Burlesque Lessons with British Burlesque Legend Jo King

Howard May 11, 2016 Burlesque Dancing Basics

In our burlesque lessons series with British burlesque legend, Jo King, she shares the biggest mistakes burlesque dancers can make and how to fix them.

Burlesque Lessons with British Burlesque Legend Jo King

British burlesque legend, Jo King aka. Goodtime Mama Jojo has supported our London burlesque shows since the very beginning. As our guru and the godmother of UK burlesque we, like many, like to follow her lead.

As the Founder of London Academy of Burlesque, Jo King has taught about 30% of burlesque dancers in Europe! Jaw. Floor. Needless to say we couldn’t wait to get some burlesque lessons from this wonderful woman.

We’ve already shared the burlesque video tutorial on how to achieve a sultry glove peel in style. Now, we learn the biggest pitfalls and mistakes for burlesque dancers.

We’ve skipped the obvious falling off stage because everyone has a bad day. We also avoided the indisputable: no bitching about people behind their backs rule.

There are, however, some not so obvious faux pas people regularly make in the business of burlesque dancing. If there’s anyone who will spot them and point them out, then it’s Jo King… Heed her words of wisdom.

Check out burlesque video: Jo King’s Tips and Stories.

Top Five Burlesque Lessons

Less is More

We know burlesque dancing is about OTT glamour and striptease but it’s all about balance. You don’t want to many distractions or contradicting ideas.

Coco Chanel said, “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.”

The same can be said for before you go on stage. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

Colour Contrast

That being said, black is black and can be bland. Adding a pop of colour, even if it’s silver or gold, can make a burlesque costume stand out from the crowd.

Know Your Music

This is an important one. Your music should suit your on-stage persona and your burlesque dancing should fit your music. Timing is everything so practice with the music.

Facial Expressions

When it comes to facial expressions for burlesque performers they can range from fierce to comical to cheesecake. Again, match your character and mix it up.

One look can come across as both unnatural. It can also look forced, lose focus and impact as the performance goes on.

Use Your Gaze

Audience members follow the burlesque dancers gaze so when your peeling something off, look at what you’re doing. This makes it easier to remove and draws the eye to the focal point. Simple and sexy.

If you have any questions you can contact Jo King via London Academy of Burlesque or Facebook.