There wasn’t an audience and no clothes were shed. The burlesque session I attended was just a dance class held at Through the Body fitness studio on a Sunday morning. Complete with mimosas for liquid courage.
I am not a fan of sexualized fitness classes, but burlesque promotes body positivity, empowerment and “feeling sexy in your own skin,” which I can get behind.
Bouncing my hips to Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” pretending to take off my bra and rolling on the floor got me thinking about how far I’ve come when it comes to trying new things, as well as how I view my own body.
My Comfort Zone Has Expanded
Entering a new situation is scary. The fear of the unknown has kept me from putting on my shoes and leaving my apartment on more than one occasion; It took two years for me to get up the courage to show up for a stunt class.
That was not the case with burlesque.
After viewing the class on Dabble, I signed up without hesitation, enlisted a friend (because it’s always good to have backup) and didn’t try to cancel because I was too tired, it was too hot out or it was too far out of my way.
Of course, those are just excuses masking the real reason I opt out of things: fear of looking physically, socially or sartorially stupid.
Since I’ve made it a job of sorts writing about my adventures over the last few years, I’ve been forcing myself into new situations on a more regular basis. When burlesque day came, I realized I never gave it a second stressed out thought or hoped that the class would be cancelled.
(As for attire, I wore my standard fitness uniform: workout pants, Target t-shirt and baseball hat. Because nothing says sexy like a faded, slightly sweat stained Detroit Tigers cap.)
Like anything you do – fitness, public speaking, interviewing, writing – the more you do it the more comfortable you are with it.
We Are All In The Same Boat
It was great having a friend there to giggle with as I awkwardly tried to body roll, but I’ve gone to plenty of activities solo. Though I’ve often felt like the obvious outsider walking through the doors, I’ve come to realize that’s usually not the case.
Right before we started learning our burlesque routine, a fellow newbie remarked that she signed up to break out of her own comfort zone. Actually, everyone there was a first timer. And if you were to take a poll on your first day at any class, you will more than likely find that there’s at least one other new person there.
With any first time, you have to embrace the awkwardness that may come – it’s inevitable – and just have fun. Even if you’re the only new person there.
I Don’t Hate The Way I Look
I fixate on my very soft, round belly every day, but I’m never going to drastically transform my physique during a 30-day fitness challenge so many gyms offer. I just do not have the discipline. However, I have found a workout I enjoy and I do my best to eat less sugar and bread, which are my main nemeses.
The scale may say I’ve only lost 5 of the 10 pounds I put on during my winter funk, but I see the changes I’ve made since January slowly having an effect. So much so that instead of dancing in Through the Body’s studio blind spot, I intentionally stepped into full view of the mirror.
My belly may never be flat and my butt isn’t as perky as I’d like, but watching myself dance made me feel fit and athletic and all around good about myself.
I even had someone tape me during our end of the class routine. I looked like I was having fun and my moves weren’t too shabby. But I’m certainly not going to post that video here.
Through the Body is located at 1819 W. Grand Ave. Sign up for a Bourbon and Burlesque class on August 12 or any of their regular fitness classes that include yoga, pilates, dance, cardio or kettle bells.