As you may of seen Little Lady Luscious has handed over the reigns of Luscious Cabaret to two of her recent advance burlesque graduates Bella Rose & Allegra Whispers.  Every student’s burlesque journey is different so we asked them to tell us about theirs and whoa were we blown away by their stories.  We begin with Bella Rose …

Woman sat on chair holding a top hat over her head.  Wear black gloves and black underwear with black fringing.  Picture is in black and white

My first introduction to the world of Cabaret was pretty epic, as it was when I went to watch the Moulin Rouge. The lead dancer at the time had been taught by my Gran who runs her own dance school, so my family and I were lucky enough to go to Paris to watch her in all her showgirl glory. As an awkward 12-year-old I remember initially feeling a bit embarrassed about the number of boobs on show, but I soon got over this and became totally mesmerised by the costumes, showmanship and glamour.

I booked the burlesque beginners course at Luscious Cabaret before I could change my mind and can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Fast forward a few years and I was sitting in a bar with fellow performer, Bootsy Bonafonte, who was my dance school buddy growing up. She was telling me how she’d started taking burlesque lessons with someone called Little Lady Luscious and that she thought I would really love it too. I remember thinking how awesome this was, but that there wasn’t a chance in hell I could be brave enough to put myself out there like that. A few months later I watched her perform at the Luscious Cabaret and was so incredibly proud of how she owned the stage and her body that I nearly signed up to the course there and then. Sadly, the next day I was dancing round my bedroom in my underwear (as you do), caught a glimpse of my body in the mirror and thought ‘who the hell would want to see that?’, so this idea was pushed firmly out of my mind.

 

The turning point for me was getting married… random timing I know! As a self-confessed organisation freak, I’d spent months planning every detail of our wedding so knew I was going to have to get a hobby to fill the ‘wedmin’ void. After a few whatsapps to Bootsy from my honeymoon lounger, I booked the burlesque beginners course at Luscious Cabaret before I could change my mind and can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Woman with blonde hair posing with arm above her head wearing only nipple tassels and large pants

I remember my first lesson like it was yesterday. Donning bright lipstick, a polka dot head scarf and red Jimmy Choos (my wedding shoes), I rocked up to Academy Mews Studio having no idea what to expect. I was then greeted by Emily – AKA Little Lady Luscious – who was so incredibly welcoming and lovely, then I was strutting around the studio like Beyoncé before I knew it, wondering why I hadn’t done this sooner. Over the next few weeks I learned the basics of burlesque, created a stage name (after a drunken brainstorm with my husband) and a routine that I would soon be performing in front of a live audience. As a small-boobed, big-bummed girl I was incredibly self-conscious about my body and had no intentions of doing a full strip, maybe a sexy dance at best. However, after some encouraging words from LLL, a bit of Dutch courage and an incredibly supportive audience, I found myself standing in front of a cheering crowd, sporting red star nipple tassels (and not much else), feeling more alive and fabulous than I had ever felt before.

I feel proud of what I’ve achieved and think to myself,

‘wow you really owned it then.’

My first performance was in November 2017 and I haven’t really stopped since. After taking more lessons, including the Luscious Cabaret Advanced course earlier this year, I’m now performing regularly across London and have been chosen to perform in both the Bristol and Glasgow Burlesque Festivals, which I’m super excited about.

 

For me burlesque is not just about the buzz of performing, it’s about being part of an amazing community and empowering others to feel good about themselves. I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people, made some awesome friends and generally feel so lucky to be part of something so inclusive, creative and special.

 

It’s also really helped me with my body confidence. I used to genuinely hate my bum but have been told by a lot of people it’s one of my best assets on stage, so have learnt to embrace it, along with my other imperfections. Likewise, I look at photos from past shoots and shows and instead of immediately picking faults, I feel proud of what I’ve achieved and think to myself, ‘wow you really owned it then.’

