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.
Company Owner & our Chief Mustang AKA Lindsay Ann
TEACHING AT ROCHESTER,
SWANLEY & SITTINGBOURNE
Company Owner - Our Chief Mustang AKA Lindsay Ann
Teaches at Rochester Dance Junction, Sittingbourne & Swanley
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 AKA Jo - 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 !
Mistress Candy Kiss AKA Jodie - one of our Maidstone Instructors
So who is Mistress Candy Kiss????
She is a fiesty, sassy, confident burlesque loving kinda gal but…….it hasn’t always been that way in fact it’s been what I can only describe as a rollercoaster of a journey!
When I was young I was always the confident child I was outgoing I had lots of friends I threw myself into everything and anything, was an adrenaline junky always looking for the next thrill!! This carried on into my teenage and adult years much to my parents dismay!!
I would spend my days and nights and weekends with friends I had a fantastic social group and life. We would always be out whether that be parties, clubs, bars and we were definitely partial to a girls weekend road trip dancing the nights away to 80’s cheese, hip hop, R&B and garage (an eclectic taste I know)! Living for the moment where the world was our oyster we certainly didn’t hold back! I was loving life to the max. When I wasnt partying or being dragged out a hedge or taken home in a trolley after a night out I loved the gym, reading, the beach, the water……myself! I even somehow managed to pass my degree in physiotherapy!!
I loved holidays in the sun with my girls we would travel all over from Spain to Greece to Mexico as I said before I would give anything a try and I love the water so I learnt to scuba dive and have dived all over the world Egypt, Thailand, Australia. I loved travelling so much I took some time out and travelled round Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Australia with friends it was the best time no cares, no worries just me doing what I loved and being me I even did a sky dive over the Great Barrier Reef when I say I lived I really did live!!
When I came back I settled back into life concentrating on my career as a physiotherapist although this didn’t stop me going out every weekend!
Sounds good so far right!! So fast forward a few years and I’d got married and had 2 beautiful children who are my absolute world! One very calm sensitive boy and one fiesty sassy girl looking at her is like looking in the mirror on a daily basis! Someone once said to me wow she has spirit and it reminded me of how I used to be! I say used to be as since having my children I spent the next three years revolving my entire life around them. Around the same time both my husband and mum became very ill my mum with cancer and my husband with crohns resulting in numerous hospital admissions and hours of surgery at one point I nearly lost them both. With all this going on I still found the strength to get up everyday and get to work and look after the children rushing from one place to another juggling life as best I could as life still goes on even though mine was falling apart. I had become quite isolated since having children, time seemed to go by and I seemed to be on a never ending rollercoaster of struggles my name had permanently changed to mum I’d become the snack provider, the Uber driver, the bum wiper and the Jodie that I used to be had gone. I stopped doing the things I loved and my confidence was at rock bottom.
Suddenly I felt alone, isolated, trapped almost and I was battling with my own feelings. Why do I feel like this?? I have two beautiful children had a lovely home had a good job but somehow it wasn’t enough where was that Jodie where was the person I used to be? I think they call it mum guilt and I definitely felt it but I desperately needed something for me I needed to be me again I’d put everyone first for so long I forgot to care about myself, I’d totally lost myself I had been on this rollercoaster for so long I didn’t know how to get off!
Sitting one day in my sad sorry funk I saw an advert for burlesque classes and it reminded me of the person I used to be the person who loved dancing who loved performing who loved new things who would have loved this in a former life and at that moment I thought I have to try this I have to find me again I have to do something and so I messaged and mustered the strength from deep inside to attend a class on my own………and I’ve NEVER looked back!! I came out that class buzzing!! I loved the energy, the people, the dancing, the vibe, the atmosphere I could go on and on! I made new friends people that understood my journey and had equally battled journeys of their own we were all here for different reasons whether that was to make friends, to get fit, to build confidence but we were all in it together like a little family of sassy goddesses. My confidence grew with every routine and I loved it so much I thought why not become an instructor and give something back help others the way it has helped me and that’s where Mistress Candy Kiss was born!! So to all the mums out there reading this and thinking this is me you know what you need to do!
So I’ll tell you again, who is Mistress Candy Kiss????
She is a fiesty, sassy, confident burlesque loving kinda gal!! 🍭 💋
KeKe Skull AKA Kendra -Our Gillingham Instructor
My burlesque name says it all, KeKe meaning ‘gift of God’ but don’t let my confidence fool you, it’s been a long journey, even when you’re the youngest.
Now, I won’t give you my whole life story throughout my childhood and adolescent stage but to sum it all up it’s was bittersweet , what with a loving dysfunctional family with a pinch of your typical playground bulling.
