Saturday, 7 May 2011

Taking a class

I've written before about my burlesque lessons and preparing a routine to perform to some friends. A couple of times while doing that I was invited to join the intermediate class. Well this week I finally did just that.

It was fabulous!

The classes are on a Tuesday evening so I finished work a half an hour early and quickly changed into a tee-shirt and tracksuit bottoms so that I'd be comfortable during the lesson. Getting into the car I entered the address of the venue into the SatNav and found that I was going to be an hour early when I got there. As Homer Simpson would say "Doh!". There was no way that I could go home beforehand as it would mean getting questioned by my father-in-law who has been staying with us so I made a few stops on the way, one of which was to grab something to eat. Next time I'll arrange to visit a friend who lives in Bristol.

I eventually arrived at the venue with 15 minutes to spare and found that it was very busy as there was a show going on elsewhere in the building and people were arriving for that. Getting there is something that I'm going to have to think seriously about as at some point Jenny is going to make an appearance for the class and it will take a lot of confidence to walk from the car to the venue and then up to the dance studio.

I hung around outside the building watching people going in, a couple of women that went in I decided could be there for the class but wasn't sure, when I finally got into the dance studio I found that I was right.

I was incredibly nervous about going to the class. I wasn't sure how the other women were going to react. Would they be OK with me being there? Would they be a lot better than me? What would we be doing in the class? So many unknowns.

Eventually I decided that I couldn't wait any longer and had to go up to the class so I went in, asked where the class was and made my way to the studio.

Peering through the door I couldn't see anyone so pushed it open and went in. The rest of the class were at one end of the room and all turned to look at me as I entered. My teacher saw me and waved me in. I dumped my bag and joined the rest of the class. My instructor asked me if I wanted to be known "as J or B", female name or male name. "J" I answered so that's how I was introduced.

We started off with some warm ups and then a few people recapped what they'd done the previous week.

We then got into our heels and did some more warming up before starting to work through a routine.

Everyone is really good and moves so easily. I don't quite feel so natural just yet but I was amazed that I found myself walking quite well and also quite quickly in heels. These lessons are going to be so good for me when it comes to moving about as a woman, just need to get my movements to be a bit more fluid and a bit more feminine.

We went over the routine a good few times, adding bits to it as we mastered a section.

Being new there were somethings that I felt a bit shy about but with time I'm hoping that will change as I get to know people and feel more relaxed and confident.

We ended the evening by working on our burlesque characters in small groups. Each group had to come up with a group pose and a headline to go with it for each of the groups characters.

For my character we came up with a pose where I was recreating the famous Christine Keeler image with the chair while the other two posed as a married couple. The headline "Jenna Soils DFS Sofa".

Being spontaneously creative is something that I find really difficult, especially in a group setting. Doing these exercises is going to be a real challenge but its going to help me to develop as a person.

It does mean that I'm going to have to start thinking about my burlesque character of Jenna Von Risque.

I'm so looking forward to my next class now that I know what to expect.

One thing that did come out which I thought was fantastic and showed that the other women had no problem with me being there was when we were doing the exercise in the small group and I described my character and her costume. The other two promptly turned around and told me they couldn't wait to see my corset.

The sad bit is that I don't live in Bristol. It would be so better if I did as I wouldn't have so far to travel and I'd also be able to get to the shows and other events that the school and instructors are involved in. I'd also be able to go out with the girls when they organize a night out.

I told a friend about all this and she said that she has a feeling that my life is going to be in Bristol. I'm not sure how that is going to happen but if it did then I wouldn't object.

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