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Burlesque workshop and show make for a sultry August.

WICHITA -- August is shaping up to be one of the hottest months on record--and not just because of the weather. On Aug. 20, Jamie Rhodes, (burlesque name: Victoria Voluptuous), and Shelly Palmer (burlesque name: Chellena Star) will be hosting a burlesque performance workshop at Care to Dance in Wichita, where participants will learn the basics of the sultry art form and unleash their inner burlesque.

On Aug. 27, the group will host a burlesque show centered on the theme "Disrobing the Decades" at the Scottish Rite. Liberty Press had the chance to ask Ms. Voluptuous about the workshop and performance.

Liberty Press: How did the burlesque workshop and show come about, and what is your role?

Victoria Voluptuous: American Rose Theater was founded in 2012 by LeBarroness Rubis, myself and Shelly Palmer. We all have performance backgrounds and found a love for the glamour and freedom that comes with performing burlesque. We've put on over a dozen shows.

Burlesque has a long and fascinating history. It has changed over the decades with new dance styles, performance varieties, and has included some great music among each decade.

I chose "Disrobing the Decades" to do as a theme show for a way to give the audience a glimpse on how burlesque has evolved through the years. You will see burlesque from the 1920's classic burlesque to the neo-burlesque of the present.

I'm the current producer/ director of American Rose Theater (A.R.T.) Between the three of us, we have put together a curriculum. Chellena and I recently revised it to make it more basic and less intimidating to the beginners. My role in the workshop is instructing the curriculum we put together, encouraging those who want to join us and having fun in the process.

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LP: What interest have you received so far regarding the workshop and show?

VV: The show and the workshop go hand in hand. A lot of people see our show and get inspired. They want to learn the art but always say they wish they had the confidence to pull it off.

Burlesque is about a lot of things. It's about the love of the stage, sharing our love with an audience, entertaining, making people happy, entertaining a fantasy, loving ourselves as a person and a performer and expressing it all. It's a celebration of who our inner goddess is and expressing our sexual and flirty side. We have all shapes and sizes in burlesque. It doesn't matter if you're a size 6 or 16, everyone has a desire and need to be and feel sexy and no one should let their size come in the way of that.

We want to share that feeling with those who come to our workshop. It's not a matter of convincing others they are capable of it, it's a matter of teaching them how to find the strength, confidence and desire to do so.

LP: What can participants expect from attending the workshop?

VV: You will learn how to connect to your inner burlesque through techniques of positive body image and self-confidence. You will also learn the basics of building your burlesque persona, developing a routine, costume and makeup techniques as well as the art of the strip tease.

No prior dance or stage experience required. No one will be getting naked and you won't be performing solo in front of a group.

LP: Describe to Liberty Press readers (who may not know) what a burlesque show is like, and what readers who attend the show can look forward to.

VV: We love audience participation. We always try to get the audience involved by having them dress up based on our themes, playing games with the audience and giving away prizes.

You can expect to laugh, to clap, to yell, to whistle and to have a great and sexy time. You can participate as much or as little as you want. But we are all there to encourage and respect each other.

Burlesque shows are perfect for couples to attend, girl's night out or guy's night out. Our audience majority are usually women. It's not like attending a regular play and it's not going to the strip club. It's its own genre of entertainment.

Burlesque is all about the tease without delivering the goods. Some performers don't take anything off and some do go down to a thong and pasties. The creative thought and performance that's put into each act is what makes it exciting. We have boylesque performers as well.

Event Details: www.americanrosetheater.com and wichitascottishrite.org

Full workshop from 10am-3pm (approximately 15 spaces available): $60

Cost per class: $20

Burlesque show from 8-10pm at the Scottish Rite Center: $25 (general admission); $30 (balcony); $35 (VIP--includes front row table and goody bag)

Wichita Scottish Rite Center: Venue 332, 332 E. First St.

Care to Dance: 1019 W. Douglas

By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
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Author:Reid, Ciara
Publication:Liberty Press
Article Type:Interview
Date:Aug 1, 2016
Words:818
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