To say this class is transformative is an understatement. My friend has been encouraging me to take the class – at least 3-4 times – and every time I had said no because I wasn’t in a good place with my body. Finally, this most recent time I decided to sign up. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t even know if I’d perform in the student showcase. This class challenged me in all the best ways. Week after week, I came more and more out of my shell and began to embrace parts of myself I had tried to hide away. I forged new friendships and deep connections with other women in the class, some of whom have become my closest friends. I had healing relational experiences that allowed me to face some of my biggest fears, and do so with a loving and supportive community surrounding me. What I learned about myself in this class continued to surprise me. I was able to shed so many assumptions I had about myself. I thought I would be petrified to perform, but when the moment came I felt excited and calm. It was such an empowering experience. My body? Love her. My body is a burlesque body. I’m sad I denied myself this incredible experience for so long, but happy I finally took the leap. I finally found a hobby that brings me such joy, confidence, and allows me to exercise my creativity. Numerous friends have commented on my increase in confidence and love for myself. This has transformed my relationships, my outlook on life, and me. I had such a powerful experience that I decided to take the class a second time, not just for the chance to perform again (its like tattoos, you can’t have just one!), but because I wanted to have this experience again with my new found confidence and perspective.
Foxy Minx, Spring 2023
Enrolling in Essential Tease is hands-down the best thing I’ve done for my confidence! I’ve always been self-conscious, especially when it comes to my body, and I knew this class would force me to face (and hopefully overcome) those fears. I could not have chosen a more nurturing, encouraging, and empowering environment. Over and over again, I stepped out of my comfort zone, safe in the knowledge that I had a group of amazing, loving classmates cheering me on. Even after I finished my performance and became an Essential Tease alum, the instructors and my fellow students have continued to lift me up. The relationships I have formed through this experience are some of the most meaningful I’ve made since I moved to Baltimore and I feel tremendously lucky. Look, I’m not saying it’s a cult, but it will change your life and you’ll want to recruit every cool person you know. Join us….
Phaedra Phox, Spring 2023
Approaching burlesque performance from such a global perspective was amazing, exploring and caring for the interior and exterior of each student. I felt challenged to strengthen and broaden my performance and sense of myself as a (student) performer, but in all ways felt safe and supported. My ultimate goal was to be present and enjoy my performance and to connect with the audience, unlike previous performances where I was so nervous I didn’t remember being on stage. With the help of the Essential Tease teachers, I was able to meet that goal and ended my student experience light years from where I started.
Beatrix Inferno, Spring 2019
I cannot say enough about Essential Tease—the class exceeded my expectations in every way!! I joined the Fall 2022 class quite pregnant and it was one of the most liberating, connecting, and empowering thing I did for my pregnancy and my life in general. The depth of the class was incredible—we connected as a group in a truly meaningful way with the guidance of Ruby, Jacqueline, and Tempete, who are as phenomenal as facilitators as they are performers. I feel I truly received an education not just in how to perform burlesque, but the roots of the art, detailed tips for costuming, cultivating an "inner" burlesque, and connecting with the audience. I also felt free and empowered to trust my own creative process and craft my performance in a way that was authentic to myself, which was an amazing experience! And finally, the performance at the end of the class was for a totally packed house of wonderful, affirming souls and I felt completely supported by my teachers and co-performers. This was not just a student showcase—this was a for-real performance! My freedom and confidence on stage spoke volumes to the incredible support and preparation we received. If you love burlesque or are even curious, I couldn't recommend Essential Tease more highly.
Nadia Lové, Fall 2022
I'll be forever grateful I decided to sign up for Essential Tease. The class was more than a class for me. It was an experience. The instructors were exceedingly thoughtful and supportive and were very clear about their desire to make the class a safe space. And that made me feel comfortable about opening up and being vulnerable pretty quickly. It was a great opportunity to learn not only about burlesque history, but about other people's experiences. It was also so fun to create an act and then feel confident and supported enough to perform it on stage! The class gave me an invaluable opportunity to jump into a fulfilling art form that I love. And I'll always treasure the connections I made through Essential Tease.
Mary Muse, Fall 2021
I was incredibly nervous to begin this class but the instructors and students created such an amazingly supportive, fun and creative environment. The instruction was so thorough and detailed but it was also emphasized how everything can be done in a unique way to meet the needs and vision of each individual. Throughout the instruction of creating an act, all the information was broken down into manageable pieces. What was really incredible was the internal transformation that I went through with this class and the confidence I gained with the support of these other amazing humans. Class days quickly became my favorite days of the week. Getting together with such a wonderful group and sharing our ideas, worries and excitement was such a fantastic way to learn and put together my first act!