Welcome to Burlesque U!

Every day is a cabaret! Check out our classes in the art of tease!

This new program is designed for anyone looking to explore burlesque, whether for fun, performance, or both! Have you always wanted to try burlesque but didn’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with a faculty of professional burlesque performers who are also experienced dance instructors! Do you already have a routine that needs some polishing? We can help. At Burlesque U, there’s always time for YOU!

Potential Class Genres:

  • Bellylesque
  • Chair
  • Classic Burlesque
  • Floor’d
  • Prop Star
  • Sing & Strip

Got a suggestion for a class you’d like to take? Let us know!

Drop-In Classes

Explore the empowerment of sensual movement in these ongoing classes. No performance commitment or prior experience required.

Our team of pros will show you all sorts of tips and techniques to dominate the dance floor.

  • $16 per class. Philly Dance Fitness members get 20% off

  • Classes run for a full 60 minutes

  • In-person only

Heels Dance

After warming up with some light cardio dance, strap on your heels to practice a few signature striptease dance movements. Then piece together several moves to create a routine and finish off with some improvisation and stretching. 

  • Mondays at 7:30 pm with Timaree
  • Rittenhouse (lower rear studio)
  • Bring: heels with ankle support (not slingbacks). Avoid platforms unless you’ve had experience dancing in heels. And, of course, you’re welcome to dance in sneakers or bare feet. We also recommend bringing knee pads for floor work.

Solo Act Performance Series

Get your act together! Build confidence and stage presence as you create a solo burlesque routine to perform at a student showcase.  

This five-week series covers the fundamentals of creating a burlesque solo: storytelling, musicality, character development, stage presence, choreography, costuming and more. 

Along with presentations and demos, you’ll practice foundational burlesque movements and collaborate with the rest of your small group to workshop ideas for your act.

Session 1: Learn the history of the art form and basics of burlesque movement

Session 2: Unlock your performance persona, explore frameworks for creating an act

Session 3: Try on more techniques of peels and reveals, brainstorm and workshop your act ideas

Session 4: As we revise your individual act, we’ll continue expanding your vocabulary of movement, costuming and props.

Session 5: Putting the final touches on your first solo act!

Our performance series often sell out and space for these sessions are extra limited to ensure everyone gets individual attention. Sign up early if you want in!

Showtime!

The finished solos will be presented at an in-studio showcase hosted by instructor and local burlesque icon HoneyTree EvilEye.

Cheer on our next crew of soloists on  July 20! Ticket links will be posted a few weeks before the show date.

Upcoming Session:

  • Tuesdays from 8-9:15 pm with Timaree
  • Rittenhouse (lower rear studio) – 1923 Chestnut St
  • June 18, 25, July 2, 9 & 16
  • Culminating with a performance on Sat. July 20 at 8 pm
  • $125 for the full series. Sign up here!

The final series for this calendar year is tentatively scheduled to start on Oct. 15, with the performance on Nov. 16.

Group Performance Series

More pasties = more fun! (And sometimes, less intimidation!) Learn and stage a complete routine in these 5-week series. You’ll collaborate with your instructor and fellow performers to finalize and source costumes for your piece. Then, it’s showtime!

There will be 1-2 group routines to accompany our ongoing solo act shows. We also offer burlesque group series as part of our “Take It Off Broadway” shows in the early spring and fall, a summer burlesque “dance off” and an annual “Naughty & Spice Holiday Revue” in December.

Upcoming Sessions:

The next group series will be posted in early fall to prepare for another rendition of our signature “Take It Off Broadway” show, tentatively scheduled for Sat. Oct. 5, 2024. In the meantime, mark your calendars to support the student groups who are currently rehearsing for a summer BurlesqueU Dance Off!

  • Sat. June 1 – doors at 8:30 pm, show at 9 pm
  • Ruba Club (416 Green St)
  • Get tickets here

Frisky Friday Workshops

Build confidence and tone your entire body at our striptease workshops featuring smokin’ hot choreography, complimentary wine, and lots of sass!

Get down and dirty in this dance fitness variation that incorporates Burlesque and striptease moves. Whether you’re looking to bring home a steamy routine or you just want to be sexy while you sweat, these workshops will leave you feeling strong and empowered!

Started with a cardio warm up that includes follow-the-leader routines. After that, you’ll slow it down as you piece together a series of sexy moves to create hotter-than-hot combinations. Once you’ve learned the choreography, we’ll turn down the lights and put on our own show. By the end of the 75-minute workshop, you’ll have an arsenal of moves you can use with or without a lap to dance on.

