -- beyond the Facebook invite How do you get people to come to your shows? Especially in a town with competing troupes and performers who are all inviting the same people to shows and fighting over venues? In addition to her work as a performer, Tapitha Kix is a former events editor and reporter with the Baltimore Sun. She'll teach you how to write a proper press release, work with the media and find other promotion resources beyond standard social media and how you can stand out. And in a business that doesn't often talk about money -- she'll break down how she works with venues and negotiates deals to maximize the amount of money you and your performers receive.

Jenny Jewels
Jan. 6, 2018, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Jenny Jewels has been teaching fitness dance inspired classes such as Cardio Showgirl/Burlesqe, Cardio Latin, Cardio Pop,  and Belly/Bollywood Fit, for over 10 years. 

She is and avid salsa dancer who has taught, presented, and performed with the Cuban style salsa performance group, Salsa Vale Todo, at the San Francisco Salsa Rueda Featival for many years.

In the last two years Jenny has recently persued her longtime interest in burlesqe dancing and performing.  She is part of the Bombshell Betty Showgirl Chorus group in San Francisco, has performed in the Fishnet Follies Showgirl group,  and more recently is one of  the newest members of the Velevettes Can-Can  performance group! 

 Please join Jenny for a fun,flirty, and invigorating Showgirl/Burlesqe inspired fitness dance class to warm you  up and start your dance filled day! 


Mr. Scratch
Jan. 6, 2018, 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.

Red Velvet
Jan. 6, 2018, 10 a.m. - 11 a.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.

Roxy Stardust
Jan. 6, 2018, 10:30 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

It happens to us all. At one point or another things just don't go as we planned! Perhaps you forget a costume item, perhaps a prop doesn't make it to the stage or maybe you even pop a pastie!

This workshops covers some basic techniques of how to stay calm and get through those unplanned mishaps that really do happen to us all!

Red Velvet
Jan. 6, 2018, 11 a.m. - noon - 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 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.

Miss Mina Murray
Jan. 6, 2018, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes B

Who were the women who shaped the Golden Age of burlesque and inspired today's performers? Burlesque historian Miss Mina takes you on a lively trip through history, highlighting some of the influential performers in burlesque from Victorian Era to the 1950's during this fun slideshow and talk.

Betty Blaize
Jan. 6, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Learn some basic building blocks for choreography that you can adapt and fit into almost any classic BurlyQ peice.  These snippets are fun to learn, fun to drill and a great go-to when you are buliding a dance style choreography.  Each piece will focus on a few dancerly strengths that will enhance your dance and movement capabilities and get you thinking about clean technique.

Class will include:

  • 3-5 short snippets of choreography
  • choregraphed for classic burlesque music
  • with ideas for simplificiation or enhanced stylings
  • pointers on what the choregraphy teaches/highlights

At the end of class we'll play with chaining these bits together into numbers and mixing and matching the music to get a different vibe.

Students should bring shoes they can dance in and clothing that enables enthusiastic dance.  Prepare to sweat!

Jeannie Martini
Jan. 6, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

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!

Miss Mina Murray
Jan. 6, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

Give your beloved costumes the care they deserve! You lavish so much time, effort, and money on them before they go on stage, learn to take care of them after you come off stage! Miss Mina, “The Martha Stewart of Burlesque”, teaches you the methods theatrical costumers and museum professionals use to clean, store, transport, and maintain costumes (and vintage clothing!) so that they last and last. Save money and look better!

Angie Pontani
Jan. 6, 2018, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Learn basic gogo moves that you can incorporate into your burlesque routines or use for free-style Dan ring or just good workout fun!

Anabel G
Jan. 6, 2018, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes A



Breathing is at the care of all we do as performers.

Good breathing will increase your stamina and inform every move.

Come to learn a basic set of exercises to keep the breath, and body, centered.

Centering also provides a technique for overcoming stagefright and nervousness

in front of an audience, camera or microphone. It’s deceptively simple, and, with

persistence, the results from using this routine will amaze you! Come prepared

to move, make noise and feel real good.


A Workshop for Actors, Performers, Singers,

Storytellers & Anyone who Speaks.

Mr. Scratch
Jan. 6, 2018, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes B

As performers and artists, how do we deal with criticism, critiques and rejection, in a productive way?

Burlesque is a deeply personal art for many practitioners.  With so much invested in our performance, how do we differentiate between commentary on our act and commentary on our selves? This course teaches effective communication techniques from tone to word choice for giving and receiving feedback in a positive light.  We’ll also discuss using negative experiences like festival rejections as springboards for creativity and reinvigoration, and explores a variety of solutions to common traps we fall into when receiving feedback.

Miss Mina Murray
Jan. 6, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

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.

Anabel G
Jan. 6, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes A

Learn the power of stories to bring depth to your performace and moves. Everyone has a story,

indeed, every moment has a story. Explore these stories.

We’ll create “mini plays” from them which will be performed at the end of the session, along with

the perfprmance moment that inspired them.

