Posted by Tanya Enberg
There’s nothing like busting out the dirty cowgirl to kick a gal’s mojo into high gear.
Or how about a wild hair toss while using an ordinary household chair as a sexy stage prop?
No? Well, perhaps a body-gripping corset and a stacked pair of pumps will do the trick.
Now, just add in the ex that broke your heart and, meow, you’ve got yourself a dose of red-hot revenge fiercer than a Manolo Blahnik spiked heel.
That’s the premise behindRe-Vamped,a 10-part series debuting Sept. 6 on Slice, which follows the journey of eight jilted women as they endure an intense training regime designed to help them get in shape and dust off their long-stashed away mojo.
With the high drama of reality TV, jilted gals move into a house together. They work tirelessly with health, nutrition and fitness experts, while mastering some smoking hot burlesque moves, which fully materialize during a sultry stage performance held in front of family, friends — and the exes that left them devastated.
Pamela Sargent, one of the participants, is a curvy blond with a frank attitude and confident demeanour.
But, she wasn’t always that way.
Just a couple of years ago, Sargent hit rock bottom when her almost 20-year marriage unexpectedly collapsed.
At the time, the Hamilton-based couple were considering buying a new home, had a healthy sex life, and, other than the occasional relationship blip, their marriage appeared relatively blemish free.
So, when Sargent’s then husband pulled the marital rug out from under her, her dreams of happily-ever-after shattered like a delicate champagne flute hitting the ground and, in the messy aftermath, so did her self-esteem.
“Mentally, he said he left the marriage eight years before we separated,” recalls the mother of two daughters.
“I thought we were good, and it took me a long time to realize we weren’t. I realize, after all the bulls–t, what I was putting up with.”
What Sargent is referring to his her ex-husband’s habit of prioritizing work over family and “the other” woman who suddenly appeared on the scene.
While Sargent suspects he was having affair, she says he only ever admitted to developing an emotional bond with the woman he’s since married.
“It was really hard to disconnect from it at the time, I really doubted myself and my self worth. How can somebody make love to you and tell you that they love you when it’s all a lie?”
Fast-forward to the present day and Sargent is empowered and vibrant, a remarkable rebound from the low place she was in not too long ago, a time during which she gained weight and slumped into a depression.
“I am in the best place I’ve been in a long time,” Sargent beams. “And even though I am carrying around extra weight, I am strong.”
She’s also bounced back in the romance
department as well. Last January, Sargent started dating a “fantastic man.”
“I now know that whatever journey I am going to take, that it’s a journey that I am going to succeed at,” she says.
Ironing out the sexy kinks and turning the participants from drab to queens of fab is Kaitlyn Regehr, a vivacious 24-year-old professionally trained burlesque and cabaret performer, who teaches her daringly seductive moves — from gyrating hips and flirty hair flips to straddling a backward chair and shaking the bod cowgirl- style — at Toronto’s Flirty Girl Fitness Studio.
“I think a lot of women are looking for that other side of themselves,” says the outgoing instructor.
“A really important thing about seductive dance is that it’s not about sex … that’s a misconception.”
What’s it about then?
You guessed it — keeping the mojo flowing.
According to Regehr, many women misplace their inner seductress somewhere along the way.
Then, when they finally decide to go looking for it, there’s so much dust built up, they can barely find it.
“Often when we become career women, we become so fearful that we can’t be successful if we’re viewed as sexual beings,” Regehr observes.
“We’re realizing now that we’ve abandoned that side of ourselves and, you know what? We can have it all, and we also want to be viewed as sexy beings.”
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Tantalizing teasing routines celebrate a myriad of body types
Burlesque is booming here in the Great White North and elsewhere around the world.
From tassels and long dainty gloves to snazzy ’50s updos, flirty eye winks and bootylicious shakes and wiggles, burlesque is becoming almost as mainstream as spinning.
In recent years, burlesque troupes have been popping up all over the country, but novices also want to be part of the thrill-seeking seductive inspiration at dance studios or privately at home with DVDs.
While some modern burlesque dancers are edging away from the subtle roots of the movement and turning it into a raunchier spectacle more fitting for pole dancers (bordering on this trend is the Pussycat Dolls), the classic approach is heavily rooted in tantalizing theatrics, playfulness, comedy and satire. In other words, it’s not about stripping down for tips from ogling patrons seated in pervert’s row but, rather, about story, glamorous costumes, cute moves, celebrating a myriad of body types and the art of the tease.
This understanding has led to burlesque festivals in major Canadian cities and has inspired average gals to unleash their own inner Dita Von Teese, one of the most famous modern-day burlesque performers, and author of the book,Burlesque and the Art of the Tease.
It’s a fun workout too. After all, where else do you get to bump and grind while using feathers and fans in class?