8 years ago I got my first teaching job Tantra Fitness, I was 2 years into my burlesque career and so nervous to start translating what I did naturally / self-taught into a curriculum for others to start learning from. I never had any burlesque training, in those days, like the days before me, it was extremely DIY, Youtube didn’t even exist yet. (I know, 10 years is not that long ago, but in the digital age, it is!). All I had was experience and stage chops, rehearsals and peer reviews, what I had seen others do on stage and what I had read in books or what people had told me. Ultimately, I / we made it up. These days you can take burlesque classes from instructors who have never done burlesque but might know concepts of it. They might have seen a show or know because they have sexy dance moves that it can be called “Burlesque”, but ultimately it’s borrowed from those that do it authentically, artistically and as a career. The ones that live the art of the tease and the strip. Parallel to our Exotic Dance sisters, it is a new medium to teach and therefore there is not many standards or pre-set curriculums. I’ve often had woman say they have taken a burlesque class, but it’s not “what I do on stage”, meaning it is a sexy dance class, perhaps referencing our industry or perhaps not. I think the more sass the merrier, but know your roots!
Before I gave an interview on what I teach, someone whom I admire very much said to me, “Go get em, don’t be stingy with your knowledge. What you have to offer is valuable, be generous.” It was sound advice from a leader I trusted. It gave me the insight and strength to not only be strong in my character but trust what I had to offer was of worth. You see, when you are teaching, you are not meant to know everything – you never will. What makes you a good teacher is the ability to share who you are, where you have been and what you have learned. It’s your perspective and how you present it that makes you a good teacher.
Through my years I’ve had so many crushes on my teachers. Ones who inspired me, who pushed me, who were kind to me. Ones who drove me to be better, to strive and to achieve. I’ve have teachers so strong that even now, I hear their voices as I transition poses in a yoga class led by someone else. That gentle, knowledgeable voice – the one that triggered a gem of awakening in me. That moment of connection I felt with myself, made simply because of what they shared of themselves so generously.
When we were young and would play at a friend’s house, we had to abide by their rules: Your He-Man castle, your blanket fort, your sandbox – your rules. Now as adults, we have similar practices, only it becomes more refined. Your… wait, never mind, it is exactly the same thing. Swap the doll castle for a 4 poster bed and you’re on your way. Think of an adult sleepover. You’re in their home and respect that. They like the left side of the bed; you give it up. Although, in these situations, there can be great compromise as you are hopefully getting naked and meeting on mutual ground for playtime. For the most part, I am sure the neighbors like it when you come to visit, as trips to the fridge to get hydration are often pantsless with disheveled hair. MmmHmm. Sharing is caring. Continue reading