Many people are becoming more conscious these days, not only about the environment and taking responsibility for their actions, but also about leading a more healthy lifestyle. Dance is a natural and healthy way for people of all ages, to express themselves, emotionally and physically. It is not only fun but is therapeutic. Dance enables you to get in touch with your soul, allowing you to feel joy and is a great way to keep fit.
There are many contemporary dance forms today, which can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial and ethnic dance. In Melbourne there are hundreds of social, ethnic or performance based dance classes to choose from, including: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Ballroom, Salsa, Jive, Go Go, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Bollywood, Disco, African and Flamenco.
A not so common dance form in Australia called Capoeira, is a Brazilian Martial Art, which combines elements of dance and music.
Zumba, a latin inspired dance fitness program, which has taken the world by storm is another great way to stay fit and dance at the same time.
Burlesque is a dance style and popular entertainment form in America, at the turn of the 20th century, which has managed to reinvent itself again a whole century later, as a post modern movement by women for women.
The roots of Burlesque are sketchy. Back in the early 1800’s, the term Burlesque was used throughout Europe to describe musical works in which comic and serious elements were combined to achieve grotesque effects.
In England during the early 1900’s, Classical Burlesque was an entertainment form, where a widely known piece of literature, music or theatre was used and then adapted into a risque style and parodied.
In early 20th century America, a typical Burlesque show combined live music, comedians, variety acts, a chorus line and Burlesque headliners. Gradually, the striptease element of Burlesque was utilised more widely, eventually becoming the main focus of the show.
The modern Neo Burlesque revival in the 1990’s, resulted in a new age of women who were ready to assert themselves and to embrace their sexuality and feminine power.
In the new milennium, Pole Dance classes as a dance fitness workout caught on around the same time. Most Pole Studios offered Striptease dance courses also.
Burlesque differs from Striptease, because it is more about the conceal than the reveal. It contains elements of tease and seduction, bringing mystery, fantasy, allure and glamour back, whereas Striptease concentrates on removing clothes, for a mostly male audience.
The early Burlesque shows were run by men and were patronised mostly by men but the shows you see today are very different. It is a form of entertainment and a medium, that allows women to have complete control of their bodies and their images.
Burlesque shows are mostly run by, and performed by women, therefore they can explore and express their sexual energy in an artistic way and with complete freedom, rather than being stereotyped and exploited as in the past.
Burlesque shows in Melbourne are now commonplace and there are a few Burlesque Bars, which host shows a few times a week. Usually the acts are fairly short, with a simple plot line, involving a tease and sometimes a reveal, There are also touring shows, who explore the darker side, rather than the glamorous image of Burlesque.
With a new age upon us, there is much more awareness about being conscious and uniting together as one, rather than being separate. Sending out love, rather than living in fear. There are more and more non structured dance workshops on offer, which allow participants to feel connected to their spiritual self and dance to the beat of their soul, their true self, free and unencumbered.
‘Dance like nobody’s watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like nobody’s listening, live like it’s heaven on earth’. Mark Twain.
Author Stella F.