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The new Burlesque workout

The hot new Burlesque workout is more than a few sexy moves, Sara David found

A few days ago, if someone asked me anything about Burlesque, I’d say, ‘You mean that movie with Christina Aguilera and Cher? I love that movie, those outfits were killer.’


But I wasn’t aware there was a whole world behind Burlesque dance. I mean sure the professionals wear great outfits and tons of make-up. But what lies behind the enchanting dance moves and the sultry emotions? I’ll tell you, a hard hard workout. And now, there is a fitness class at Reebok that’ll prove it.

burlesque dance 3

I tried the new BodyFit Burlesque work out last week. I was athletic growing up and I try to keep fit by eating right and boxing. I thought this class might be a piece of cake.

I walked into the dance studio at The Reebok Sports Club on a late Wednesday afternoon. The space was large and decked out in floor to ceiling mirrors that allowed no escape from your own reflection.

‘Hello and welcome to the Burlesque Body Fit class, I’m Isis Rose,’ said our petite teacher, who had curly blonde hair (oddly reminiscent for me of Aguilera’s character in Burlesque) pulled up and tied back with a bandana. She smiled warmly and I caught her enthusiasm.

We started with a good stretch. I pulled and loosened muscles I hadn’t stretched in months. We did some neck rolls, calf stretches, lunges, arm and shoulder stretches.

burlesque dance

Then, Isis started off with easy dance moves and worked them slow to ensure everyone caught the drift.

The dancing started with plenty body gripping and rolls with high kicking and boob shaking along with plenty of muscle-cooking squats and leg lifts. I felt my muscles tensing, yet the moves were do-able. Within twenty minutes I was working up serious sweat but having a great time.

Isis said, ‘The inspiration behind the Bodyfit was all my years of teaching females – most of us lack confidence and Burlesque dancing is a great way to get to know and like your body and how it moves.’

Bodyfit Burlesque teacher Isis Rose
Bodyfit Burlesque teacher Isis Rose

‘As a professional dancer  in the fitness industry I wanted to create something a little bit more upbeat and fuse together elements of Burlesque with commercial dance to make it more of a body fitness workout,’ said Isis.

After we had learned the dance moves, it was time to add music. And although we never did get far into the song we started to add facial expressions into the moves we were portraying and that was something I had never done in public – yet it felt right. I felt sexy. That’s what the Burlesque workout is all about – to make you feel hotter, sexier.

Some of the moves, Isis Rose said, are designed to help you walk heels too and though the classes we did were in trainers, eventually they incorporate low heels.

At the end, my upper thighs and lower calf muscles were sore and hurt over the next few days – so something was working. It was a sneaky burn but I felt it. Within and hour on average, you burn 350 to 390 calories with Isis, she claims.

burlesque dance 2

I left the studio having learned dance moves that could be recycled and used again at home and feeling as though I’d had a great workout.

Bodyfit Burlesque will be available on The Reebok Sports Club timetable from January.  Please visit or call 0207 970 0911

Isis rose

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