When 2015 rolled in, most everyone could be found making New Year’s resolutions.

Eat healthy. Start exercising. Dispel of toxic people. All the common changes that hold the potential for a positive and blissful year. For me, I decided to do one thing. I decided to begin pushing outside the “boundaries” of my comfort zone. This would mean that I would have to (temporarily) put down the vodka/beer/wine/whiskey and Netflix and branch out to any and all opportunities that came my way – no matter how palm-sweaty they made me.

I decided to trust in the wise words of Tina Fey when she said, “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward.”

This is when the opportunity to take some burlesque classes was presented to me. Sure, I thought. I can bring out my inner Beyoncé – when I am alone in front of a mirror. But put me in front of another human being?  You must think I am on crack. In fact, to do this, I may actually need some crack. Then I remembered Tina’s words. I’m in.

I quickly found out that saying yes is actually the easy part. It is the follow-through that really takes some lady balls. I found myself enrolled at the Toronto School of Burlesque taking their Vixen 101 classes with the mesmerizing Red Herring. There was no backing out.

Red instructed to think about our character. Who would we embody? What would our stage name be? What kind of music would we use as we dropped our drawers?

Like most everything a burlesque performer does, there is an art to every piece of clothing that is removed. When it comes to glove removal, it is a 5-part process. First you have the display. Look at my fancy gloves. Watch what my hands are doing in these fancy gloves. Focus in on these gloves tracing the curves of my body. Second is the tease. This involves slowly taking off – but never fully removing – the gloves. And more body touching.

Slowly peel. Use your teeth. Trace your boobs. Pop your ass and use your knees. Once the gloves are off, the fourth move is to flourish. You are going to want to whip that fabric around. Whip it high. Whip it low. Floss it (yeah, it’s exactly what you are thinking). Smack your ass with it. Just give them a show. Finally, the discard. Let the audience know that article of clothing is gone and it ain’t never coming back (and they can look forward to that happening to the rest of your clothes, too).

I know this all sounds a little stripper-ish, but I assure you there is a difference (and trust me – no one wants to see me climb a pole). Burlesque performers keep toes pointed, legs extended and something left to the imagination. If you are looking to see some nip or vajay, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you are looking to find a scantily-clad chick with her boobs out, ass up and heels on, then from what I have seen Red do, there’s nothing better.

Stay tuned for my continued foray into the world of burlesque. I’m going to need some vodka.

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