Bella Rose with her bum to camera and hands above her head running her fingers through her hair

My latest adventure is co-producing the next Luscious Cabaret with my burlesque sister Allegra Whispers. We’ve cast some of the best up-and-coming burlesque and cabaret performers across London and have had a lot of fun along the way. The show is on Friday 2ndAugust at The Albany, Great Portland Street and tickets are only £5 if booked in advance. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/luscious-takeover-tickets-62321002797

Bella Rose dressed in Red and Allegra Whispers dressed in black sat on a bar with the words Luscious Cabaret Friday 2nd August across it

So, to wrap up, if anyone is thinking about giving burlesque a go… DO IT!! It’s genuinely the best thing I’ve ever done, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.  Also, come to our show… it’s going to be awesome 😉x

Bella Rose posing with one arm in the air holding a cowboy and hat.  One hand on hip, wearing red pants and red nipple tassels

If Bella Rose has inspired you to give burlesque a go, head on over to our burlesque beginners burlesque page … https://lusciouscabaret.com/beginners-burlesque/

 

 

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The sun is shining as we write and we can’t wait for the next round of fun and fabulousness of the Luscious Burlesque Course. We’ve been catching up with some Luscious graduates to find out what they are doing now and what impact the course had on them. The course has been going for longer than Little Lady Luscious cares to admit to, but she loves the diversity of the students and the acts that they create. So whether you are a seasoned professional dancer, an enthusiastic cabaret lover, a complete beginner with no idea of what burlesque is (!), or a total lay person who would like to develop their confidence through a fun and low pressure dance class – this course is probably for you.
This week we’re catching up with Sissi Emerald who is an actress as her day job and found that the course gave her more confidence in her performance and her day to day life.
 
Why did you decide to do the Luscious Burlesque course?
As an actor I have had massive body confidence issues and after seeing one of my friends performing and just wanted to give a try to gain some confidence 
Also the universe of cabaret and burlesque has always fascinated me and it is a skill that I always wanted to have 
 
Describe the course in 3 words.
Friendly, liberating, Chill
 
What did you learn from doing the course?
I learned that being sexy is not about your body type but more a state of mind. The size doesn’t matter. All women an men have the sexy side in them. You just need to own it
 
What was the best thing about it?
My confidence is so much higher now. I feel better in my skin. You are also surrounded by other people that support you and sometimes they become your friends.
 
Tell us about the first time you performed. How did you feel?
Before going on Stage, I was shaking. Once on it though, I felt in control and it was so empowering. I didn’t want to leave the stage! Being cheered by the audience is also a big plus. No judgement, just fun and pleasure. 
Have you performed since the luscious debut show?
Yes, I performed a second time with Luscious cabaret and also had my first performance at the Edinburgh fringe. I will perform again in October 
 
Who would you recommend the course to?
I would advise every  girls or guys who has confidence issue or has difficulty to look at themselves as sexy, to do this course. 
You will leave this class with a changed and more positive opinion of yourself
Do you use any of the skills you learned in every day life?
I use it a lot in my actor life, for audition, I walk with confidence in the room. 
 

Sisi’s experience inspired us to begin the Advanced Course.  If you’ve taken a course of burlesque you can now continue your burlesque journey, where you can continue to grow and soar.

Check out our Workshops and Classes page to find out more.  The next beginners course starts Wednesday 1st May.  Bring yourself and we’ll provide the feathers and fun!

Bookings and More info click here

 

The next in our series of Guest Teacher Blogs is a long time friend of all things luscious – It’s Trixi Tassels! Trixi is going to be guest teaching a tassel twirling class and if you have ever wanted to improve your tasseling technique- this is the class for you. This time we get 

 

What is your first memory of performing?

When I played one of the Three Billy Goats Gruff on stage with an amateur kids theatre group – I must have been 6 or 7 or something.

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

Best parts are when you get that magical connection with the audience and they’re completely in the palm of your hand.  You can be doing absolutely nothing on stage but they are totally enthralled.  The worst parts are when you’re not feeling the act, not in the moment for some reason, and then that translates to your energy and that prohibits you connecting with the audience.

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

I try to eat lightly and I don’t drink until after I’ve performed.  I go through my costuming spreadsheet to check I have every little item from the big costume items right down to the little things like spirit gum and jewellery.

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

I tend to connect with a song first.  I may have a broad concept, but it will only start to come together when I have found the perfect song which provides the inspiration for the feeling, the costume, and the pacing of the whole thing.  The song is absolutely integral. Once I get the song, I play it several dozen times over and map out the act and design the costume in my head before it starts to come to physical life.  Often I re-cut it to extend or shorten it or repeat particular parts that work really well.

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

With lots of wine or gin!  It’s nice to hang out backstage for a bit away from the crowds to chill out a bit before the hustle bustle of heading out to the public space.

Do you have any secret talents?

Apart from being one of the world’s best tassel twirlers, I make a mean risotto.

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

Dead Radio by Rowland S. Howard.  It’s got the best opening line to an album ever.

 

We’ve got our tassels on ready to enjoy this class on Saturday 26th August. Book your place now to avoid disappointment:  http://littleladyluscious.co.uk/summer-workshops/