Burlesque dancing is not stripping. Clothes are removed slowly, slyly and often with a story that just happens to climax in a g-string and pasties. The titillation comes from removing the clothes, not the dancing that happens once they're off. But to me, the difference is self-awareness. A burlesque dancer is willing to play games with her sexuality in order to entertain you. She will not only look you in the eye while removing her bra, she'll probably wink. She knows you're in on it, too.
My first class was terrifying. My teacher, Ms. Exotic World 2005, expected us to dance in heels, but that was nothing compared to the pain of having to vamp in front of a mirror, giving myself the eye and bumping my hips dangerously. I giggled uncomfortably when she told me to jiggle my cleavage, blushed when she told me to look up and watch myself dance. I left that night thinking that it was too embarrassing and that I was done. Lemondrop: Love Your Body—This Week At Least
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But, at home alone, I vamped.
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