Then came adult life…. The start of my current career at 17, engaged at 18, moved out at 20, married at 21, mum to dogs at 22, driving at 22.. by then I’d done it all, right? I was getting to a point in my life where it was the same shit, different day and I would’ve done anything to get off that round about. This was at the same point that I just wasn’t loving myself… I’d look back at photos, even my own wedding photos, and wonder ‘what happened!?’ Nothing was as satisfying as binging on crap tele and reaching for a share bag of crisps…. For myself, of course! When I would eventually get some kind of motivation I’d be at the gym, after I’d exhausted all excuses not to go. I even purchased starter kits to do peoples nails and sally heads to practice hair ups but nothing ever took off or made me feel any better about what I was doing with my time so back got to the tele and crisps I went.
Burlesque captured me at a good time…. I remember it well, I was at one of my favourite places and having the time of my life at a festival…. It was some time away from home, work and any other normal responsibilities. Full of laughs, joy and not to mention the drink 🤫 Being on such I high, it didn’t take me much persuasion to join a burlesque class. Unfortunately the first ever one with our lovely Chief Mustang at Rochester Dance Junction in 2019 was the same day I was travelling back from the festival, so I had a good enough excuse not to attend with my friends but after seeing all their positive feedback and their courage to take some videos and photos home in their first ever routine, I had to be included. Week 1 of the second routine at RDJ, I was there… but I was apprehensive.
I remember my first routine well, Earned it from the 50 Shades of Grey film…. 50. Shades. Of. Grey!…. Talk about throwing myself in the deep end! I had not, and still not as I write this bio, seen that film but I’ve heard of it, of course…. That’s enough for me! Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to week 4 of that routine to take home a video…. Defiantly a massive regret of mine because I think even I would be shocked of the improvement in confidence over the last 2 years.
The next routine for me, and my first ever one that was filmed, Mustang Sally! The fear of grabbing my own boobs and crotch area was real and I was so uncomfortable with it, you wouldn’t believe, so much so that it’s now laughable and used as an example to all other welcomed newbies. The fears may have been there and overwhelming at times but that didn’t stop me… I attended, I dressed up, I filmed it and I loved it!!!
Fast forward two years of learning multiple routines, improving my fitness, enjoying fitness (even at the gym), improving my flexibility, body confidence and mental health, I finally took that leap and invested in the instructors course to be able to provide the experience and courage for ANY woman out there to do the same because it’ll only make you a better version of yourself… nothing to lose and the inner love for yourself to gain!
Lady Davina Spark AKA Danielle -Our Ashford Instructor
Well, where do I start? I am Lady Davina Spark aka Danielle, a mother, wife and house maid hehe.
My life story. I wasn’t the average teenage girl, as I suffered server anxiety and depression since the age of 14. I was bullied all through school for trying to achieve decent GCSE’s. All my friends (very few) would depend on me as that was my nature to care and support.
Moving onto my late teens, early 20’s I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Chloe, who is now 15 (scary). Thank god to my parents they were there for me with raising her. My partner at the time had other ideas, wanting to mess around with other girls (you get the picture).
I then met my husband after many bad relationships. We weren’t the average couple, as we kept splitting up and getting back together. In the end we always ended up back in each other’s arms. Wayne my husband supported me through thick and thin, we have our moments now but love each other dearly.
We lived together in Maidstone where I grew up, for a few years.
Christmas morning 2014 he proposed and of course I said yes!!!! We married 11th June 2016. Our honeymoon was in Mexico, lovely adult complex in El Dorado.
We had been trying for a baby since but struggled and suffered miscarriages. It was heart wrenching. Then upon seeking advice from the doctor and starting fertility tests I fell pregnant, this time it stuck. On the 3rd October 2018 I gave birth to our gorgeous boy Dylan!!
A Month after Dylan arrived, my happiness was short lived as my Dad (my world) was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Cancer in the lung caused by asbestos. Knowing Dad wasn’t going to be with us anymore really knocked the whole family. He was given 6-9months. In that time, we had 2 family holidays in his favourite places and sadly lost him August 2019. I held his hand on his last breath.
After counselling sessions and many months of struggling I started to rebuild myself. I knew I needed to carry on with life. I have a family to take care of. Dad wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad but carry on making him proud.
I started Burlesque October 2020; my best friend dragged me along. I instantly felt the confidence build and gain body positivity. I decided to take the plunge this year and become a Burlesque instructor and qualified 6th June 2021. I was and still am over the moon. I absolutely love dancing and become inspirational to others. It does not matter what size, shape, age or ability we are all beautiful. Anyone can Burlesque!
Belladonna Wilde AKA Emma - 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'm still learning to take up space, but honey, I got it!!
