14 May 2010

Hestia does Burlesque Part 1

I stood at the edge of the stage, my knees knocking and my heart hammering so loudly that I could barely hear the music stutter into life.

The audience clapped and whooped.  I couldn’t move.  What the FUCK am I doing?  I’m a mother! I’m the Chairman of the Parent Council at School!  I’m Secretary of the local Marketing Group!

But NEVER let it be said that I’m a woose.

I forced one foot in front of the other and inched my way to the front of the stage.  And there, dear reader, I took all my clothes off.


            Miss Dirty Martini

Rewind to six months previously.  I’m in a Well Known Underwear Shop with hubby (see: Anne Summers).  I show him a hanger sporting a gorgeous pair of satin knickers, tied at the sides with massive pink bows.  ‘How about these?’ I suggest (see: Dwindling Sex Life)

Hubby looks at the briefs, looks at the b&w poster of model wearing drawers hanging above the stand.  Looks at me.  Looks at model.  Looks at knickers. ‘I think you should maybe just put them back,’ says he.

Ouch! A thousand cuts!

Fast forward to a rainy March evening.  I’m on my own, idly TV channel hopping and alight on a programme that takes a handful of woman (normal shapes) and teaches them how to strip, burlesque style, to improve their body confidence.

I am mesmerised.  By the time the girls are performing in a Soho club at the end, my eyes are filled with sequins, glitter and feathers. I want to do that, I thought to myself.  I recalled the smarting pain of the Anne Summers episode….I NEEDED to do that.

A quick trawl through the intertubes revealed that Club Noir was running a Beginners Burlesque workshop day in a few months time in Glasgow.

The following evening, whilst making dinner, I casually mentioned to hubby that this burlesque workshop was running.  Without even looking up from his onions (no double entendre, he was chopping onions at the time) he said ‘I know you. You’d never do anything like that.’

I bristled: ‘How not?’  (That’s Glaswegian for ‘why’)

He shook his head and smiled.  'You’re just not that sort of person'.

Not that sort of person?  What did that mean?!  I was too feminist? I was too ugly? Too fat?  What???

Prickling like a hedgehog, I retired to my bedroom, I mean, office.  I booked myself on to the course before I could think myself out of it.

I went back into the kitchen and said nothing.

I said nothing to anyone for six long months – not hubby, not my closest friends.


Well, actually, I had to tell my mum so that she could look after Sonshine.  She was surprisingly sanguine about the whole thing.  I think her exact words were ‘ Good on you’. My mother never ceases to amaze me….

I had worked out what I was going to wear – a black ‘teddy’ all in one from M&S (Marks and Spencers, not Masochism and Sadism), black suspender belt, black stockings, black high heels, black kimono, long black gloves…..and full Kabuki make up (see Kiss).  No bugger would be able to identify me! (see: unfortunate YouTubers)

I was nearly sick with nerves as I trundled my little travel bag down the cobbled lane to the workshop location.  Outside, a clutch of women, all quite normal (apart from the one with the scarlet hair) puffed anxiously at cigarettes. Ah well, at least I wasn’t the only one who was nervous. 

I climbed the stairs that led to the dance studio…..and to a whole new world.

Image of Miss Dirty Martini from the fantastic 21century pinup


  1. Seriously cool, Ali, can't wait to hear more about how it went. I've been tempted by pole-dancing classes a couple of times, but haven't had the nerve.

  2. Chloe - with all that yoga bendiness you'll have, you will be great at it!

    Ali x

  3. Ali -

    What a great post! I think I would have signed up before I had better sense too - just because!

    I love the outfit you created - very classy!

    Ii do want to hear more about this!


  4. I am proud of you Ali! I eagerly await part 2 of your story.

  5. Oh wow, you're brave! I've always wanted to do something like that!


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