Still trying to decide on summer plans? Not to worry, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. After a (very successful) first run last year, we’ve decided to bring back our Summer Workshops and give you the chance to develop your performance skills in directions that you may not even imagine. We’re lucky to have some absolutely stellar artists all lined up to teach you everything from bellydancing to fan dancing – it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn top secret trade tips from some of London’s finest established performers.

The workshops will run every Saturday from the 22nd of July to the 26th of August, and good news is that you can book them all right now! We’ve got special discounts as well if you choose to do more than a couple, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Here’s the complete list of workshops, you can find more information about each one in particular here.

 

22nd July: Bellydance Bumps and Grinds with Rosie Kohl

29th July: Neo Burlesque & Political Burlesque with Lolo Brow

5th August: Floorwork & Audience Interaction with Bettsie Bon Bon

12th August: Fan Dancing with Tempest Rose

19th August: Clowning in Burlesque with Pi the Mime

26th August: Tassel Twirling with Trixi Tassels

 

We can’t wait to see you all in class this summer! 

We are off on a Luscious adventure this week and we’ll tell you all about it in next week’s blog. This week we spoke to our last guest teacher for the summer workshops, Trixi Tassels. This lady is one of the world’s top tasselers, she taught herself to tassel before she even knew what burlesque was! By the end of the class she’ll have you tasseling like a pro. Here’s what she had to say about how she began and what is the most Luscious thing about tasseling …

 

 

Do you remember the first time you performed as burlesque dancer?  How did it go? 
My first time was really before I had ever seen burlesque or even properly understood what it was.  It was in New Zealand in 2005 when there was no burlesque scene at all, but a good friend of mine had lived in London and seen it there and performed herself.  I had taught myself to tassel twirl just for the hell of it after seeing Elvira Mistress of the Dark do it in at the end of her film and then taught my friend too.  I guess we were stuck with this random skill and decided to to put together a striptease routine for my then-boyfriend’s birthday.  We were both already quite adept with costuming and performing, coming from the bellydance world, so we made our own custom emerald green burlesque costumes and choreographed a duo act to Minnie The Moocher.  We performed in the middle of a decadent cocktail bar in Auckland full of antique furniture and decorated like a Victorian opium den.  Our friends were well impressed although some didn’t quite know where to look when we started spinning our tassels!  I absolutely loved it, but there was nowhere to perform in Auckland in those days so that was it for me until I moved to Perth, Australia and got into the burgeoning scene there.  My first performance at a proper burlesque show was in January 2008 at my Sugar Blue Burlesque graduation show, and I’ve been performing ever since!  
How did you choose your burlesque name?
At first I started out as ‘Volupta La Rouge’, for fairly obvious reasons, but it never really clicked with me and felt a bit cliched.  One day, after 6 months or so when I was getting known in our little scene as a pro-tassel twirler who could do lots of tricks, I fell upon the pun of Trixi Tassels.  I felt unsure about changing my name, but knew it had to be done early if I was going to do it.  And Trixi felt far more me than Volupta.
What is a typical day for Trixi Tassels like?
My typical day is always focused around when I have to leave to get to the gig and how many hours I will have for my wet set to dry.  Assuming it’s the weekend and I don’t have to leave early to catch a train or a plane, I will head to the gym as soon as I wake up for about an hour. After I’ve had my shower I will make a pot of strong black coffee and get to work on setting my hair in a wet sponge roll set which takes around 25-35 minutes.  My hair is really long now and it’s the only way it holds a curl for more than half an hour, although it needs 8-10 hours to dry depending on the weather.  I’ll then potter around the house and have a small breakfast and then set to packing my case for the show.  I’m a pretty slow packer and usually it takes me two hours to pack when I am going to a gig abroad.  I double check every element of costuming before I pack it and cross check everything against my costuming spreadsheet which lists every item for every act so I don’t forget anything.  I always bring spare stockings, spirit gum, extra jewellery & pasties ‘just in case’.  I’ve saved the skin of other performers as well as my own more than once with my arsenal of spares! I try not to schedule any social activities the day of a show but will sometimes head out to get my pedicure or manicure done or pick up anything I’ve run out of.  I eat lightly on the day of a performance and don’t drink alcohol until post-show.  Occasionally I will have a sip of bubbly backstage but definitely not if I’m doing any fire.  I normally begin my make-up at home about an hour before I need to leave, although I leave my giant lashes until I get to the venue.  I like to arrive to the venue early and hang out with the other performers and take my time getting ready rather than being rushed.  I don’t like being stressed out!  After I’ve performed I’ll normally have a large glass of wine as soon as I can get to the bar, followed by another swiftly thereafter. I like to chill out and mingle with the audience and other performers in the bar if there is time before I have to pack all my stuff away into my suitcase.  Then it’s home on the tube to remove all my makeup, wash my face and hit the sack!
Which Burlesque performer has inspired you the most?
Michelle L’Amour.
What is about them that inspires you?
Michelle L’Amour creates this insane energy between her and the audience which pulls you right in, even only on video footage.  She has such elegance and poise, but with this insanely strong sexuality. I love seeing originality and people who know how to use their body, their costume and the space. I am drawn to performers who can truly bridge the gap between the stage and the audience and pull everyone right into their field of energy. 
You have many different acts which is your favourite to perform?
I love Emerald Dreams.  I enjoy it because it’s really high-energy and has a mix of my favourite performance dance styles of the bellydance drum solo and isolation technique, and a super sultry and intense bump n grind.  I like to visually connect with the audience and this act really keeps the punters on their toes as there are so many visual and aural elements to the track, plus everyone enjoys the huge double Isis wings.  I always utterly exhaust myself in this act. It’s just under 6 minutes but I come off stage drenched in sweat and panting like I’ve just sprinted a mile. It’s the best feeling.
What to do you think is the most Lusicous thing about Tassel Twirling?
The silliness of it!  It’s so fun and absurd and I love watching people’s faces as they watch me go through my repertoire.  
If you would like to learn how to twirl your tassels join us on Wednesday 17th August at Academy Mews Studios. Bookings via the classes page.  Check out Trixi on her website trixitassels.com

