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The Art of Burlesque

If you think the extent of the Women’s Institute’s activities is jam making and crochet, then you’re very much mistaken. Although we do partake in such things here at the Manchester WI, we’re also partial to being slightly more risqué on occasion.

In our latest, and might I add, much anticipated meeting, our group was visited by the fantastically fabulous Lady Wildflower – expert burlesque teacher and founder of the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival.

After learning the history of burlesque – from its origins in the Belle Époque era of Paris, to the more recent poster girls of the art, such as Dita Von Teese, Lady Wildflower filled us in on the core elements that make burlesque the much enjoyed artform it is today. Helping bring to life the performance element of burlesque were her stunning stage costumes, sporting more glitz and glam than a Tiffany diamond. Visions of mermaids and unicorns immediately sprung to mind.

When the lights went down, we erupted into cheers and whoops as Lady Wildflower strutted onto the stage in her glamorous get up. Performing to songs from Cabaret and Chicago, her flawless routine oozed sexiness.

We were all inspired to try it out for ourselves, and luckily Lady Wildflower had a master class prepared for us to learn a classic, Hollywood glove-remove.

Allowing our inner goddesses to shine, not a single woman remained seated, and it was inspiring to look around the room and see women of all ages embracing the opportunity to learn some new moves. I may have imagined it but, as we left, I think we all had a little extra sway in our hips.

Join us at our next meeting at Cheetham’s. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for further info.

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