Lili VonSchtupp
Jan. 6, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - William Dawes B

With over 500 burlesque shows produced, founding a festival, funding a kickstarter for a gallery show, teaching burlesque since 2007, emceeing and headlining at festivals and events, and 7 years of 18 hours a week producing radio, Lili has experience and knowledge to share.  Bring your questions, concerns, and problems; Lili will help you to make informed decisions and better choices.  No question is stupid.  No topic is off limits.  Business, performance, costuming, production, emceeing, marketing, and more! 

Boysinberry Cupcake
Jan. 6, 2018, 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.

Lili VonSchtupp, Mr. Scratch, Roxy Stardust
Jan. 6, 2018, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - William Dawes B

My how times change.  Less than 15 years ago almost everyone in the burlesque community knew almost everyone else and conflict was most often settled by conversation.  A few years later disputes in the now vastly expanded burlesque world were decided by the court of social media.  Today, burlesque performers are settling their differences through the legal system – often with extreme results.

Is this new dynamic a sign that burlesque has become a "real" industry or evidence that we're imploding? What changes do we foresee in the coming years? Is this the end of the burlesque world as we know it or just another wave of change to be waited out?

Moxie LaBouche
Jan. 6, 2018, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

You don't have to be at the mercy of what you can find in the store/online anymore.  This foam-crafting demo will show you how easy it can be to make anything you can imagine -- swords, head pieces, armor, horns, oversized objects, etc --  out of items that are easily and cheaply purchased from the nearest hardware store.  You don't need to be an artist to be able to foam-craft!


Jenny Jewels
Jan. 7, 2018, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Leave your heels at home ladies and gentlemen.  We’re bringing sexy back…and The Macarena!  This cardio dance class is infused with a variety of dance styles.  Routines are simple yet song specific and some of the movements are repetitive.  You will be instructed on several fun and short dance combinations.  As usual we will begin with a warm up and cooling down.  You will have a myriad of moves to pull out of your dance belt to use to tease or in whichever way you please!  



Roxy Stardust, Scarlett Letter, Tapitha Kix
Jan. 7, 2018, 10 a.m. - 11 a.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
Jan. 7, 2018, 10 a.m. - 11 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!

Red Velvet
Jan. 7, 2018, 10 a.m. - 11 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!

Betty Blaize
Jan. 7, 2018, 11 a.m. - noon - William Dawes A

This class teaches you about the art of Tassel Twirling.  The class will be covering these topics:

  • Different types of Pasties
  • Different ways to apply Pasties
  • How to twirl Tassels

Please bring a set of pasties with tassels to class and have them on before class begins so that we do not take class time putting on pasties.  




Red Velvet
Jan. 7, 2018, 11 a.m. - noon - Thomas Paine A&B

Learn samba dance move basics.   We will start with a gentle warm up and then work through various samba movements and techniques.   


Miss Mina Murray
Jan. 7, 2018, 11 a.m. - noon - Molly Pitcher

This simple beading technique anyone can learn adds a hint of sparkle to hems, collars, straps, 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 learn techniques they can apply to other projects. There will be kits for $5 each, as supplies last.

Moxie LaBouche
Jan. 7, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes B

The shows are out there, but how do you get into them?  Put your best foot forward by introducing yourself to producers the right way.  This class covers research, cold-emails, virtual press kits, and things that might keep you from getting booked, complete with examples.

Betty Blaize
Jan. 7, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Molly Pitcher

Ever wonder how you make pasties into a shape?  Here's your chance to try it hands on.  We'll make the eternally adorable and classic heart shaped pasties, with tassels.  There will be a kit, that includes:

  • pastie pattern, with some options on sizing
  • base buckram
  • some heart appropriate covering fabric
  • edge decoration
  • tassels

Students will assemble pasties in class, and - if time permits - get some time to try their new creations out.  In the process, we'll cover the techniques needed to create any pastie and talk through other tricks to making shaped pasties.

Kit costs $5

Red Velvet
Jan. 7, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

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.

Anabel G
Jan. 7, 2018, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - William Dawes A

Are you comfortable speaking in front of your audience?

Do you frequent;y get laryngitis, or a sore throat after a series of

performances orworkshops?

Voice Savers can help you. Learn how to breathe properly, project and focus

the voice so that you can easily be heard in a large room.

Learn to use your voice freely and without strain. Poetry, folk songs and original

material will be utilized as we explore & improve your vocal style & technique.

Anabel G
Jan. 7, 2018, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - William Dawes A

What is the sweet spot between “If your not nervous, you're no damn good, (Helen Hayes, grande dame of twetntieth century American Theatre) and the terror that can destroy a performance?

Do you enjoy performing, but find it terrifying? Convinced that you are at your worst in in a show and/or at an audition? Explore your fears about performing and learn techniques to overcome them. Performance is a special kind of sharing, of communicating. It can bring deep satisfaction when it goes well, and agony when it doesnt. Bring your problem pieces. Youll have the opportunity to practice as we discover how to make performance a wonderful, joyful experience.

Betty Blaize
Jan. 7, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Thomas Paine A&B

Are you looking to add some new moves to your repertoire? 

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!

Dante the Inferno, Magnolia Minxxx, Moxie LaBouche, Scarlett Letter
Jan. 7, 2018, 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.