Belladonna Wilde 💋"
Miss Unicorn Sparkles AKA Shell - Chatham Instructor
Well where and how did miss unicorn sparkles come about let me tell you
Unicorn because they are magnificent and a little mysterious people say the are not real who knows intriguing and sparkles who doesn't need a bit of sparkle in there life
This girl has not had a good life since she left the loving family home
Always made the wrong choice with friends and relationships
Being made to feel like I was not good enough, violent relationships, thought that was all I was good for so people took advantage and I expected that as normal. The mirror was not my friend at all.
Then one day I did take a very long hard look at myself and the devil that was the mirror. I thought I have 2 beautiful children I need to change and show them true worth.
Was hell cutting all the toxic people out my life at the time, I loved them but I did it.
Boy, am I pleased I did meet some new friends who treated me the way I deserved.
About 4 year ago I met the most amazing man in the world, reconnected with my family and I have never looked back. My demons do try to come out to play but I am in control now.
I saw an add on Facebook for burlesque & thought I'd try it.
This has truly helped me learn to love myself again, grow and be a much more confident person.
I know there are lots of ladies out there like me and I want to help them love themselves to.
So I became a instructor, and here I am.
So come and shimmy and shine
Remember you are unique you are beautiful you are you .
See you in class
Miss unicorn sparkles 🦄 💋
Luna Amethyst AKA Charlie - Hartlip Instructor
Underpaid and over worked is the saying, isn’t it? The beginning of my battle with mental health.
I was working a job that was filled with so much potential of career progression that turned out to be a life of false promises, everyday seemed to fall into each other. I wake up, get ready for work, I worked my shift, left feeling deflated, went home, ate dinner, and went to bed. I started to lose myself, my shine. Not a day went by where I got tearful at the thought of going in to work and I hadn’t even got to my first sip of coffee. I started to lose interest in the simple things I enjoyed like reading a book or getting sucked into a new TV series I longed for something to feel like me again.
I gave up on the gym, I found it to be more of a chore than a mental health benefit. I have always loved dance since I was little, I started looking for local classes like pole fitness and Arieal hoop, but the cost was just too much to make a commitment to. I had been seeing posts from an old acquaintance that was in a dance group and I wished there was something like that for adults that was more local and affordable to me. I started to become really envious, and this is where Lets Burlesque comes in to the picture.
A friend shared a post on Facebook that was advertising Burlesque classes making the comment ‘I would love to do this’ I was quick to respond, ‘well, let’s go together’ and you would know her to be our very own Miss Unicorn Sparkles. It was affordable and was only being taught up the road from my mums (what a bonus) My first class I was nervous as I did not know what to expect, I hadn’t danced since GCSE’S (and that’s not counting the silly dancing I do on a night out) I felt the class would be full of professionals that would be judging me if I missed a step or done a move incorrectly and to my surprise when I walked through the door of my first class it was filled with women of all ages, shapes and sizes that had the same sheepish look on their faces as me especially when Lindsay introduced us with an ice breaker making us scream our best orgasm sound! As terrifying as that may sound though it did relax us all and we were in a state of giggles.
Unfortunately, my journey with Lets Burlesque had to come to a pause. My work, home life balanced wasn’t balanced at all. I started to feel that I was living in the office. I only went home to sleep, and I had no time for myself. My mental health was deteriorating more which forced me to leave and work in a lower paid job. My anxiety heightened due to the people and the fear of not being able to pay my bills I had to use my savings to live on and wracked up some credit card debt, I couldn’t cope. My morning tears became morning sobs. I quit with no other job lined up as I was starting to worry about where my mind was at as I was spiraling into a deep depression. After a week of barely leaving my bed, I forced myself to get the help I was clearly starting to see I needed. It was the kick up the arse I needed and thinking back on this now I feel this was a blessing in disguise and just provided me the proof that everything happens for a reason as because of this I would not be where I am today.
Fast forward into lockdown I knew I needed burlesque back in my life. Again, my anxiety had heightened feeling that I would be judged for having such a long break and I would not be welcomed back but how wrong was I. Although I was a customer, I still felt like I was part of the team, and I was welcomed back as family. Even though Burlesque was being taught in Zoom it was nice to find some time to myself again even if it did mean going into a different part of the house. Shortly after then I started joining Lindsay’s fitness classes and all though I have said this time and time again but I will honestly be so grateful for her setting this up at such a difficult time for everyone as it made me feel that I had a routine again especially while I was also going through CBT as this really helped me physically and mentally.
Fast Forward 2 years later and I have only gone and pushed my self in to being an instructor to do what I love outside of a normal working day. And I am so proud to be a part of such a fantastic team of supportive women. Lets Burlesque has not only been here for me but they will be here for you too rain or shine.