I promised my mentor I’d never publicly embarrass myself for a byline, but I’m about to break that promise. Sort of. A couple years ago, I decided that I needed to try new things, get out my cubicle and live a little, and so I was saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself. Mostly it meant I went to a lot of (not at all memorable) parties and had drinks with a bunch of people I normally wouldn’t spend much time with, but it also meant taking a burlesque class.
As a kid, I took a couple years of dance lessons. Ballet, tap, modern jazz, I did it all. I even took figure skating lessons for a brief while. You’d think that would’ve instilled me with some balance or grace. But no. Not so much. I still trip over my own feet when walking down the sidewalk, and I’ve fallen down the stairs more times than I’d care to admit. But back to burlesque.
I’m friends with strippers and porn stars who feature dance and burlesque performers, so I thought a class might give me an idea of what they do. I rounded up two of my ballsier girlfriends, signed us up for a class, and proceeded to “dance” my ass off for an evening. Notice how dance is in quotations? That’s because what I was doing fits only the loosest definition of the term. My mother says I’m like a bull in a china shop, and on a recent night out, a girl at Bantam told me, pointblank, “You really can’t dance, can you?” They may be on to something there. I really, truly can’t dance. So my taking a burlesque class and writing about how ungraceful I was, kind of embarrassing. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and I laughed my way through every moment of it, but still embarrassing.
To read about my failed attempt to become a burlesque dancer, which appeared in the September 2011 issue of Penthouse, click here.