The lights were dim and I was grateful, knowing it would be difficult for any of the others to ID me outside of these mirrored walls, considering the embarrassment I was sure to bring upon myself in the coming hour.
I had entered the glam-dance, fitness-focused Tease Studio on South Pearl for my first attempt at a burlesque class. Dressed in yoga pants, a tank top and bare feet, I took a deep breath and took my place on the hardwoods.
It's a women-only class, so I was a little surprised to see a man at the helm. But Zach's upbeat attitude and dance-focused manner quickly put me at ease.
We began the class with simple stretches, as Zach guided some yoga-type moves. I began to relax. This is familiar, I thought, I might just get the hang of th-
"Show me your sexy pose!"
I looked around, relieved I wasn't the only one staring blankly at the instructor.
"Look in the mirror and find your sexy pose!" He commanded, striking a few pin-up style moves to inspire us.
The gals who'd been before -- easily recognized by the I-mean-business platformed, high-heeled Pleasers they'd brought to class -- immediately morphed their bodies into suggestive forms.
I channeled my inner junior high self, and posed animatedly, pouting my lips for good measure. Ultimately, I threw my shoulders back, bent my knees, and jutted out my left hip with hand planted firmly on it while my right fingers reached skyward. Indeed, the sexy pose had been found.
Zach performed short groups of steps, repeating each a handful of times as the class mimicked his movement. I learned the half-moon whip of the arm, the head roll, the hip-snapping pivot and a bit of cupping, to say the least. When we'd sufficiently learned the steps, he strung them together and we slowly moved through the choreography, swinging our arms, snapping our hair and shimmying whatever was available.
After a handful of practice runs, it was time. Zach cranked the music and Christina Aguilera's voice boomed out. We moved through the choreography, upping the tempo considerably to keep time with the beat.
Shimmying and sashaying, I tried to think "Pussycat Dolls" instead of "I Love Lucy." The first few run-throughs were not pretty: twists instead of turns, lefts instead of rights, awkward head rolls, more awkward cupping. But after a few more repetitions and getting used to the tempo, it became less about the moves and more about the beat. I relaxed and found myself not only sliding through the choreography, but adding extra hip shakes.
As class ended and I reached for my water, I realized that this come-hither attempt had actually given me a serious core workout, something I hadn't event thought about while in the midst of the dance.
As I left the studio, I took pause to glance at the display of red and pink plastic footwear, emblazoned with rhinestones up the heel and straps around the ankle. Maybe next time.
Wednesdays at 5:45pm; $15/drop in
Tease Studio, 1107 South Pearl St.; 303-898-0535
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