Let me introduce you to our Fantastic team.
All of our Instructors have their own story to tell.
They all have their own personal reasons for joining the team and wanting to be on this Journey.
Some of them have truly opened up and shared some real personal details with you.
I look forward to seeing what other amazing women find their way to us and to you.
Belladonna Wilde - Faversham Instructor
"Let me tell you a little story about how Belladonna Wilde came to be....and why I do what I love here at Let's Burlesque.
I was in the pursuit of a societal ideal for a very long time. I wanted nothing more than to be the smallest version of me as I could. And because we're bombarded with views and opinions CONSTANTLY about what we should look like, do with our bodies and how we should 'fit the mould', I never once considered that there was space for me in the 'fitness' industry. I couldn't teach a class, let alone go and study, qualify and promote myself!
In the last couple of years my eyes have been opened to diet culture bullsh*t that is all around us; the norms, unspoken rules, weight stigma, fatphobia and my own inner saboteur. I'd been led to believe I couldn't do 'it' (fill in the gap, there's loads!) 'until I was X or looked like X'. Think of your own examples here; clothes, activities, things you'd say in conversation, people you'd flirt with, places you'd go, things you'd learn etc etc.
My thing was, 'I can't train to be a fitness pro until I look the part'. What a load of boll*cks. REPRESENTATION MATTERS. I'm not about that life now. I have grieved for the small body I persistently strived for and I've turned inwards. What do I mean? I no longer look to my exterior ONLY as a way to validate myself. That doesn't hold my value. But to ME. I'm leaning in to me. My strengths, my resources, the things my friends, family and clients LOVE about me. It's certainly not for my body. My body is THE LEAST important thing about me.
Burlesque has helped me shift that perspective and connect with ME. I connect with parts of me that make me, ME and bring me JOY. Like movement. Just moving my body. Seeing what it can do. Holding it in positions that I never get to in my 'day job'! Getting to move to some really cool music. It's empowering, freeing, dancing is one thing I LOVE to do. You'll always see me on the dancefloor at a party! Another thing; being part of a group - a 'we're all in this together' mentally. The inspirational beauties that I come to know through shaking ya ass once (or more times!) a week.
Touching. My. Body. Owning my body. Accepting my body. Being with my body and not being ashamed, embarrassed, scared, frustrated or separate from it.
I am a fat positive, body neutral, body liberation activist. I'll tag a few accounts in the upcoming days/weeks if you're interested to explore for yourself. I'm still learning to take up space, but honey, I got it!!
Belladonna Wilde 💋"
Company Owner - Our Chief Mustang AKA Lindsay Ann
From Child Abuse to Single Parent to Business Owner & Entreprenuer
They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but my god do I feel like it came pretty close at times.
People who meet me today see a very happy go lucky, positive thinking, driven, successful mum and business woman, but I can assure you it's taken a hell of a lot of pain and struggle to get where I am today in life.
As a child I had a lot of people who were supposed to love and care for me, who hurt and traumatised me. I fell victim to child abuse and at the age of 11 our day in court came and I can honestly say it was absolute hell in fact it was as bad as the abuse itself. I was a very introvert child with trust issues and anxieties no child should have to endure.
In my late teens something changed in me and I soon became someone with a chip on her shoulder and I decided I wouldn't let myself get hurt like that again so I had to toughen up and look after myself.
At the age of 21 my son was born which presented a whole new bucket of challenges as a single parent. I had another human that I needed to protect as well as myself and with pre existent trust issues this was magnified when I became a mum determined to ensure her son never felt the fears and anxieties she felt growing up.
Life was tough as a single parent, at one point I had 3 jobs on the go trying to make ends meet and balance childcare and life.
In my late 20's I joined new counselling group after it became apparent I still hadn't put all my ghosts to bed. I also had to address things like how I looked at myself, how I valued myself and how I treated myself. I had to work on self love, how to let people into my life again and how to build trust again and WOW once I learned to do all of this again I felt like I had been given a whole new lease of life. I felt like I could breath again.
Then my journey began. I read 2 books called The Secret / The Magic & Rich Dad, Poor Dad and my life started to do a complete transformation. I started working on my passions again, I started simplifying my life again. I stripped everything right back including some of the people I had I'm my life and I began to re-build my life to how I wanted it to look and feel. It was a slow and frustrating start because now I was on this journey I just wanted to give it my all worried that I had already wasted so much time living in the past.
