Burlesque – you’re probably think the movie starring Christina Aguilera, and you’re not entirely wrong; we weren’t as polished as she and her crew, but we impressed ourselves and our audience just the same. When I started college up in Kitchener in 2014 I learned the college encourages Clubs, similar to Pitch Perfect. I imagine most post-secondary schools do this, I don’t know because I only went to Conestoga. I knew of only one other group starting out, and that was the Anime group because I had a friend who was the leader there. Anime is not really my thing personally, so I started thinking what was my thing? Burlesque? But I didn’t want the responsibility of starting the group. I like being a sheep, but most of the time I can’t hide the fact I’m a born leader and good at it. (Acknowledge your strengths)
I made a Facebook post on the Conestoga page, hoping to spark interest so someone else would run with my idea. I sparked interest, and raised eyebrows; but ultimately, I was going to have to be the first face of this Burlesque Club.
I learned I would need a really good reason to start a group like this and a laid-back teacher to be able to sign off for the group. (I don’t know the reason for teacher involvement). But when it was all said and done, I had the permission I needed from Student Council as well as a room reserved for evening practices; and even a group of girls who were interested thanks again to Facebook.
My reason: Why Not? It’s a form of exercise. (Have you heard of the freshman 15?) Also, it’s a big confidence boost and it’s nice to be able to work toward achieving a goal of learning the choreography to a dance.
During our first meeting, we finished the Belly Dancing-Flex Appeal workout. It was fun while we were doing it, but us ladies were not using stairs the next day, we were sore! I knew I wasn’t doing that again.
The room we had reserved was in a quiet upstairs corner of the school so I took it upon myself to use the room more often than once a week to start practising other dances I found on YouTube. I brought the idea up to the girls in our next meeting and they were on board 100%. These girls were angels.
First semester we had a group of five ladies, myself included. I don’t think that was enough to be considered a club at the school but we didn’t care. We danced, and we were damn good. Second semester we were down to only myself, Stephanie and Tamara. Like I said before, these ladies were angels, they came to practice every week, and even twice a week when needed; and they practised at home! Dedication. These ladies were emotional support and kept me level headed during the stress of school and getting everything in order for the masquerade party we were putting on with a few other clubs. Most of all, they taught me what it means to have friends. To have someone you can text whenever and someone you can rely on and open up to. They taught me I wasn’t too weird or dark, or messed up to have female friends. They were the hardest part about leaving Kitchener.
The Masquerade Party went off without a hitch. The main coordinator did a phenomenal job keeping everyone on track and pulling everything together. The party was small and personal, we didn’t know that was exactly what we wanted until the night started to shape. Us ladies were the opening act, or the closing act. I don’t remember. We did a few songs from the Burlesque sound track, and a couple we found ourselves. These ladies made my college experience one worth remembering.
I think back on my time during Burlesque, maybe one day I’ll do it again.