What Burlesque Means To Me by DeeDee DeLa Rouge

So you’ve seen our DeeDee hosting our shows (avec ‘pint of wine and Crack Of Dawn’), you may even have been taught by her in one of our classes or workshops… Here Lilly Laudanum’s rather more glittery co-pilot tells us why she loves burlesque!  

I always thought I would like burlesque. I was the typical child that didn’t like to be watched dancing at parties but loved dance classes. Fine with direction, terrified to be out there on my own! A small ginger kid with terrible teeth (not kidding- can you say “head brace”?) I didn’t exactly exude confidence! But deep down I harboured a secret desire to be some sort of exotic, carnival, dancing queen! Oh how I wanted to be in the film Dirty Dancing!! (I would have even carried a watermelon!)

Anyway, I got older and eventually got around to taking up those Latin dance classes and loved it but with new found confidence came that creeping desire to try burlesque. It was the next step- even more feathers and even more sequins! And yes, it was everything I dreamed it would be, glamourous, exciting, and beautiful but it turns out it brought me another gift that I wasn’t expecting.

I am no different to all other women, there are parts of my appearance that I would like to change and areas I am not so comfortable with. But dance, and burlesque in particular, has taught me to embrace these. As women, we have a tendency sometimes to be mean to other women, judging them and then judging ourselves in return, constantly comparing. In the world of burlesque, it is different. Women love, admire and are inspired by other women. I never hear negative comments only overwhelmingly positive ones.

Burlesque is like a wonderful potion and the best bit, is that through classes I get to help prescribe some of this magic. Burlesque has given me the gift of helping other women feel better about themselves. More than everything else, I adore watching women come away from our classes saying, “I have my confidence back” and “I love myself more”. Burlesque is you at your most wonderful- always.

I know that burlesque isn’t for everyone and it is the kind of topic that can divide people but if it can help women feel even a little bit better about how they feel about themselves, then surely, it can’t be all that bad. Burlesque is a part of my life now and I hope it always will be. Nobody puts Dee Dee in the corner and that goes for our students too!

DeeDee will be handling the mic next Saturday when our Whipping Up A Storm show hits Swansea Grand Theatre, featuring international performers Havana Hurricane, Rubyyy Jones, Anna Lou and more! Doors are 7.30pm for an 8pm start – and DeeDee would like a pint of wine when you’re at the bar, thanks!  

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