Burlesque beauties building confidence and body positivity in Lanarkshire classes

A troupe of burlesque beauties are encouraging other women to shake off their inhibitions and build their personal confidence by joining them.

Victoria Watson, 39, teaches the art of burlesque chair dance to groups including the Beauties in Wishaw, the Follies who are based in her home town, and another group in Rutherglen.

Victoria, from Bellshill, developed her passion and desire for the drama and glamor of burlesque around a decade ago.

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She told Lanarkshire Live: “There was a club in Glasgow that used to run, Club Noir.

“I just fell in love with it – the glamour, the sexiness, and it was a very inclusive place. There was no bitching, it was just an amazing place to be and you felt great the minute you walked through the door. It was so friendly.

“I first went along as a club-goer. I’ve always been a dancer and have been dancing my entire life, I was either dancing or figure skating.

“Then I took lessons from Club Noir owner Tina Warren, I just loved it but life got in the way and I only really started to teach burlesque about four years ago.”

The burlesque troupe of Wishaw Beauties

A couple of years ago Victoria, a Logistics Coordinator by day, who is also known by her burlesque stage name of Frivolity Vixen, decided to set up the Wishaw classes.

“They are definitely fitness classes with a difference and currently there is space for a couple of new women. Your age, shape, weight, fitness levels or social background don’t matter, classes are open to all.

Victoria continued: “I think most of the women who come along at first are maybe feeling a wee bit isolated and a bit self conscious.

“They hide up the back of the class for the first couple of weeks and then a few weeks later they’re right down the front. Some maybe haven’t had a lot of friends, such as new mums who have been socially isolated and don’t feel very confident.

“I’ve got 96 girls across five classes.”

The women from Victoria’s classes will also be teaming up with others from Airdrie for a special show at Motherwell Concert Hall early next year.

Battle of the Blondes will take place on January 28, 2023 with tickets priced £15 and £20. It’s strictly for over 15s.

“Burlesque promotes body-positivity and confidence, you might not have it when you come to the class but by the time you’ve been there a month or two you will have,” Victoria insists.

“It’s not just about burlesque there’s a lot of social elements in the classes, ladies days and team building weekends.

“They’re like female warriors. All the girls are singing from the same sheet, building confidence but building friendships as well.

Burlesque Chair Dance classes are running in Wishaw, Bellshill, Airdrie and Rutherglen

“It’s absolutely for everyone, I have girls who range from 19 to their mid-60s. All shapes and sizes and from all walks of life and different backgrounds.

“When they all come into the class they are one big team, you don’t see any social differences.”

The Wishaw classes have proven extremely popular and the group currently boasts around 25 women.

“It’s not crazy cardio, but it can be quite acrobatic what we do with jumping off chairs and stuff,” Victoria admits.

To attend the Wishaw classes which take place at Beltane Bowling Club in Alexander Street on a Monday evening, you have to book beforehand.

The cost is £24 for each four-week block.

Contact Victoria via the Facebook page of Burlesque Chair Dance Scotland for further details.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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