If you are thinking about signing up for our Burlesque Workshop on January 29, but need a few words of encouragement, look no further. Instructor Patience Schoene discusses her journey with burlesque and why she wants to share it with you! Whether you have no idea what burlesque is or feel intimidated by the notion of getting in touch with your sexy side, read on. It’s all about embracing YOU, just the way you are.
Why are you teaching the Burlesque workshop?
This workshop is really near and dear to my heart. I loved burlesque from the moment my mom let me watch “Gypsy”when I was a kid. I loved the glamorous way the performers embraced their own unique femininity. They represented a cornucopia of talents, styles, and looks, but they were all spectacular.
When did you start performing?
I started performing on a whim. I had taken a 6-week course from the Burlesque Academy in Seattle that culminated in a recital. I did this to challenge my own hang-ups about body image and self-esteem, but what I discovered in those 6 weeks was an art form rich in history. From the early Vaudeville pioneers to the neo-modern performers, women put their own stamp on the stage. They made their own costumes, choreographed their own routines and regularly used their sexuality to make political and social statements. Especially during times when women had few choices, these performers broke all the rules. Over about seven years I performed up and down the west coast and festivals throughout the country. I learned a great deal and met amazing women and men. Retiring didn’t temper my love of the art form and I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned on the stage.
What is Burlesque, and what does it mean to you?
Burlesque embraces femininity in all its forms. As a performer you learn to look in the mirror, pick out the things you love, and embrace those — whether it’s the curve of your hip, the way you hold your hands, or your smile. You focus on those and build a routine around them. This naturally leads to a body-positive attitude. Plus it’s a great workout; it loosens your hips, strengthens your abs and gets you moving. AND it’s just plain fun!
What can people expect from the workshop?
This workshop is designed to teach the dance aspect of performing burlesque. We’ll start with the classic moves and a bit of how to strip out of clothing, and then put it all together in two choreographed combinations. The steps are easy to follow. Burlesque is more about how you sell what you’re showing and less about what you’re showing, so be prepared to vamp.