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, we can’t wait for Ginger Cupcake’s Comedy and Burlesque workshop.  This lady has been a tap dancing beetle, a filthy pig and Her Majesty the Queen.  If you are looking to add a bit of humour to your burlesque routine this is the lady to help you do it.  We caught up with Ginger to ask her a few questions about her first time performing, how she chose her name and what’s the most Luscious thing about comedy and burlesque …

 

Do you remember the first time you performed as burlesque dancer?  How did it go? 
The first gig I did by myself was brilliant! I was so pleased with myself for getting out there and applying to be in my first show! I didn’t tell anyone I was new to all this and the compere introduced me and my act as though I was a super star!! It really made my night! The act went fairly well considering it was only the second time I had performed it and the first time had been in front of family and close friends! 
How did you choose your burlesque name? 
It took me ages to decide on my burly name, I had several other names first but finally came up with Ginger Cupcake, as I’m a red head and love cupcakes! 
What is a typical day for Ginger Cupcake like? 
I don’t perform full time but on a show day I really like to pamper myself and enjoy it! I usually start with a rehearsal of whichever acts I’m performing that night, make any costume repairs that need doing, then it’s a long bath, do a bit of personal grooming and get glam for the show. I always turn up in full Ginger Cupcake style; Ginger is my alter ego and I like to have a night out in her heels once in a while!
Which Burlesque performer has inspired you the most? 
I absolutely love watching videos of Inga Ingenue!! She’s such a great dancer but also her characters are funny and fierce! However there are loads of amazing burlesque performers on the UK scene too, I love everyone who has the creativity to come up with an act and the guts to get up and perform it!
What is it about them you find so inspiring? 
Inga’s acts are impeccable, from the costume, to the choreography and the characterisation! She can be sexy, funny, cool all in one act! And she wears the best wigs!
You have many different acts which is your favourite to perform? 
It’s got to be the queen! I dress up as HRH and strip to the national anthem, what’s not to love about that!! The audience never expect the final reveal and when I start to remove my bra their faces are a picture!
What to do you think is the most Luscious thing about adding comedy to a burlesque routine? 
I love the fact that you can be funny and sexy at the same time. And life’s funny – I find something small to giggle about everyday! The world’s a bit of a crazy place to be in at the moment and we’ve got to keep smiling and laughing if we’re going to make it through. I like that burlesque can give people a laugh as well as giving them some glitz and glam. 
 
There are only three space left on the comedy and burlesque workshop.  It will be held on the 10th August at Academy Mews studio at 7pm.  You can book your space via the classes page on the website.  Next week we are talking to Trixi Tassels, she really knows how to make those tassels twirl. xx