I’m sure there are a few of you out there that will remember the musical Cabaret.

Starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York, the film followed the lives of Sally Bowles and Brian Roberts as they navigate their way through Berlin in 1931, under the ever growing threat of the rise of the Nazi party.

The film is most notable for the incredible choreography and soundtrack. Sally works nights at the Kit Kat club, and dances and sings a memorable number of Burlesque inspired routines.


The iconic look

Even if you have never seen the movie, you may have seen the iconic imagery of Minnelli, dressed in stockings and bowler hat, performing on stage in a risque and ground breaking series of numbers.

The inspired choreography came courtesy of dance legend Bob Fosse, and it in turn seems to be inspired by Burlesque dance from days gone by.

With Burlesque enjoying a bit of a revival, it seems that the fitness world has been quick to get in on the action.

Don’t be afraid! Let’s try a Burlesque class

Fitness instructors have been taking the format, and using it to provide clients with a workout that is both different and exciting.

Staying true to the original vibe of the cabaret and night club dancers of old, the classes are not afraid to embrace the erotic and risque movements.

The music is carefully chosen and the routines are sexy and dramatic.

Listen to Chris Issac’s Wicked Game or Donna Summer’s Bad Girls, and you will have a feel for the style of music used. If you are thinking of attending a Burlesque class, don’t think that it will be like Zumba or Fitsteps.

This dance based fitness class encourages woman to gyrate and move with no inhibitions, and often participants will dress for the occasion.

burlesque dancing_2


The cardio aspect comes from performing the routines, and moving with strong, confidant moves.

The classes empower women and let them move and dance in ways that other classes may not. There are plenty of hip and body rolls and sharp staccato movements.

The dances are dramatic, but also very tongue in cheek, expect plenty of giggles and laughs along the way.

Challenge yourself

To further challenge people at the classes, a chair is often introduced and plays an important role in the session. Attendees use the chair during routines, using it almost like a dance partner, and it adds another element to the session.

The chair is used to sit on, stand on,place one leg on, dance around, lean on and just about everything else you can think of.

This makes the dancers use their core stability muscles and improves their balance and agility.

As if all this wasn’t enough, don’t be surprised to see the introduction of feather boas too. Used again as an aid for the dancers, the boas add pizzaz and sparkle to any routine.

So if you are looking for a really different way to get fit while dancing, why not look into Burlesque classes? You may not win an Oscar like Minnelli did in 1972, but I imagine you will have a great time giving it a go.

Connect with Expert Louie Fecou

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