I am now a trained ecdysiast, though I never expect to make a living from it, nor to perform in public again.
However, I just completed a series at that legendary institute of higher learning, the fabulous School of Burlesque, where I learned the secrets of the tassel twirl, the fan dance, the stocking peel, how to make love to a chair and much more, all of which will be very valuable to me in my personal life.
The redoubtable, charming and patient instructors were the witty Darlinda Just Darlinda, the saucy Gal Friday and the school's forthright Headmistress Jo Weldon, a fount of information who works with the Burlesque Hall of Fame.
Since age five, I have taken many dance classes: ballet, modern, jazz, tango, flamenco. This was by far the most fun, and the most practical.
The students were an interesting mix of women, from the tall blonde in Louboutins (we bonded; I was wearing Manolos) to the petite brunette with the spectacular back tattoo to the shy bride who wore a Luis Sojo Yankees jersey for the "How To Strip Out Of Street Clothes" class (apparently at her husband's request). Each one revealed new facets of her personality, as well as her physique, when she got up on stage.
One of my classmates, a vivacious painter, will be performing as Naughty Botticelli at the Slipper Room this Friday. I bet she's got one heckuva gimmick. You gotta, as the veterans explained in Gypsy: