The Conference at The Great Burlesque Exposition features more than 60 hours of class time over threee days. It is the original Professional Development Conference for burlesque performers, founded on the philosophy that "If we don't take ourselves seriously, no one else will either".
Whether you're looking to boost a skill set to the next level or develop some new skills, The Conference has something for you from costuming to publicity to philosophical discussions.
Sunny Sighed and Bal'd Lightning,
Feb. 7, 2016, 11 a.m. - noon
Combining two performers' energies on stage can be a tricky calculation. We'll discuss character development in a duo, explore the relationship between characters within a storytelling framework, and reveal ways to include the audience as a third character.
Acting is Reacting: Burlesque, the Dialogue of the Body
Incorporating traditional acting techniques can take your performance from humdrum to POW! In burlesque, we are constantly engaging in scenes, dialogues, conversations, and interactions...even if we are the only one on stage! Learn how to use your audience as your scene partner and incorporate the basics of intention, motivation, character, and physicality. Bring your character and persona to life through the power of Meisner Technique and other established methods. Students will leave the class with a tool box of new ways to examine, inform, build, drive and refine not just your stage performance but your street self as well!
*Please bring a notebook and dress for basic movement.
Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp,
Feb. 7, 2016, 11 a.m. - noon
Learn how to use wings (silk or original pleated) to accentuate movements, add drama to a reveal, create energy and engage your audience. Although Isis wings are most commonly seen in belly dance performances, they can add something extra to any performance when used appropriately. As an added bonus you will work your upper body and get in some extra arm strengthening and conditioning! Bring your own and there will be a few sets of Isis wings available for use on a first come, first served basis.
Sailor St. Claire,
Feb. 5, 2016, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
In this panel, we talk about burlesque and its relationship with the Badass Woman archetype using examples from movies, popular cultures, and the burlesque community. What does the Badass Woman archetype represent? Does the Badass Woman archetype change perceptions about femininity, sexuality, power? There are those performers who are particularly badass on or off stage whose power as performers, women, and human beings is not to be questioned. What makes a performer (or a particular act) fit the badass archetype? How does being a performer using the badass archetype promote the art of burlesque? Do you need to do "bad things onstage to meet the badass archetype? How can you be a badass performer or a badass human being?
Feb. 7, 2016, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Ballet for Burlesque with Matt Finish is a beginner to intermediate ballet barre-based class focused on movement quality, precision, grace, strength, and flexibility.
Dancers will work through traditional ballet combinations with explanations and insight into how classical dance works with burlesque performance techniques.
Participants should wear comfortable dance clothing (nothing too loose) and either ballet slippers or jazz slippers. Participants should also bring water and a towel.
Roman and Jennifer,
Feb. 7, 2016, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Use latin style "cuban motion" techniques to enhance hip movement in all your dances and walks, or incorporate the bold style of tango to create drama, power, and intrigue while you walk across the stage, or even the flowing beauty of waltz to aid in your arm styling during fan dances or lyrical pieces.
Want to learn the art to fan dancing?Here’s your chance. KiKi Allure will show you what you need to know to create your very own fan dance number. With this intro class, you will learn about different types of fans, the power of the tease, and art of the reveal.
BYOF!! Bring Your own Fans (feathered or non-feathered) Some will be provided. First come, first served!
Express your femininity and sensuality through the art of belly dance. This is a drill based class. We will focus on posture and body control while doing isolations and various movements with different parts of the body. We will also touch base on some layering techniques. You will learn how to execute the fluid, abrupt and smooth transitions demonstrated in her signature acts “The Robot” and “Roustabout". Class will start with a warm up and end with a warm down. You will also be instructed on a short combination. Get ready to experience your inner goddess with some sex appeal!
Put down that hot glue gun, and back away slowly with your hands in the air. It’s time to learn some techniques for costume alteration and embellishment which don’t leave you with burns and little stringy bits all over the place. Full-time costumer Scarlett O’Hairdye is here to tell you (and show you) how to take your stage pieces to a more durable, polished, and easily update-able level. Class will be a lecture with examples followed by a hands-on demonstration and workshop.
Get your hair noticed during the opening night events! Do you want a beehive but don't know how to get it? Do you have super fine hair you're convinced won't hold style? Do you look longingly at pictures of Elvira and 60's pin ups thinking 'I wish my hair would do that?' Well it can! In this class Maggie McMuffin, known in Seattle for her huge hair, will teach you multiple ways to get your hair closer to god. Even better, she'll show you the one tool you need to bring it back down to earth. Maggie will be doing demonstrations on her own head and any willing volunteers. If you have a teasing brush, bristle comb, and mirror feel free to bring them and try out methods for yourself.
Jacqueline Boxx - Miss Disa-Burly-TEASE!,
Feb. 7, 2016, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Using a combination of body-mind awareness and articulated dance movements, Jacqueline Boxx guides workshop attendees through working with rather than against their bodies in order to become fully present down to the minutiae on stage and beyond.
Learn some of the tricks and tips to decorate a bra. This make and take work shop gives you the materials necessary to cover and decorate a bra.
Basic handsewing skills are helpful, but I'll gladly teach those new to this craft.
Please bring a bra which fits. All other materials will be provided.
Do you ever wonder how to budget an event, or even how to start? This workshop helps give a broad overview of the process, including what types of budget exist, what you should contemplate while budgeting, how to use Excel, and some best practices around budget planning.
Ever had to defend yourself to your boss when someone outed you as a performer? Had relatives leave Thanksgiving dinner when your stage life came up? Been recognized while in your sweats when buying toilet paper? Been objectified (not in a good way) by your date? Discuss how your performer and non-performer lives overlap both beneficially and...not so much.
Although Mayor LaGuardia shut down all of the burlesque theatres in New York City in the 1930s as part of his crusade against "vice," burlesque had already left its indeliable mark on American culture. This lecture argues for the cultural influence of burlesque on classic Hollywood cinema and the golden age of American Musical theatre, tracing scenes, characters, and plotlines from these allegedly less vice-ridden artforms to show how the principles, stylings, and movements of classic burlesque are actually driving forces in these genres.
You've set up your website and it looks great! Now what? Track your website performance and refine your marketing using Google analytics. Google Analytics is a free platform which helps you track performance and create content which will speak to visitors of your site.
In this lecture, you will learn the basics of setting up GA, understanding your dashboard, adding tracking tags, and tips for creating a measurement plan.
Feb. 5, 2016, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
The foundation of Classic Burlesque is all about the strut. Learn how to enter and move across the stage with a purpose in retro fashion. Mika will teach you vintage movements that the top Burlesque Performers of the 1940's and 1950's used to tease an audience to distraction.
Using Egyptian Belly Dance techniques we will focus on making your bumps sharper and your grinds smoother. Through isolation, repetition, and variation on a singular movement, we will begin to expand our movement vocabulary and develop skills for finding different qualities of movement within the same movement.
Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp,
Feb. 6, 2016, 11 a.m. - noon
Nerdlesque is here to stay, but we still need to convince fans and audience members that we are doing justice to their fandom and are still burlesque artists and not fans copying costumes. Join in a discussion about audience perception, expectations, and artistic prerogatives.
If you've ever found your self stumped or feeling like everyone is wearing the same style costume on stage, this is for you! Learn to take inspiration from historical costume, movies, pop culture, and 2D art, and turn it into something unique! We will talk inspiration sources (costume porn, drool...) costume drafting, fabric selection, and briefly talk about construction.
In this basic costuming class, you will be surprised to discover what some performers use to make some of their most stunning costumes! We'll go over what to buy in the most unexpected places as well as how to modify items to impress even the most skilled seamstress.
Craft Foam, Hot Glue and You! How to Make Almost Anything!
Craft foam has long been known in the cosplay world as a versatile and inexpensive material for creating costume pieces and accessories. Hot glue is possibly the best burlesque invention on the planet next to GemTac. Come learn how to combine these two elements to create masks, armor, hair fascinators and more! Taught by costumer and long-time cosplayer Scarlett O’Hairdye, this class will include some hands-on workshopping so students can leave with a new foam creation.
In this class you will gain knowledge about the body language of the torso and how the most minimal adjustments to your presentation of your body can affect the way the audience sees you and the way you make them feel. Use consciousness of the positions of your shoulders, upper torso, and hips to help put the audience in the palm of your hand! Bring a button-down shirt or cardigan to class if you can.
Dirty, Sexy, Smooth Chair Dancing with Red Hot Annie
Red Hot Annie,
Feb. 7, 2016, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Get your body in motion with some smooth moves courtesy of some of one of the top burlesque performers in Chicago, Red Hot Annie! Focusing on developing technical proficiency with your four legged friend, this class is geared toward performers with various dance backgrounds who want to look like a professional using a chair! This hour long workshop is geared toward providing folks of all genders with the skills to perfect specific chair movement. Learn new moves to add pizazz to your repertoire! Using a combination of classic & modern burlesque music, Annie guides students through applying combos correctly and effectively.
Red Hot Annie,
Feb. 7, 2016, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Get your body in motion with some smooth moves courtesy of one of the top burlesque performers in Chicago, Red Hot Annie! Focusing on developing technical proficiency, this class is geared toward performers with various dance backgrounds who want to look like a professional using the floor. This hour long workshop for folks of all genders gives skills for perfecting floor movement. Get grounded while we define proper body carriage, incorporate modern dance and burlesque techniques, and teach challenging choreography which will be the dash of flavor you were hoping to find. Knee pads encouraged!
From coast to coast, more and more Burlesque shows featuring live music backing are cropping up. These shows are fun for audiences and performers . . . and a whole heck of a lot of work for producers. This class offers Tuesday Tease, a monthly live band show in Seattle, as a case study for building a successful, sustainable live music show. This class is appropriate for producers who want to begin working with live music, and for dancers who want to know more about what it's like to work with bands.
The minute we step on stage we are communicating with our audience. We are sending them signals that they must interpret to understand what we are trying to express. In this workshop we will develop a stronger personal awareness of what signals we are sending to our audience. Through various improvisations we will examine how to make strong expressive choices and find different techniques to make our expressive choices clearer for the audience to understand. Participants will be asked to be both audience members giving feedback, as well as performing the improvisations for feedback.
Flexibility is one of the most enviable traits of dancers and performers. High kicks, splits and backbends make for spectacular choreography. But it is not easy for everyone!
CoCo Le Bod, self-proclaimed "Least Flexible Dancer", brings you stretches and practices from the worlds of dance and Pilates to increase your flexibility, even if you, too, are the world's least flexible dancer!
Wear clothes you can move in and bring water and a yoga mat.
If you don't get paid no matter how punctual or polished you are you are, by definition, an amateur. This 60 minute class covers the secrets of marketing yourself, setting your rates, contract negotiation, how to get booked, and the all-important art of getting the re-booking. An essential class for anyone who wants to earn money performing burlesque! Please bring any sales collateral (business cards, advertising fliers, branded give-aways, etc.) which you may have.
Fusing the groovy nature of hip hop and the art of burlesque. Are you looking for something new to spice up your number? We will be gettin’ down and dirty!
You will be introduced to the unconventional art of hip hop as a dance form. Prior experience is not necessary but will help. Class will consist of a warm up and a warm down with hands on instruction with one to two short choreographed combinations. Be ready to get your swagga on and take the stage like a hip hop showgirl! Dress for movement and bring an open mind and water. Sneakers and booty shorts are welcome!
I'm All In Knots Because I Flew Here On A Plane For An Ungodly Amount Of Hours Stretching Class
Scandal from Bohemia,
Feb. 6, 2016, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Miss AuroraBoobReallis and Scandal from Bohemia will work with you to identify socially engaged issues about which you are passionate. After viewing some political acts from other performers, you will discuss theory and practical strategies for creating a relevant act around these issues, one which carries your message and holds the attention of the audience. You will spend time on your feet playing and exploring your talents through structured exercises selected to help you make your act more effective.
Feb. 6, 2016, 11 a.m. - noon
Do you want to learn how to do stunning kicks, either in a group or on your own? Glorious kicks come from a combination of core strength and hamstring flexibility, but, unless you have proper upper body carriage, nobody will notice your legs at all! Learn all about the mechanics of high kicks, how to properly hook-up in a kick line and how to use your upper body and head to enhance your kicks. We will cover basic anatomy, stretching and strengthening exercises, choreography tips and tricks and will learn an entire kick-line routine.
Lazy Stripper Techniques: Eye-Fucking for Beginners
Do you find yourself nervously moving on stage? Do you feel that every one of your acts needs to include intense choreography? Do you feel you're giving it your all on stage but not quite reaching the crowd?
It's time to strip smarter, not harder.
This class will teach the value and power of stillness, connecting with the audience through eye contact, and how to cultivate stage presence. Maggie McMuffin will teach you how to have an engaging, powerful act without putting yourself through a physical wringer.
Class will include exercises in eye contact, holding space, and self love.
This class is a motivational workshop focusing on how I handled being outed and forced to resign from my job because of my pursuit of artistic expression! I will also open the floor to questions students may have on how to protect themselves before, during and after being "outed". I am open to talk about all aspects of my rise to infamy and how I have survived.
In this basic makeup class, you'll learn some of my favorite tips and tricks I've picked up over the years. I've learned from some of the best drag queens and kings how to "beat a face for the gods," and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. Easiest way to apply lashes? CHECK! Products to simplify the process? CHECK! Ideal way to apply a fake beard without using toxic chemicals? CHECK! Best way to avoid eye powder droppage? CHECK! Come play in the mirror with me.
Learn the art of seduction, exotic floor work, and how to peel it off in a sexy routine. This class is designed to embrace your inner tease. You will learn the difference between neo soul burlesque and Classical Burlesque. Please bring heels and gloves.
Become a superhero stripper with Dangrrr Doll! This act development workshop will walk you through the process of creating a character inspired number with special focus on how to make your act accessible and enjoyable for regular and nerdy audiences alike.
Non-Traditional Influences on Burlesque Choreography
Feb. 6, 2016, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
This workshop explores and incorporates various dance styles and other movement arts into burlesque choreography. From ballet to zumba, and all things in between, you can use these techniques to expand your creative abilities and choreography to make your next act Tease-tastic!
Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp,
Feb. 7, 2016, 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Join in for a fun, low-impact, yoga-inspired partner stretch session. This is a hands-on, get up close and personal kind of experience. You will work with your partner to stretch and support each other through a variety of positions. You do not need to be super flexible to enjoy the benefits of partner stretch. Movements during partner exchanges will be modified to accommodate varying ranges in physical condition. You don't need to bring a partner, individuals will be matched up in class.
Musical Audio Editing for Burlesque Performance - Tips and Tricks. From rhythmic basics (keep your music's beat thumpin') to time adjustment (how much can you get away with?) to delivering a format which producers and venues can use to help your act sound and look its absolute best! Garage Band, Audacity, ProTools, LogicPro, and so many more tools have given computer users great power to manipulate audio and video... and with great power comes... well, you know! Bal'd firmly believes all elements of a performance must serve the performers' intent. Musical decisions must be made, and these decisions must also be executed with precision. Learn the tips and tricks that Bal'd has amassed through 25 years as an audio engineer and editor.
Feb. 7, 2016, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Learn the basic principles of stage combat and how to utilize them in partnered routines. We will cover essential safety elements; key moves such as falls, slaps, hair pulls, punches (and reacting to them); how to make a fight comic; basic level swordplay; and how to assemble fight "phrases" to tell a story. Please come prepared to move - and to have a bit of violent fun!
Miss Mina Murray,
Feb. 7, 2016, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Stockings make our legs look sleek and lovely, but it's so exciting when they come off! Discover different types of hosiery, a short history of the stocking, and the best types for removing. Learn how to gracefully remove your shoes, elegantly peel off your stockings, and master the one-handed garter pop. Students should bring thigh-high stockings (or tall socks) and (optional) a garter belt. Wear clothing that makes it easy to show off your legs.
