Burlesque Is Back In Philadelphia!
September 10, 2009

By Anne Marie Green



It’s sexy, it’s sensual. Burlesque is a lot of things, including popular. What was once considered the domain of the no-so-modest is attracting a whole new crop of fans—regular women. Just look at the audience at this show at L’atage in Old City.

Burlesque dancer Annie A-Bomb (that’s her stage name) says, “Usually after a show, I have a bunch of people running up to me saying, ‘Oh, how did you get into this? I’d love to do it!'”

And so Annie A-Bomb started a four-week course for wannabe burlesque dancers, whether they plan to stay home perform or take it to the stage. It’s part movement, part props, and part arts and crafts.

She demonstrated a glove move: “If you put your arm over your head, you can pull inside out.”

She’ll even teach you to make your own pasties.

Most of the women in tonight’s course were a little too shy to show their faces. But Randi Warhol (a stage name) credits Annie’s tutelage for, well, exposing her whimsical side.

“I play a French woman, so I have croissants,” she said.

When it comes to burlesque, what Randi finds the most appealing has nothing to do with peeling off clothes.

“It’s not just your exposing your body. You’re also exposing your creativity and your mind,” Randi said.

Annie teaches traditional burlesque. It’s more satire than striptease.

“Traditionally it included making fun of high culture, which including skits and comedy and big production numbers,” said Annie.

Her students learn that what may seem lewd to some can actually be quite liberating.

“As long as you’re comfortable with your body, that’s all that should matter,” she said. “We have curvier women in our show. The audience still loves you. It doesn’t discriminate.”

If four weeks is a bit much for you, Annie A-Bomb is developing a series of workshops so you can be a burlesque dancer for a day.

To sign up for a class, you can email Annie A-Bomb at: annieabomb@revivalburlesque.com