Ladies turn to burlesque and pole dance for fitness

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Ardnacrusha native Lauren Troy demonstrating the feather fans
AS more women embrace the mantra that ‘strong is the new skinny’, ladies in the city are looking to new ways to sculpt their bodies and strengthen their core – including performing burlesque and pole dancing.

AS more women embrace the mantra that ‘strong is the new skinny’, ladies in the city are looking to new ways to sculpt their bodies and strengthen their core – including performing burlesque and pole dancing.

The first ever Burlesque and Bubbles workshop is happening in Limerick this August 14.

According to photographer Eva Birdthistle, who decided to organise the event in Limerick, burlesque is no longer looked upon as being just a form of entertainment - women are now learning pole dancing for fitness and fun.

“We have noticed that burlesque is no longer for a male audience in terms of entertainment – it is very much for a female audience, learning to be fit, having fun, building confidence and just laughing at yourself as well which is something I think we need to do,” said Eva.

The workshop will be conducted by performance artist Foxy P. Cox from Cork, who will be teaching an introduction to burlesque. “The scene has grown hugely in the last few years,” said Foxy, who has performed at various venues in Limerick in the past. “There has been an interest in pole dancing for fitness for quite a few years now.”

According to Eva, the workshop which is an hour and a half long and costs €40, “is really just a taster to see how it goes.”

“People are looking for something to peak their interest. Foxy is very interested in teaching pole dancing and there are people who have said ‘we would love to have her up in Limerick teaching pole dancing’ because I don’t think there is anybody in Limerick city doing it, so we would certainly look into it going forward.”

While Foxy teaches a whole host of different skills, the workshop will focus on three different aspects of burlesque - feather fan dancing, feather boa play, and the glove tease.

“The feather fan is with two ostrich fans – it would have been an exotic dance many moons ago. The likes of Dita Von Teese has made it quite popular. It’s basically about learning how to use a fan in a very sensual, sexual way that is fun without taking yourself too seriously.

“The feather boa is the same thing – it is not about stripping or anything. It is just about being seductive, sexy and confident. The glove tease is learning how to take off your lovely, long, satin gloves seductively.”

According to Eva, women come to Foxy for a confidence boost “and they walk out feeling amazing”.

The workshop which takes place at Eva’s photography studio on Thomas Street in the city will include dancing “but not a whole lot as it is an introduction. Anything that gets you moving is good for you.”