It’s not often an exercise class begins with hairspraying a feather boa, but after all this is no normal fitness regime.
Burlex Fitness is a new dance and Burlesque programme which launched in Morley at the beginning of the year.
I went along to a Burlex masterclass, in the heart of Leeds, to find out why these classes are quickly spreading throughout West Yorkshire.
“You’re legs are going to burn by the end of the class,” warned Burlex founder and dance teacher Claire McGarry.
The 26-year-old dance and fitness entrepreneur enlisted the help of her dancing friends, including Morley-based Vicky Cannons, when she thought up the idea.
She said: “It’s like Zumba but we focus on confidence. It’s not just a fitness class.”
The Burlesque-themed class definitely gets rid of any inhibitions. Before I know it, I’m squatting, thrusting and lunging to music. And as my ‘coochy-coo’ style hands flick in the air, I can’t help but break into a big smile.
By the time the second up-beat track kicks in, I find myself wrapped in a pink feather boa and I happily dance around the prop without a second to think about my aching thighs.
Next up, my journalist hat comes off and is replaced by a grey top hat, which yet again aids my dancing as I flick it on and off and sweep it up my leg.
As I peer around at the other 15 women in the class, I notice how everyone is grinning, sweating and enthusiastically following instructor Claire.
This seems odd as my daily fitness regime normally involves a lot of grimacing. But that’s the beauty of strengthening and conditioning your body when there is so much variety and of course props involved, the time just flies by,
“Be careful on the chairs!” said Claire as each one of us grab the fold-ups from the side of the studio.
And before I know it I am lying across the chair with just my back supported. But that’s not it. We’re kicking our legs in the air whilst taking our own weight.
I notice a couple of people trip and tumble over the chairs but it is all in good humour as the 1950s-style music powers on.
At the end of the 45-minute class, I feel truly worked out and in a really good mood. I can understand the addictive nature of such exercise.
Pick up some Burlex tips from the masterclass by going to the video online at morleyobserver.co.uk
If you want to try out the new fitness dance craze, there are now trained teachers across the region.
For further information, go to burlexfitness.co.uk