World Burlesque Day celebrates the dance form that is burlesque. Burlesque is a form of entertainment similar to a cabaret. The type of burlesque that people talk about these days closely resembles the kind of shows that were made popular during the early part of the twentieth century which would consist of strippers, comedians, and a master of ceremonies. 

Learn about Burlesque Day

At times burlesque can be glamorous, satirical, raunchy, and irreverent. It is often performed in bars and nightclubs. These days there are variations on burlesque including bearleque, translesque, gorelesque, boyesque, and queerlesque. Essentially, anyone can take part in a form of burlesque and it is an inclusive art form. 

Burlesque is a tradition that has deep historic roots that date back to the 17th century. Burlesque has evolved over the centuries. Its current format is sometimes referred to as neo-burlesque.  

Burlesque is a powerful form of dance that allows people to show their true personalities by wearing extravagant costumes, glitter, and quite famously; nipple tassels. Many burlesque performers will adopt completely new personas for their performances. 

Let’s take a look at the history of Burlesque Day and how the day is celebrated.  

History of Burlesque Day

The first-ever World Burlesque Day took place in 2020 and was established by Sapphira, a Burlesque performer, author, and mental health ambassador. 

Saphhira has been a showgirl since 2004 and her passion for everything relating to burlesque has grown since then. She credits burlesque with helping her to overcome mental health problems and believes that burlesque can give others confidence. 

World Burlesque Day was created as a way of bringing together lovers of everything to do with burlesque. It is there for people to share their stories and to encourage others to find their own sense of self-expression. 

The inaugural World Burlesque Day included a range of different activities that were designed to showcase the art form and bring new performers into the fold. 

Because 2020 was marred by the COVID19 pandemic, all of the events for the first Burlesque Day took place online with many different performers joining from all over the world.  The date chosen for the first ever event was to commemorate 50 years since the passing of Gypsy Rose Lee, a great burlesque performer from the 1930s. 

How to celebrate Burlesque Day

To celebrate World Burlesque Day, you can get involved in any of the live tutorials on Instagram which run on the lead up to day itself. These are designed to teach people the official World Burlesque Day routine. These sessions are designed for new and established performers alike. 

The day will feature activities happening all over the globe. There are book readings and tutorials on a range of different facets of burlesque all designed to encourage new and existing performers to find their sense of glamour. 

Although Saphhira is based in London, the event is open to people from all over the world and a host of different performers take part in the celebrations. 

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