While many striptease routines involve floor work or other tricks, please note that most movements can be modified for students who are pregnant, injured or simply prefer not to get down on the ground. Just let the instructor know and we’ll give you alternatives.

Frisky Fridays
  • Twice a month at 8:30 p.m.
  • Midtown Studio (1301 Locust St, 2nd Floor).
  • $20 tickets include wine, Members get 20% off!

Pre-registration strongly encouraged because these workshops often sell out.

Themes:

Booty Pop: Drop, swirl, and grind in this bootylicious theme.

Broadway Burlesque: Flirt, flaunt and leave a little to the imagination as you strut through a number of combinations. Don’t forget your stage name!

Chair-licious: Wind, twirl, and dip around a chair to create a simple yet super sexy routine that you can easily replicate at home.

Dirty Divas: Get down and dirty to the music of badass chart-topping divas.

Floored: Work your body down to the floor and then down some more in this salacious exploration of striptease floorwork.

Lap Dance 101: Learn techniques, tips and tricks to give a stripper-worthy lap dance.

Pop Icons: Turn up the music and shake it out to your favorite pop artists!

Prop Appeal: Learn how to manipulate items of clothing or props to add dramatic effect to your movements.

PRIVATE STRIPTEASE PARTIES

Striptease dance workshops are also perfect for a friends’ night out, birthday or bachelorette party. Book a date at your convenience, let us know if you have any song requests and we’ll take it from there! We can customize the class to incorporate your favorite songs or dance styles; or choose from one of our Frisky Friday or Burlesque themes. You can add on wine or champagne to your package or BYOB! Full private party details here.

Contact us for more information about booking a private party at our Midtown or Rittenhouse studios.

What should I wear?

Comfortable clothes for movement — bonus points if the outfit also makes you feel sexy! Supportive shoes preferred for the cardio warm-up; heels or bare feet after that. For floor work, we recommend bringing knee pads or wearing long pants. (Modifications can also be provided for those who wish to remain standing.)

For Frisky Friday workshops featuring specific artists or special themes, we always love it when students get into the spirit with their attire! For example, pulling out a Bey-inspired body suit and tall boots for a Beyonce themed workshop, wearing a ridiculous costume for our annual Halloween “Tricks & Treats,” etc.

I'm a total beginner, where do I start?

Beginners are welcome — and encouraged! — at almost all of our burlesque programs!

We may post periodic solo act development sessions or group routines designed for dancers with some background in burlesque. In those instances, the intended level will be clearly stated in the course description. Other than that,  all workshops, drop in classes and performance series are open to all levels!

If you’re not sure you’re ready to strip on stage, we suggest starting with drop-in classes and Frisky Friday workshops. This will give you the chance to practice sensual movement in a supportive environment without any performance end-goal.

On the other hand, if you’re eager to perform but nervous about having too much time in the spotlight, start with a group burlesque routine. There’s truth to the “safety in numbers” saying! In a group performance, the audience takes in the full effect rather than focusing on a specific person.

If you’re ready for more attention, go for a solo act series! Life’s an adventure, why not seize the opportunities that speak to you?

Can I sign up for multiple Burlesque U sessions?

Of course! Lots of students choose to take workshops or drop-in classes along with performance series. Some even perform in multiple group routines at our shows.

Just make sure you can fully commit to rehearsals when you sign up for a performance series, especially if it’s a group number. Absences make it difficult for the rest of the group to work on blocking or partnered moves. We understand that emergencies or illness may come up, but if you know in advance that you’ll need to miss a rehearsal, it’s better to wait for a different series.

I'm uncomfortable in pasties, can I stay more covered?

YES. Burlesque is a performance art that can encompass a wide range of “daring” entertainment, from slapstick sketches to ensemble numbers. Stripping is usually involved, but there are no rules about how much a performer must take off.

At BurlesqueU, we believe everyone should feel confident and comfortable on stage — so YOU get to decide how many layers you want to remove. If you prefer to stay more covered up, stick to glove, stocking and outer layer removals. Perhaps you’re game for everything but pasties. Or maybe you want to turn around and pick up a prop to cover yourself up right as you take off that last item (such a tease!!)

Our instructors have lots of experience tweaking group choreo to make sure everyone feels comfortable during the reveals. They’ll help you figure out whatever costume scenario feels best to you!