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.
Aren't fans beautiful? Do you want to use them in your act? Learn about different types of fans, different hand holds, and basic fan dance movements as part of this class. Please bring your own fans. If you do not have ostrich feather fans, hand fans will do in a pinch...
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 a mix of exercises taken from ballet, yoga, and other dance forms. The class will be geared towards basic level students, but all levels of flexibility are welcome. A ttendees will be checked during exercises for proper form and to prevent injury. Please wear combortable clothes that are easy to move in!
Social Media Marketing is the creation and sharing of content on your social media networks in order to drive engagement with your audience. This class familiarizes students with different social media platforms and content management tools, as well as discussing different styles of content, so they may select a marketing strategy that best reflects their brand and allows them to acheive their marketing goals. We'll also cover SMM budgeting and metrics for gauging the success of campaigns.
Want to add some bounce to your bump and some torque to your grind? This class is for you! This class will cover an intro to some of the core movements of belly dance which work great in Burlesque acts. We'll cover bumps, grinds, a variety of other upper and lower body movements, and some great combinations, techniques for movement and strategies for improving technique ongoing.
Betty Blaize has studied and taught Belly Dance in Boston for over 20 years, and has been building Burlesque choreographies using it for over 15 years. This class will focus on newcomer friendly techniques, with enough content for a more experience dancer to find some great gems in the material.
Come, join us for happy hour at the barre!! The dance barre that is! Up your movement skills by focusing on leg, ankle, and foot strength and full-body alignment. This one-hour class will include a gentle warm up and then focus on floor barre and barre exercises. Wake up your body, strengthen your muscles, and connect your brain from toe tip to the top of your head!
In this hour long class, we will learn a full routine to one song. This is a dance-based class. While the moves will be simple enough for beginners, we will be learning a dance routine to a full song using sexy burlesque-esque dance moves to tease and titillate. Get ready to bring out your inner Christina Aguilera!
Each Cardio-Cancan class starts with a ballet based warmup and stretching. Then we go over specific steps and techniques for cancan kick lines, traveling steps and turns. Finally, get your heart pumping with flirty cancan choreography! It’s so much fun, you won’t even realize you are working out! ALL LEVELS OF FLEXIBILITY AND DANCE EXPERIENCE WELCOME! This class has been designed to provide an introduction to classic ballet techniques in a comfortable environment for those who have never taken formal dance classes before. At the same time, experienced dancers will enjoy the sense of play, enjoyment and sensuality in the class, which can be hard to find in many traditional ballet studios.
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!
One thing about plus-size performers? We have a lot to offer! ....and a lot to cover.
This beginning class about underwear and bra and body cage creation for the plus-size body will cover pattern making for three different types of underwear coverage, three different types of bras, and three different body cage designs for larger body types.
Part 1: Deciding on a Look: drafting patterns, pattern materials, sketching
Part 2: Selecting fabrics, elastic, and additional hardware to make it strippable
Part 3: Sparkly decoration or appliques or even fun shapes to add to your look PLUS storage tips
Learn to make a matching fringe skirt and belt set that will accentuate your twirling, shimmying, bumping and grinding. All you need is a kitten bralette in your favorite color! Feel free to bring your own fringe trim if you have a special design in mind. All experience levels are welcome.
Are you a person? Then this class is for you! Whether you’re new or experienced, a stage kitten or an emcee, a performer or a techie, or even a longtime observer wanting to participate, learning the ins and outs of being the best stage kitten you can be is an essential tool to add to your belt. Being a stage kitten might seem like a simple job involving picking up clothes and setting up props, but there is SO much more to it! There is also a common misconception that being a stage kitten is a stepping stone to being a “real” performer. In reality, a good stage kitten can truly make or break a show and alleviate a lot of stress for everyone involved. Sound scary? Don’t worry, it’s tons of fun, and you’ll be learning from (and playing with) the best of the best!
In this frolic-filled workshop, we will explore:
-what the role of “stage kitten” really entails (heh)
-staying efficient and sexy at the same time
-why your love of taking care of people is perfect for this
-being prepared for (almost) anything
-staying “in character”
-troubleshooting and problem solving before, during, and after shows
-the glamorous stuff
-the way less glamorous stuff
-having insane amounts of fun while taking your job incredibly seriously
-tricks of the trade: special tips, tricks, and little-known secrets that make your job easier
-self-care: important ways to look after your body, mind, and spirit before, during, and after shows
-the significance of the filthy-sounding title of this workshop
My hope is that you will leave this class with a mew--ahem, new--skill set that you will be able to apply to future stage kittening endeavors, a fresh excitement for giving this often-overlooked job a try (or another try), and an appreciation for the kittens in your community. Also a smile. I really hope you leave with a smile.
