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Bringing sexy back: burlesque classes at Trent

Three years ago, Trent University PhD student Amy Jane Vosper (a.k.a. Miss Von Purr) hosted a free workshop in conjunction with the Trent Queer Collective and Self Love Week. In this workshop she outlined how burlesque dancing can strengthen a connection between mind and body, as well as boost self-confidence and body acceptance. Burlesque, she told a full room of eager students, allows for a self-mediated expression of sexuality and sensuality—it is a celebration of your body on your own terms! The class then learned some simple dance steps and played with feather boas. Once the workshop had finished, numerous people approached Von Purr asking if there would be a full course developed in the future. Thus, Babe-Lesque was born!

For the third year in a row, the Trent Queer Collective and Burlesque in PTBO are thrilled to be bringing Trent students (and the Peterborough community at large) a chance to explore the sexy and exciting world of burlesque! However, this is not merely a dance class, though there is a heavy focus on learning dance techniques and a simple group routine. This class is designed to promote body positivity. It is structured to examine how society views the body and the subsequent effects on our sense of well-being. The class uses fun exercises and low-key homework assignments to foster self-love in your everyday lives, all while getting in touch with your inner babe. The class celebrates the body for all of its abilities and wonders.

Each week has a theme and focuses on a different area. You will learn a brief history of burlesque and the art of the tease. You will learn about traditional burlesque costuming and prop use. You will develop your burlesque persona, including choosing a stage name and creating your own unique and sexy identity based on your existing skills and talents. You will learn a simple choreographed routine and you will have the opportunity to perform this routine live, if you so desire. You will even construct your own costume pieces in our pastie-making workshop! Most importantly, you will learn how to fall back in love with your sexy self!

The first group of students to take the Babe-Lesque classes performed several shows together following the course. Afterwards, they chose to develop Peterborough’s first burlesque troupe, “The Kitten Academy”. Now, the Kittens have hosted their own shows, performed alongside several local bands, participated in numerous community events and even appeared in a feature film! From a group of babes meeting once a week to busy working professionals, the ladies of “The Kitten Academy” have made quite the name for themselves here in Peterborough.

This 8 week class is open to any-body! Any level of experience is acceptable, including none at all. There are no requirements! You will be given an opportunity to perform following the end of the class, but you are by no means required to do so. Even if you only wish to take the class to boost self-confidence, learn a new skill or show off for your romantic partner, you are welcome to join us! Classes will begin on Thursday, October 6th from 6pm to 7:30pm in the Dining Hall at Sadleir House. The cost is $80 for all 8 weeks, or $15 to drop in. Classes fill up quickly, so to secure your spot, register by sending an email to We will also be hosting a free workshop/preview at the Sadleir House Open House on Saturday, October 1st from 1pm to 2pm. If you are unsure if you want to take the class, come on out to the Open House and see what it is all about. Alternatively, come to the first class on October 6th at 6pm and see if it is right for you! Feel free to contact Miss Von Purr at the address above with any questions.

Get ready to get sexy!

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