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The Vocal Local: Why burlesque is a radical art form

Becky Doran-Brown is hosting a new series of Burlesque workshops to promote body positivity at the Old Electric. Here she shares the personal battles that led her to the art form and invites other women to join her in celebrating the skin we’re in

Feather boas, sequins and tassels are all the tropes of burlesque. But full of the glamour and the mystique, burlesque is its own art form that typically celebrates the sexual power of women and women’s bodies.

We consume so many images every single day through social media and we take for granted how structured and contrived a huge portion of the content is. Curated to appear natural, images promoting impossible beauty and body standards are alienating to normal woman. Perfection and striving to be seen as such is a poison that I actively resist.

Diet culture impacts too many women’s self esteem

I have historically battled with eating disorders and poor self image. The hold that has over your life and energy is exhausting. I want to create a space to celebrates this body, worship it a little and take steps to treating it with kindness. Diet culture impacts too many women’s self esteem and I long to be able to create a safe space to push back on those learnt behaviours and hopefully allow women to feel more at peace with their bodies.

It is my firm belief that every single woman has a story to tell and has the power to do so. By hosting burlesque workshops it is my goal to equip women with some basic tools in terms of movement, but the main focus is getting them to explore their inner diva, channel that persona and create a routine that allows her to feel strong, confident and in control.

We will spend time playing with movement and props, explore different styles of music and how they change the mood and movement, we will workshop our ideas collectively, sharing solutions and words of encouragement. There is no wrong or right way to do burlesque. You are the artist, you choose what we see, that’s the empowering element at the heart of my new programme of workshops.

Not only do we play with movement and coming to terms with the idea that YOU are an artist and a creative, but we forge a sisterhood of support and sharing. The sessions allow for time to talk, offload, reflect and form relationships with other women from all walks of life. It is a liberating space to find yourself in and I invite you all into it.  

Becky’s six-week course in Burlesque runs on Saturdays from 4th November at The Old Electric. If you would like to find out more click here and get booked on!

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