What To Wear To A Burlesque Striptease Dance Class
If you’re anything like me, you like to be prepared and unless you’re already deep inside the burlesque culture and industry, you may not know what to wear to your very first burlesque striptease dance class. Have no fear! I’ve got you covered. If anything I suggest isn’t already in your closet, most items can be found on Amazon, at the very least. With prime 2-day shipping, you should be all set long before your next burlesque dance class.
The first thing to note is that burlesque has many genres. It’s helpful to know the genre your class is in, as this determines the type of movement and style you will experience. If you’ve signed up for a “Cheesecake Burlesque” class, suitable clothing might be different than if you’ve signed up for “Neo-Burlesque” or “Nerdlesque” or “Showgirl Burlesque” or “Polesque.” I have a few more genres that I throw in there such as “Speakeasy Burlesque” or “Trumplesque.” The latter being how I define Modern Political Burlesque. So, be sure to inquire about the genre your burlesque dance class will be taught in. This may help narrow the selection of what to wear.
I love teaching a combination of “Traditional Burlesque”…like truly traditional. Like back when it was an extravaganza/travesty and took the form of musical theatre parody. Plus a bit of “Showgirl Burlesque” because I fucking love glamour and glitz and a dramatic Femme Fatale. And a smidge of “New Burlesque.” I call this combo “Speakeasy Burlesque.” Let me set the scene.
A Speakeasy is an illicit establishment. I like the word ILLICIT. Burlesque is a literary or dramatic work. It seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation of the dignified.
Therefore SpeakEasy Burlesque is a mysterious and forbidden order of society for wicked and wayward souls. For 90 minutes we explore power, pleasure and play through sensual movement and erotic expression. With that in mind, what comes to mind when you think of how you’ll adorn your body? Below are some suggestions.
Shay Au Lait’s List of What To Wear To A Burlesque Striptease Dance Class
- First, ONLY wear what makes you feel comfortable.
- If you’re not into heels, don’t bring them. If corsets feel like a puzzle, fuck them. Wear what you’re comfortable moving your body in. (If you don’t know what you’re comfortable in yet, that’s ok. We’ll figure that out in class. I have lots of exercises and activities and prompts.)
- Wear what makes you feel good.
- It’s one thing to wear what makes you feel comfortable. It’s a whole other level to also wear what makes you feel good. What in your wardrobe makes you ooze? What makes you feel delicious and turned on? What makes you arch a bit? These answers are different for every person. It might be a specific color, a specific texture/fabric or a type of item.
- Bring lots of layers.
- I’m all for several outfit changes within a single class. My mood changes too much and I like my options. So bring options for yourself. Go all out. It only takes a few seconds to swap out one shirt for another, if the wind blows a different direction mid-class. Also burlesque is mostly about the striptease. In each class with me, at some point you’ll take something off. It could be a glove, a shoe, a shirt, a leg warmer or anything. You might take out your hairpin. So the best thing is to bring layers to play.
- Bring the “SpeakEasy Burlesque” wardrobe staples
- Bra – You can wear a sports bra, a lingerie bra, a bedazzled bra or any type of bra you like. No. Wear a bra you LOVE!
- Panties – Whether we ever strip down to panties or not, wear the panties that make you do a hip circle.
- Booty Shorts – These could be yoga shorts, frilly shorts, sequin shorts, tuille shorts, high waisted shorts or whatever you want.
- Leggings or Yoga Pants
- Tights – (my personal favorites are suspender tights or extra wide fishnets)
- Knee High Tights
- Tshirt, Tank Top, Button Down
- Corset – (front or back fastening)
- A Dress
- Shoes – Wear shoes that you can dance in. Start with kitten heels, if you’re not used to heels.
- Accessories and Layers that are fun to play with or make things easier
- Garter Belt
- Knee Pads
- Garter Belt
- Leg Warmers or Knee High Socks
- Wig – Because WHY NOT? 99% of the time, I wear a wig to class, just for fun.
- Bring the “SpeakEasy Burlesque” additional staples
- A journal – (my classes are interactive and immersive. Activities, including writing prompts, will be provided and workshopped during class.)
- A bottle of water
- A face towel, if you tend to sweat or glisten
- Wipes, for your feet
Honorable Mentions of What To Wear To A Burlesque Striptease Dance Class
- Elbow length satin gloves
- Full-length boa
- Hat or Headpiece
- A shimmy belt
- A panel skirt
It’s time to pack your bag!
You may be attending a burlesque class for any number of reasons. Perhaps you simply want a sweet taste of burlesque. Perhaps you’re training as a performer. Or maybe you just want a flirty fitness experience. In either case, make it fun. Play dress up and enjoy clothes that help you find the extravagant, dramatic and emotional range of your storytelling, striptease and subtext in movement.