Choosing the right Burlesque School can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with your local burlesque scene. Here are a few tips on how to find the school that’s right for you no matter where you live.
Think about why you want to take a burlesque class. Are you looking for a fun workout? Do you want to be the next Dita von Teese? Are you looking to make a powerful feminist statement? Do you just want to surprise your loved one with a private show at home?
Research your potential teacher by checking to see if he or she has experience performing in the burlesque community. An online search for the studio or teacher’s name may reveal performance videos and comments from happy students. Try joining Facebook Groups or Meetup Groups and ask members whether anyone has taken classes with your potential instructor. Now with that said, there some group members may be biased, and steer you towards one school over another, just because they are close friends with that other person. Don’t sweat it! Now you have two teachers to look into.
Visit the studio or instructor’s website to find answers to questions related to class size, class cost, materials, and performance options.
What’s the cost? Is it within your budget?
How big is the class? Will you be 1 out of 15 students or 1 out of 6?
How frequently are classes offered? If the school offers a series like a 4 week workshop, are you really going to be able to attend each class?
Is there a performance opportunity? Is the performance mandatory or optional? If you decide part way through the process that you are not interested in performing burlesque and are more comfortable watching it, then you don’t want to be admonished by your teacher for not wanting to participate in a student showcase.
Is there any course material required? Some teachers will help students figure out costuming for the student showcase and you may have to invest into your costume. This is not unreasonable (as long as you are not required to buy costumes from your teacher). Some classes may also require students to purchase a handbook that is used in class for class, and students would need the handbook in order to complete the class.
Try auditing a class. Make a quick phone call or email to a studio and ask if they permit auditing a class. An audit is a great way to test whether you like an instructor’s teaching style.
Not all studios offer audits. Searching online for reviews from other students can also be helpful.
See a show. Does that teacher have a student showcase coming up? Seeing their students in action is a great way to determine if you like the end result of the teacher’s work. Can you see yourself performing on that same stage 1 month or 2 months from now?
Now that you’ve done your research, you are now ready to make the big decision. Have fun!
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