Scandal from Bohemia,
Feb. 6, 2016, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Burlesque deals a lot with stretching... not just physically but, more importantly, stretching your brain and the brains of others around you! How do we continue to "stretch" our brains, stretch our performance abilities, stretch our art, and keep our interest in burlesque fresh, new, vibrant and innovative? This panel will discuss how to stretch your brain, how to be innovative, and how to keep a fresh outlook on your ideas, acts, and art! Where do you go for ideas? How do you make old ideas new? How do you bring a fresh perspective to re-cycled ideas and to acts you have done again and again and again?
Feb. 6, 2016, 11 a.m. - noon
Tassel twirling might be one of the most ubiquitous elements of burlesque, but that does not mean it is easy! Come and learn various techniques for various sized boobs. Please bring tasseled pasties and your adhesive of choice.
What is your story? What are you trying to tell your audience and what do you want your audience to take away from your performance? These questions and more will be explored and examined as we unpack how the role of storytelling can be used in developing burlesque routines. In this workshop we will identify how to clarify your story, how to transfer your message into a burlesque routine, and consider how props, music and costuming can play a role in the telling of your story. Additionally, we will examine the role the body plays in telling a story and identify elements to pay attention to when creating your choreography.
Funny is Sexy! Learn how to bring out your own unique, hilarious self through this movement based workshop! Even the most elegant and classic burlesque acts can utilize humor through the basics of comedy: innovation, surprise, and commitment! Through the use of traditional acting methods and improvisational techniques, students will leave class with a greater understanding of comedy and their own power to "Make 'em laugh!"
*Students, please bring a notebook and a costume piece you can remove (gloves, hat, boa, etc.), and dress for basic movement.
Learn the Art of Entrancement by building anticipation through sexy, sensual and exotic movement. This class is for the Naughty Girl not the Faint of Heart (lap dancing, wall playing, floor work). Bring heels and an open mind.
Do you find yourself in a panic when asked for a bio? Not sure what to say, or how much you should say? This class will introduce you to the genre of the performer bio, and provide a method for creating a stockpile of bios for various audiences from festival producers, to fans, to potential bookers. The bio is a critical tool for performers' self-presentation, and this class will instruct students on how to craft engaging biographies that maintain a consistent persona across multiple platforms.
Many burlesque performers come into this arena without much formal theater training. A shared vocabulary allows clear and effective communication between performer and stage/tech crew, and director/producer and performer. It's much easier to get what you want if everyone speaks the same language!
The tough and the soft, the dominant and the submissive, the predator and the prey. So much of the erotic play of Burlesque draws from these dualities. In this class, you will learn easy and fun body language tools to give mastery with each type of character. You'll also learn how to switch instantly from one to the other within a choreography and keep your audience guessing.
Twerking, as it is known in the hip-hop community, is a hard-hitting, rump-shaking dance move which involves shaking one’s booty as fast as possible in different positions...
DISCLAIMER: You will sweat for sure..... ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME... (Urban / strip club music)
Feb. 6, 2016, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
What started out as Chakra Tease’s sought-after signature routine quickly evolved into an equally sought after yoga class for performers. Yes, yoga provides your body with amazing length, strength and flexibility but it also unlocks your sexy, Kundalini energy which is a must for any burlesque routine. Yoga harnesses the power of the breath or the living energy within every person. Conscious breathing in yoga, in life, and especially on stage, allows you to take your performance to the next level because it increases your confidence and gives you conscious control over the emotions you want to portray.
Microphone Technique for the Stage -
For any performer who amplifies their voice on stage, from operatic singers to MC's, knowing how to use a microphone properly can transform your performance. In this workshop we begin with an exploration of how sound travels within a space (room/theater) and discuss ways to amplify the human voice. A survey of different microphone types and characteristics leads to a discussion of how a single inch distance from a microphone can make the difference between being heard in a crowded room, being UNDERSTOOD in a crowded room, or sounding like the distorted bass thumps from the low-rider parked in front of the venue.
The Great Burlesque Exposition of 2018 • January 5-7, 2018 • Our 12th year!