Celebrate sexy: Burlesque dance classes debut at Nolte Academy

This month, the Englert's screening of an adults-only documentary will feature a live opening act by Iowa City's own Les Dames du Burlesque
Learn how to burlesque at Nolte Academy’s new dance classes. — photo by Adrianne Behning

Analia Alegre-Femenias, director of the Iowa City-based burlesque troupe Les Dames du Burlesque, and Nolte Academy of Dance (1619 2nd St., Coralville) will debut Thursday-evening burlesque classes next week, inviting women to come learn about the fun and bawdy world of sensual comedy performance.

Those familiar with burlesque performance know that it is a sultry mix of dancing, humor and sexuality. Burlesque is a part of an old tradition rooted in Vaudeville performance, and while it’s often misconstrued as stripping, Alegre-Femenias encourages everyone to think of burlesque as a celebration of femininity and women’s bodies.

“Sensuality is beautiful, inherent and should be treated with respect. We are in charge of our bodies and how we present ourselves to [ourselves], each other and society … Burlesque teaches you to love your body, respect it and feel beautiful,” Alegre-Femenias said.

Women (meaning anyone identifying as female) who are considering attending Burly should know that no experience is necessary to participate in the class.

“Whether you’ve never danced before or you’re an experienced dancer, everyone will be able to get something out of the class,” Alegre-Femenias said.

Still, she says the class will be rigorous. “I think that fitness is really important, so there will be some push-ups, abdominals [and] stretching,” she said.

While attendees can expect a workout, the culture of the class will be generally laid back because the ultimate goal is to bring women of all ages together to “celebrate their beauty.” Women are encouraged to come to the class wearing whatever they’re comfortable dancing in, whether that is work-out clothes and bare feet or high heels.

Classes begin Thursday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. and cost $16 per class, with discounts offered to those who purchase punch cards (in 10 and 30 class increments). UI students are also offered a discounted rate. Those who want to participate should arrive 15 minutes prior to their first class to register.

Because of the adult nature of the classes, participants must be at least 18 years of age. Those who can participate are encouraged to get their “sexy tushes” into this new class!

Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that classes begin on Sept. 18. Classes actually begin on Sept. 25. Little Village apologizes for this error.

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