Life is a Catwalk: Or is Life a Cabaret?

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Once confined to theatres and music halls, burlesque has shimmied free and it is here to stay, but why is it suddenly fashionable to swing your nipple tassels in public?

I’ve seen the movie, the one where Christina Aguilera is camper than a row of tents and cheesier than cheddar, and I admit, I thought it was awful – but I sort of loved it. The glamour, the costumes, the music, the dancing. Burlesque, the film, was fun. Whether it started something, or, more likely, was just riding the wave of increased popularity in the ‘art’, there is definitely something in it.

Everyone is at it: last month a colleague told me how she did a burlesque master class for a hen party, one of my friends has recently started attending burlesque shows, a burlesque class has started in Milton Keynes and, this week at the Theatre District, a cabaret club opens, laced with a burlesque vibe..

The aforementioned classes are run by Luli Blue, a teacher and performer, and she explained to me that the joy of burlesque is ‘celebrating being a beautiful woman’. In the space of an hour, she convinced me that this feel-good hobby is sexy rather than slutty, and a great confidence booster. And when I witnessed a taster session full of nervous giggling women turn into those with confident smiles, it was hard not to agree.

The opening of The Greene Room this week signals another first as the cabaret club will host, among other things, burlesque nights – with a group of dancers known as The Resident Dollz, don’t forget the Pussycat Dolls were famously a club burlesque troop before moving into the pop charts. As Luli Blue reminded me – it is still erotic dancing – but burlesque is as much for the women performing as it is for those watching, and I doubt the men will be complaining either...

Find out more about Luli Blue’s burlesque classes in the latest issue of Style.

Illustration by Lizzie Bailes visit for more info.

Alex Gardner is the senior features writer for Style Magazine Buckinghamshire.

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