What to bring:
Your beautiful selves! I also recommend a notebook/writing implement and wearing clothes you can move in that make you feel sexy. Knee pads might come in handy if your knees are sensitive. Come prepared to work and play!
This class is open to people of all genders and experience levels.
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!
Let's loosen up those hips by exploring the sensual yet strong sways of Polynesia. We will learn some basic moves, the mechanics of hip movement while breaking a good sweat.
YOUR THIGHS WILL HATE YOU IN THE MORNING!
This works your core, booty, llegs and even your arms.
"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. This class is a starting point, and does not replace the advice of a certified tax accountant.
To be gazed upon intensely can be so threatening, and filled with elements of power, judgment, danger, covetousness, control, and so dehumanizing that we have unspoken rules limiting it. This etiquette of gaze goes both ways with the bad manners of looking, and the bad manners of daring to be seen. Busy choreography can even be a way of avoiding discomfort around being seen. By consciously directing the gaze we will explore how choosing to be seen can be more powerful than any dance technique, and more intensely sensual than any costume or daring exposure. It’s fun to claim the forbidden power of being seen.
Producing, like so many things, is both a blessing and a curse. This class intends to help you navigate the curses so you can enjoy the blessings. Topics will include budgeting, timelines, communications, different styles of shows and structures, and a discussion about advertising in different markets. Handouts will be available in person or electronically.
Nine Nazgul, or Nine Muses: you decide. The nine laws of movement apply to the seduction and tease of Burlesque as fully as they do to any other fine art. We will study how qualities of movement: direction, shape, altitude, velocity, recoil, etc., all can carry messages of intense seduction and character development in your burlesque routine. Whether you want to be polite, playful, or steamy, these laws will help you fulfill your personal burlesque style and vision.
An exploration of sensuality through movement.
Part discussion, part movement, we are going to talk about sex and sexiness in terms of how we view ourselves on and off stage.
In the movement portion, we will take some of these concepts and apply them to our movements, focusing on creating beautiful lines and flow. (yes, we will do some floorwork, and I'll help people cheat it who can't.)
Heavy notes in audience engagement, energy, intention, body language, enticement, sex appeal.
Class Description: For every act we perform, we create a new persona. Sometimes it's specific: maybe you're performing as Bellatrix Lestrange, who comes with her own set of distinct personality traits and desires. Or perhaps you’re performing a classic burlesque routine, and your persona is less defined, “a confident, elegant woman”. Consciously or not, your choreography tells the story of your persona, and knowing your persona can help your ideas for choreography flow. The first step to improving an act is understanding this storytelling process, uncovering what motivates your song and choreography choices, and learning how to harness that creative power. In this class, we will use creative writing techniques to deepen our personas and unlock their stories. Then, we will begin sculpting, either revising an existing act, or creating a new one from scratch (up to you!). Performers with existing acts will have the opportunity to perform in front of the group and receive notes, while students new to burlesque will have the opportunity to try out choreography they developed in class.
Teacher Bio: Catty Wompass has been performing burlesque in the Midwest and the Bay Area for over 6 years. She is the co-producer of Bawdy Bawdy Ha Ha in Iowa City, and delights in helping local burlesque-hopefuls make strong stage debuts. In her muggle life, Catty holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has her dream job teaching creative writing at the University of Iowa. Combining the arts of storytelling and burlesque is her passion, and she’s excited to share her unique perspective and techniques with the Great Burlesque Expo!
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.
Behind the art, and the glamour, and the blood, sweat and tears - every act is a project, and every performer is, on some level, a project manager.
While the act of artistic creation will never be entirely agony-free, this class seeks to help students minimize the agony - or at least reserve it for the struggle of art, rather than the stress and worry of having projects fail at the last minute, and an endless string of all nighters.
Betty Blaize is a seasoned choregrapher, dance coach, dance teacher and creator of 13+ years worth of Burlesque acts for both herself and many others. Beyond that, she's also a 20+ year seasoned project manager in any number of venues, from high tech, to show production, to the Great Burlesque Expo itself.
Betty Blaize will cover:
Come to class and learn some ways to reduce act-creation-exhaustion while improving the reliability of a good product.
Know your roots! Burlesque historian Scratch introduces you to the women who shaped the Golden Age of burlesque and inspired the stars of today. This informative and entertaining muti-media presentation and talk is a lively trip through our shared history, highlighting the influential performers in burlesque from the Victorian Era to the 1960s.