one day i'll be able to do this.

one day i'll be able to do this.

So I’ve started taking this excellent burlesque dance class. Every Sunday, I’ll be shaking my booty in Miss Sugarpuss‘ Sweet Moves class, which promises “getting fit and having fun through the always sensual and sometimes hilarious style of burlesque striptease dance.”

Miss Sugarpuss combines “elements of jazz dance, Ballet, Pilates, Belly-dancing and good old-fashioned Rock ‘N Roll styles.” And that’s exactly what we got. We started off with some core strengthening exercises, then danced around like fools. It was amazing.

I’ve taken a couple of burlesque/erotic dance classes, but they’ve seemed to be lacking something. While I learned how to connect with my body, move to a rhythm and walk in heels, I wasn’t processing things. There was no sense of community or comraderie in the classes. We also learned choreographed routines to songs (including, in my first “sexy dance” class, the atrocious 90s hit “Free Your Mind“), which felt rigid and a little frustrating. I wasn’t experiencing any kind of spontaneous joy in my body.

However, this is exactly what Miss Sugarpuss focuses on, and repeatedly reminds us. She encouraged us to move our bodies as we felt we needed to, while offering moves and mini-routines as guidelines. I came out of the class feeling strong, confident and sexy.

I love burlesque and I love yoga. However, I have to admit that there’s something about Burlesque Yoga which doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure what it is, because I like the idea of the divine being everything, even striptease, and I like the idea of finding the sacred in everyday life. I even feel that spirituality need not be an austere, renuncitory act.

I think there’s something about yoga hybrids which bother me (although at the same time, I don’t think there’s such a thing as a “pure” yoga in North America, or possibly even the world). I like to do burlesque dance and do yoga, separately (even if that is maybe a bit dualistic, perhaps), and not try to merge them together, but accept that there are parts of both that infiltrate each other. And I don’t want to feel like a perv because I’m a burlesque-dancing yogi.

Anyway, Miss Sugarpuss’ Sweet Moves class rocks, and it’s not too late to be a part of the action. Drop-ins are welcome ($15 per class) every Sunday, 12-1:30pm at Studio Sweatshop (24 Mont-Royal Ouest, Suite 704). Until June 7, 2009.