Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to carry substantial bulk and still have a reasonable amount of stamina and rhythm.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can shake my ample thing for a good, long while and this usually happens because when the music starts, my body must move.

It was for this reason that I found myself so intrigued by the suggestion of partaking in a Burlesquercise class.

I have tried Zumba, and although at first I felt a strong urge to wildly improvise, I reined myself in and enjoyed the feeling of a mass dance session. I thought, perhaps, this may be a similar kind of thrill bringing together the feathers and flounce of burlesque and the jolt and jog of…um…exercise.

Even though I had never really seen a burlesque show – or even a single dance routine – I somehow decided that I was sure I knew exactly what was involved and it was going to be fabulous.

I began the drive to my class full of pluck and courage, quietly confident I was about to nail this thing.

Feelings of doubt crept in with each kilometre driven. When I arrived at the very professional dance studio, I prayed my partner in crime hadn’t managed to make it and I could sneak off – in my gym gear – to a wee bar and laugh at my lucky escape over a sneaky wine before the drive home.

Alas, she was there, waiting for me and far more willingly than I.

Sixteen years of working towards loving myself (let’s say I started to bother when I was twenty) carried me up the stairs through the rooms packed with youthful, limber bodies, all stretching, flexing, dancing and chatting, and even chatting while they were dancing, and breathing, at the same time.

I knew then I was in no way prepared for what would happen in this class. Stamina, rhythm and self acceptance can only get you so far, for the rest you need wine, and I’d skipped the slipping off to the bar bit, remember?

There is no anonymity in a class of four, not least of all when all the walls are mirrors, from floor to ceiling!

At first I thought that one of the ladies in the class was particularly chatty during it all, but then it transpired that she was the instructor so that brought the class down to three.

It’s hard to say whether or not the small class size was completely a bad thing. I think it was a fair trade considering the sweaty thrusting and gyrating I’d have been subjected to if there had been bottoms in front of me.

There was a lot of pelvic rotation going on and being of a competitive nature I managed to overstretch things a little on one side. I’m not sure what muscle I pulled around my hip area but I do know that after the saucy pushups I couldn’t sleep on my shoulders for two nights!

As I drove away from the school of dance I reflected upon my enthusiastic pre-paying of another class … was it because I didn’t have the right change? Or could I really see myself going back for more.

Regardless of the reason, it is an achievement to venture out of one’s comfort zone on a week night. So I’ll take that win and salute my success with a glass in my hand!

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