Body & Fitness

The Anything But The Gym Girls try…Hip hop burlesque

Emma and Sinead are on the hunt for fun fitness alternatives for those people who don't like the gym. This week, Sinead gets in touch with her inner sex-pot.

When I think of burlesque I picture that scene in Charlies Angels 2 when the girls dress as sailors and dance provocatively to the Pink Panther theme song – so naturally I was really excited for this class.

Burlesque originated from an ancient Greek play Lysistrata – a comedy where the female characters use sexual blackmail and tease to convince their husbands to stop the war. It then made its way to the US in the early 1900s where it developed into an American pin-up girl performance style of strip tease, cabaret, comedy and flirty costumes.

Burlesque combines sultry sexiness with sophistication and sensuality.

The beginner’s class we attended focussed on traditional burlesque music and moves, but with a hip-hop vibe.

When we arrived at the class we were told to grab a chair. The instructor Hayley turned the lights down low, which was great for setting the sexy vibe and also making us less visible to the other class members – a huge relief.

Words cannot describe how thrilled Emma and I were to learn that the music we would be performing to was Beyonces Formation – a rallying, female empowering anthem about self-love, culture and identity.

The choreography was simple enough that we could get the hang of it and keep up with the rest of the class, while the moves were powerful, strong and sexy. The complete routine was a series of sassy hair tossing, hip flicking and body rolling motions whilst sitting on a chair.

We knew that somewhere out there Beyonce was proud of us.

Although we didn’t really sweat much, we had an amazing time.

We felt sexy as hell, empowered and body confident.

I danced all the way home in my chair whilst driving, and have been practising the routine in my bedroom at least once a day ever since.

Verdict: We will definitely go again. If weight loss is your primary goal, burlesque might not be the number one, best thing for that because it’s not very high-intensity cardio, but it would be a great one-a-week addition to a fitness regime. Burlesque is perfect for sneaking in some of the benefits of exercising, while having fun and feeling saucy.

Where we went: Viva Dance in Auckland

Where you can do it: Latin Rhythm in Hamilton and Wellington and Burlesquercise in Ashburton, Dunedin, Napier and Timaru.

We have one eight-week pass for Hip Hop Burlesque at Viva Dance worth $140 to give away. To enter, visit the Good Health Choices Facebook page. Winners must live in Auckland.

*Sinead and Emma are the Anything But The Gym girls. Bored with standard workouts, they have begun the hunt for new and fun ways to get fit. Follow their weekly adventures here, and in New Zealand Good Health Choices. If you have a suggestion for something interesting for them to try, email [email protected] with Anything But The Gym in the subject line.

The Anything But The Gym Girls are now on Instagram! Follow them @theanythingbutthegymgirls to keep up with their fitness adventures.*

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