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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keeping Fit with Burlesque

burlesque fitness
INSTRUCTOR Steph Heath will be cracking the whip, literally, as she launches new fitness classes with a difference in Birmingham.

Using the seductive art of burlesque, women will be able to follow the lead of Nicole Kidman in film Moulin Rouge and ‘Queen of Burlesque’ Dita Von Teese as they shimmy, stretch and pose their way to strengthening their muscles.

Teacher Steph, from Sutton Coldfield, said fun weekly classes will see women armed with feather boas, fans and other props moving to music like Marilyn Monroe’s I Wanna Be Loved By You.

There will even be lessons in nipple-tassle twirling as part of the course.

Birmingham women seem to be crying out for the new burlesque classes as the first taster session at The Sports Cafe, in Broad Street, next month is already fully booked.

“It is fantastic fun and a great way to gain confidence and get fit as the movements really strengthen the core of the body, especially the abs,” said Steph, aged 19, who works for a tanning salon and dance company Pole-stars.

“Every wiggle, shimmy and move is about stretching and posing, isolating that part of the body.

“Each week, I will teach a couple of new moves and it will end up as a performance at the end of the course. We have sessions on modern burlesque, striptease, military style with props and a chair and showgirl.

“It’s all about having fun.”

Steph, a former pupil at Arthur Terry School, in Sutton Coldfield, added: “The popularity of films like Moulin Rouge has helped make burlesque more mainstream. People have seen Nicole Kidman and Dita Von Teese and want to be try it for themselves.

“When I was taught, I boosted my confidence.”

Burlesque has been around since the 19th Century as a theatrical entertainment with vibrant costumes and seductive movements, coming from the Italian word burla, meaning joke.

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