In my early 30's I had my hysterectomy. A procedure that's literature read women can suffer from anxieties and depression especially if that person was young or had not had the opportunity for the family they wanted and I was both. Having spent the last 30 years dealing with pain, depression, anxieties and set backs there was no way I was going to go down that road again and that's when LETS BURLESQUE was born and as they say ....the rest is history!
I am now at the stage in my life where I'm not afraid to remove toxic and negative people from my life and I'm not afraid to say no. At the same time I'm not afraid to go after what I want in life, I'm not afraid to make the necessary changes in life to be happy. I've learnt my life is in my hands, how people treat me is up to me, I've learnt how to work with the negative and focus on the positive. Yes life still likes to test and challenge me, life will always be full of ups and downs and bumps in the roads BUT now I have the right people in my life to support both me and my son.
What I LOVE about Lets Burlesque is that everyone has their own story to tell. The people who need us and what we are about and what we offer find their ways to us. No matter how big or small the problems are we find a way to support each other. We have become a little community. If someone is feeling broken we group together to help them put themselves back together. If they are feeling on top of the world we help celebrate their success.
When I put Lets Burlesque together it was about working on myself. I had no idea where it would take me or that it would grow the way it has. But isn't life amazing like that. That when you start living, and living for YOU, amazing things can happen.
So whether you have your life together or your feeling in a million pieces, there's a space for you too in our classes, in our community we have built and in our hearts.
Life is for living 🐴💋
The Ring Mistress - our Gravesend Instructor
I want to share the story of how a 40 “something” woman who had well and truly lost her spark , went along to try out a “Lets Burlesque” class with her friend and how she went onto to completely fall in love with the dancing , the music , the theatrical elements , the cheekiness and the positive / safe environment ; and how she never looked back !!
So lets go back a bit , to set the scene.
On paper this woman didn’t have much to complain about , with a fulfilling job , a great group of friends , her own home , a son (her own teeth and hair 😊) , but her self esteem and confidence had taken a battering over the years for one reason or another, and then ………….… Pause for dramatic effect ………..the Peri-Menopause kicked in, closely followed by its evil sister The Menopause. Life became a bit of a battle with night sweats, fatigue, weight gain, irregular periods , forgetting why she had gone into a room and crying at every single episode of Call the Midwife.
Her professional persona remained confident and cheerful , but behind closed doors, it was a different story entirely. She started to feel lost and invisible , at times suffered with crippling self doubt; and as for sexy , well that was a strong NO !!!!! She started to wonder if she was completely past her sell by date before she had even got to 50.
But luckily her story didn’t end there, as she saw an advert for Lets Burlesque and because of her love of music (particularly musical theatre) , dancing and drama she decided to be brave and look into it further. The website appealed to her immediately, as it referred to the negative opinion many women had about their bodies, the fact that anyone could have a go regardless of age, size and ability and how it could help both body and mind in equal measures. The only requirement seemed to be a sense of humour which luckily she still had.
So off she went to her first class with her friend and was warmly welcomed by Lindsay (Chief Mustang) and a room full of women of all shapes , ages and sizes and she began to learn her first ever Burlesque routine to Lady Marmalade. Needless to say she absolutely loved it , and would never forget the feeling of sheer joy and excitement of arriving at class every week , with a group of ladies all on their own journeys ; but with the common denominator of just wanting to dance and feel good about themselves . Each week didn’t just bring new choreography to learn , it brought laughs (a lot of those ), a sense of achievement , new friendships and without even realizing it she was actually growing in confidence and starting to accept her body & all the changes that were occurring in it. She was actually coming alive again.
And so she kept on going to class each week & fell head over heels in love with Burlesque and how it made her feel. (sexy & confident and not over the hill ! ) ; until eventually she realised she wanted more , and with a little encouragement decided to take a leap of faith and train as an Instructor , so she could show other women that age didn’t have to define them or hold them back.
She truly believed all women deserved to feel confident and sexy and she wanted to help these women release their inner showgirl , (or in her case drama queen) and in particular show those who thought they were too old or shy that they could do anything they wanted to if they just took that first step.
To quote a line from one of her favourite musical numbers “ Look out 'cause here I come, And I'm marching on to the beat I drum, I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me”
And this story is about me....................................
The Ring Mistress
PS – See you at class !