A daring dance duo has offered a risque alternative to the traditional bottom, ab and thigh workout, allowing women to channel their inner Queen of Burlesque.
Bonita Danger Doll and Ruby Ruin of Tease & Trouble Productions have brought Burlesquercise, a hybrid of the on-stage dance act with the traditional BAT workout, to several studios nationwide.
They promise a "fun, light-hearted class that will really target your legs and butt".
Unlike the burlesque stage version, sequins and feathers were not compulsory and clothes remained firmly on during the 60-minute class replete with gyrating hips, rolling shoulders, repetitive squats, lunges and arm movements.
Dance heels were an optional extra, though flat dance shoes and bare feet were also permitted for those preferring a gentle introduction to the class, which ran under the mantra "love the burn".
Burlesquercise Auckland at the Auckland Central Dance Studios showcase doing a mashup demo!Check out classes in all the locations below <3Auckland with Coney Bow - https://www.facebook.com/groups/burlesquerciseakl/Christchurch with Bonita Danger Doll - https://www.facebook.com/groups/burlesquercisechristchurch/Dunedin with Cheviace Stylet - https://www.facebook.com/groups/burlesquercisedunedin/Hawkes Bay with Raechel & Cherry - https://www.facebook.com/groups/burlesquercisenapier/Timaru with Ruby Ruin - https://www.facebook.com/groups/burlesquercisetimaru/Posted by Burlesquercise New Zealand on Monday, November 30, 2015
The session at Auckland's Central Dance Studios began gently enough, with some hip rolling, shoulder rolling and waving arms before moving on to fast-paced upper and lower body isolations, squats, sharp head movements, snapping hands and turns.
Mercifully it slowed down towards the end to give the abs a good workout while allowing the now-burning thighs and bottom a chance to recover.
Teacher Coney Bow said in burlesquercise every piece of choreography targeted a specific body part.
"It's an all-girl, light-hearted class, combining classic burlesque bump and grind and fitness moves that target mostly legs, bum and abdominals."
She said it was a fun way for women to exercise and feel good about their bodies.
"For that one hour of exercise, the ladies in class are asked to let go of their inhibitions and just have fun while moving."
New Zealand has burlesquercise classes in five cities - Christchurch, Timaru, Napier, Dunedin and Auckland - as demand has grown.
The history of burlesque as a stage act can be traced back to the Victorian era when it was less about the strip-tease and more a way to make light of more serious literary, dramatic or musical works.
The strip-tease element evolved in the the mid to late 1800s with "daring" troupes such as the British Blondes defying the fuller dress of the Victorian times by appearing on stage in unconventionally short skirts and tights.
Burlesque's popularity waned for a few years, but has reached new heights on the back of personalities such as Dita von Teese, the former Mrs Marilyn Manson, whose sensual acts have earned her the accolade the Queen of Burlesque.
While the on-stage act has become largely synonymous with a more tasteful form of strip tease, the burlesquercise class remains a safe option for those who want to give it a go and let loose, but not bare.
Verdict: If shaking your booty is your idea of fun this is one option to replace your traditional BAT workout.
• Burlesquercise, a hybrid BAT and burlesque class.
• Originates from a less risque form of entertainment that hails back to the Victorian era.
• Wear something comfortable and shoes, dance heels or go bare feet.