The School of Badass Burlesque
Photo: Anthony Earl
Level 1: Essentials
Tentatively scheduled for:
July 3 - Aug 28
GVM Studios, Denver
Photo: Sheena Lukens
Badass Burlesque offers private dance lessons with Katya in burlesque, beginner belly dance, and strength and flexibility. Email for rates!
The School of Badass Burlesque Philosophy
Strong technique makes for strong performers. Although just about anybody can become a burlesque performer with minimal experience, we believe that the best performers have a solid dance foundation. With the School of Badass Burlesque, you don't have to spend years in a jazz or ballet class to develop this foundation. We've taken the best basic techniques to inform and refine your performance and put them in the context of burlesque classes, so that you receive a strong and well-rounded burlesque performance technique education.
The School of Badass Burlesque does not discriminate based on race, age, gender, sexuality, body size, or just about anything else. If you have the ability and the desire to participate in the classes, you are welcome!
The Badass Burlesque Class Format
Badass Burlesque classes are run in 8-week sessions. At the end of the 8 weeks students have the option to perform both the group choreography from class and a solo in a student showcase.
The general format of class involves a strength and flexibility warm up, basic dance fundamentals technique and burlesque technique practice, combination or choreography practice, and a cool down.
The School of Badass Burlesque offers 4 different levels of burlesque education. In order to progress to the next level, you must pass a certification test of the previous level.
School of Badass Burlesque Proficiency Levels Summary
Level 1: Essentials
In level one students learn a wide array of basic tools to begin a successful burlesque career. This includes beginner's strength and flexibility, dance fundamentals, burlesque movement and strip tease, basic musicality, stage makeup, solo choreography creation, performance polish, and booking tips. This is where you start to gain muscular stability and strength, learn what it's like to be on the stage, and begin to develop the nuance that helps you look like a true dancer.
Upon passing the Level 1 test, dancers are welcomed into the Badass Burlesque student troupe for as long as they remain in good standing with their dance education.
Level 2: Advanced Skills
In level two, we kick it up a notch. Now that you've got the basics down, the focus is on delving deeper into strength and flexibility, learning more difficult dance moves, further studies in musicality, honing your choreography skills, an intense study in emoting on stage, skills for ensemble dancing, and working with props.
Level 3: Professional
Level three is the ultimate performance level at the School of Badass Burlesque. Classes at this level include still more difficult strength and flexibility exercises and dance moves, further musicality studies, improvisation techniques, a burlesque history and culture research project, and some basic burlesque business studies to help you handle your burlesque career.
Upon passing the Level 3 test, dancers are welcomed into the Badass Burlesque professional troupe for as long as they remain in good standing with their dance education.
Level 4: Teaching and Producing
Level four is the School of Badass Burlesque's teaching and producing level. This is where you learn the tools to teach the Badass Burlesque format and to produce your own shows! This level focuses on hands-on experience to learn classroom management strategies, creation of group sequences, leadership skills, strategies for production, and production trouble-shooting.
Upon passing the Level 4 test, dancers will be certified to teach official School of Badass Burlesque classes!
What is testing like?
Each level's test is designed to let the student demonstrate mastery or near-mastery of the skills taught in each level. It will consist of checking form in our class warmup and dance drills, and performing the class choreography for Katya at the studio.
Testing is currently done on an as-needed basis, so when you're ready you'll just shoot a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time. The test will last one hour and will incur a fee equivalent to a one-hour private lesson.
Do I need a certification to start performing burlesque?
No, you don't! Certification with Badass Burlesque is for students who want to
linearly track their burlesque dance education and progress
feel knowledgeable and secure in their growing dance skills
have a solid foundation in dance movement as it relates to burlesque
have a well-rounded set of skills for their burlesque career
hold themselves to a high standard of dance and performance capabilities
empower themselves by reaching goals in a structured and creative environment
nurture a sense of personal accomplishment and achievement
learn body awareness and proper technique offered in a safe a structured format
progress in creativity and emotional development
eventually teach classes and produce shows
Do I have to plan to take the certification test to join the class?
No, you don't! You are welcome to take the Badass Burlesque Essentials (level 1) class without testing for certification. However, you must successfully pass the Level 1 test before you will be admitted to level 2 classes (and so on).
What does it mean to be “in good standing?”
In order to remain certified in the Badass Burlesque format, students must complete 3 continuing education credits over the course of the 2 years following level certification and either complete the next level of certification or pay an equivalent membership fee. This helps to guarantee that you are keeping up with your body work and dance skills and therefore can represent Badass Burlesque effectively.
Do all of my continuing education credits have to come from Badass Burlesque classes?
No, they don't! After a review process, movement classes other than burlesque and from other teachers may be accepted for continuing education credit. However, at least one of your continuing education credits per two-year period must be from a Badass Burlesque class or workshop. Classes accepted for continuing education credits include, but aren't limited to, classes in other dance styles (ballet, hip hop, salsa, etc.), yoga or flexibility classes, hair and makeup training, costuming/sewing studies, some circus arts training, and burlesque classes taught by another studio. Performance experience will also be considered for continuing education credits.
Who can take School of Badass Burlesque classes?
Almost anybody! Minimal requirements include:
being 18 years of age or older
being in good physical health with the ability to complete a normal exercise class
if recently injured, clearance from your doctor to participate in exercises classes
having a positive and welcoming attitude
As mentioned previously, the School of Badass Burlesque does not discriminate based on race, age, gender, sexuality, body size, or just about anything else. If you have the ability and the desire to participate in the classes, you are welcome! Hopefully at some point we will also have an alternative program for those who are not physically capable of taking traditional classes. If you want to perform, we want to help!