Vivi Phoenix, founder and madame of Va Va Voom! Burlesque Troupe — Cedar Rapids’ only burlesque troupe — is inviting women to celebrate their bodies through dance at the Underground Burlesque Workshop Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Shores Event Center in Cedar Rapids.
At the one-time workshop, participants will be taught a beginner’s-level burlesque dance routine by Phoenix herself in a laid-back, accepting environment. She stresses the importance of burlesque and what it can do for women’s self esteem.
“Burlesque allows women the freedom to express themselves and to express their sensuality. It’s a liberating feeling,” said Phoenix. “Society tells women all the time that we can’t be sensual, and we have to be a particular body type… [burlesque] allows women to cut loose, and move their bodies, and be able to express their sensuality in a very classic form.”
Later that day, at 8 p.m., participants will perform the routine during a public performance. Three performers from the IC Kings, burlesque performer Stella Fox of Minneapolis and the founder of Quad Cities burlesque troupe, Bottoms Up, will also appear as guest performers alongside Va Va Voom! and the
Phoenix encourages women not to let stage fright dissuade them from attending the class.
“It’s a very welcoming, warm environment, where everyone is supportive of one another,” she said. “Burlesque audiences are always very accepting of the performers.”
Phoenix advises women participating in the workshop to come wearing comfortable clothes that are easy to move in, like those worn to any exercise class, and to bring a change of clothes that they want to perform in; this could be fishnets and heels, a leotard, a corset, a free-flowing skirt — anything that the performer will feel comfortable and sexy in.
The workshop runs from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., after a happy hour from 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Interested participants must register before Feb. 19, either online or by calling 319.775.5367. The registration cost is $40 per participant. This event is restricted to those 21 years and older.