Community,  Musings

Finding empowerment at Madison Moone’s burlesque class

When Madison Moone approached us in 2010 about teaching burlesque classes at the shop, we loved her immediately. Madison is a very busy lady; when she’s not strutting her stuff on stage, she runs a private music lesson studio and volunteer teaches for the nonprofit organization Street Yoga. She is also the co-producer of Orchestre L’Pow! burlesque shows: Dames and Games and Big Time! Burlesque.

Thankfully, she found time to develop several different classes that she teaches for us on a regular basis. We think her classes are fantastic, but there’s nothing quite like the experience of someone who took a class themselves. So we were excited when we saw that Anne Glisan, a suburban mom, took one of Madison’s classes and wrote about how much she enjoyed it.

Glisan signed up for the class in hopes of exploring a previously dormant fascination with burlesque — and learning how to put “a little extra sass” in her relationship. She was not disappointed!

. . . Ms. Moon handed me a riding crop as a prop as the music started and I could feel the internal shift as I found my character. I swept around the room, stopping to show off a leg, a little bump and a playful swat of the crop. I felt powerful and sexy and amazing — not at all like I just rolled in from the ‘burbs. I even forgot I was wearing rolled up yoga pants. Man, I thought, all those carpool moms should try this out at least once. I was going home a changed woman.

My favorite part of the class was how a rather motley assortment of women, all strangers, came together and supported each other in getting their groove on. I didn’t feel awkward or self-conscious . . . I left feeling empowered and with a big smile on my face. There’s nothing wrong with a little character development and I can now be found practicing the basic components while cleaning, washing dishes, carrying items up and down the stairs; you can find me floating my arms or strutting across a room, briefly stopping to take a pose. It makes me feel more graceful and I carry myself differently. Sexy and classy.

Be sure to read the rest of the piece, as it’s a great run-down of how Madison’s classes go and what they can bring out in folks. In fact, a sense of empowerment is exactly what Madison hopes to bestow on participants in her classes. We asked her about her philosophy and why she loves performing and teaching burlesque. She explained:

For many years I worked as a pin up model and during that time I grew tired of being molded and shaped in someone else’s image. I came to burlesque in search of a way to have ownership over my body, my sexuality and my creative voice. Every step and every move I make on stage is intentional, it’s because I wanted the audience to see it and not because it is what I thought they wanted to see. This perspective is at the heart of every single class I teach. Being sexy and feeling sexy happens at the core of our being, it’s not something to be grasped at from outside of ourselves.

Madison’s confidence and conviction shine through in everything that she does. Here she is performing “Utter Delight” at the Big Time Burlesque: Exotic Summer Adventure show in June, making even cows and buckets sexy!

If you’re interested in learning burlesque from Madison, you’re in luck! Her next class for us, Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon, is happening in September.

In the mean time, you can also pick up The Burlesque Handbook and peruse our selection of pasties for ideas and inspiration.