Hi folks. Welcome to the first ever blog for Burlesque Chair Dance UK™. I’m Ellie Etoile and I am the Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield instructor.
It’s been a busy time for me since setting up my initial class in Barnsley in September 2014. After stumbling onto the company website online, I contacted Head Office where I spoke to the lovely ‘Boss Lady’ Donna, who invited me to an initial training day which was brilliant. The course was very thorough; covering all aspects of technical and theoretical training. With her full support I passed my Level 1 instructor course with flying colours and set up my first class.
Many ladies were very nervous about coming – not knowing what to expect, but once they’d taken their first class, they loved it – and were keen to tell me so! It’s been over a year now since I started and I have my wonderful regulars who attend every week – and what a brilliant set of women they are! From attending classes they have made friends for life, are in contact with each other outside of class and attend events and socialise together. We have our own little family, where everyone is welcome. It’s beenlovely to see, but the most incredible thing for me as an instructor has beento see the difference in their personalities, not just in class, but outside too. Our classes are not just about increasing fitness levels, losing weight and building technique, but all about raising confidence aswell. I’m amazed at the transformation of my ladies. Lots were initially shy, quiet, nervous and apprehensive, but you should see them now! Strutting their stuff, heads held high! I can honestly say the classes are fun and engaging, but the overriding factor is that the classes raise confidence levels and self-esteem. As an instructor I see it week on week – it’s fabulous to see.
I’ve had a few success stories on my journey too. Our wonderful Rotherham lady Julie (Miss Champagne Noir- photograph above) was the winner of the coveted Miss Burlesque Butterfly 2015. Ladies were entered into the competition from all classes and the winner was voted for by the public. The aim of the competition was to find a lady who, through attending classes had transformed the most. There were many stories – each of them uplifting and inspiring, and the final decision was close, but in the end it was Julie who won the title. Her story is unique. Before she came to class Julie had suffered 3 attacks of Bell’s palsy which robbed her of her confidence. Julie was so quiet and shy when she first attended class. It’s truly been amazing to see her transformation. She really epitomises what this is all about. Her confidence is soaring, so much so that she’ s already performed onstage several times, most recently at our recent Open Mic stage night. She looks and is so different to the quiet and reserved lady that first walked through the door over a year ago.
I’m proud too to have inspired others to become an instructor. The gorgeous Miss JoJo Scarlett, our Leeds instructor, is a former attendee and the lovely Miss Poppy Scarlett from my Rotherham class is attending the next instructor course. I’ve also recently completed my level 2 instructor training and have just set up a new class in Sheffield. We’ve a few things planned for the next two months; a charity showcase, where those who wish to do so will be performing some of our routines and a burlesque calendar shoot to raise money for Breast Cancer UK which we’re all looking forward to. Keep your eyes peeled and please buy a calendar to support our cause!
My journey so far has been amazing. It’s been truly rewarding to see how much my ladies have progressed in such a short time. Many had never danced before they came – but you wouldn’t know that now. Almost all thought they wouldn’t be able to do this – but have found actually they can. I have ladies of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities that attend my classes. All the routines are beginner friendly and the atmosphere is always positive and supportive. We lift each other up! As an instructor, I can honestly say it’s been one of the best things I’ve done, so if you’re considering becoming an instructor I would 100% say’ go for it’. I’m looking forward to the next chapter with my Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield ladies. If you’re in doubt about attending classes, why not just bite the bullet and come and give us a try? I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Come and join the Burlesque Chair Dance UK™ family. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.
Hope to see you soon.