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My Burlesque Journey

My passion has always been dancing. You can see the joy it brings me on my face whenever I’m on stage. I have been dancing since the age of six and when I was asked to leave my childhood dance studio as I was too old to perform with them, I looked for alternative styles of dance. I did contemporary, street jazz and hip-hop while at university but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Then in 2012, I won a Facebook competition for a free 8-week course at Bottoms Up Pole and Burlesque dance studio in Brunswick which offered the choice of a beginner pole or beginner burlesque class. I had heard of burlesque through the 2010 film “Burlesque” but thought I’d give pole dancing a go. I met the lovely community at Bottoms Up and continued to do pole and then completed a 4-week teaser course in burlesque with Loli Box.


After the 4-week course, I decided to take on an 8-week course with the fabulous Willow J. Our first few classes were full house however over the term, it slowly became myself, 1 other student and Willow J weekly. The intimate class meant Willow J could explain the history of burlesque, how to be more comfortable in our own bodies, about Melbourne burlesque and teach us all about bump and grind.


That course changed my life. I knew I wanted to be a part of it but as a poor uni student living out of home, I couldn’t afford any more classes and it was almost a 2 hour trip each way to attend classes.

For the next few years, I was a yearly burlesque observer - going to workshops and shows mainly as a birthday treat but I found it difficult to know where to find shows until it was too late to attend or in locations I couldn’t get to on public transport. I went back into pole dancing as there was a local studio near work that offered burlesque-like classes. The burlesque class they offered was more neo-burlesque and I was looking for classical burlesque.

It wasn’t until a friend posted their Cherry Poppers Showcase photos that I found out about Maison Burlesque Dance studio in Richmond. I attended their December showcase in 2018 and knew I had to enrol next term.


I started at Maison in Domino du Jour’s Burlesque Fun-damentals class, doing a balloon routine to “Fever” by Peggy Lee in an ode to Edna Krabappel's performance from The Simpsons. She taught us that every body, no matter what size, colour, gender, ethnicity, ability, deserves to be on the stage.

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