at Bottoms Up!

Burlesque first showed its bottom with the “tease” in a play called Lysistrata by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. Lysistrata is a comedy where the women characters in the play used their sexuality and sensual wiles to convince their husbands to stop the war through sexual blackmail and tease. Burlesque was then seen performed by many Vaudevillians and confronting performers of the 1840s as a political satire and commentary of the social classes.

A typical Burlesque night included 3 or 4 acts of comedy, dance, mime, singing and striptease, with a grand finale. Burlesque then made its way to the shores of the US in early 1900s where the tease (and titties) had major influence. Over the next four decades many burlesque venues opened up, where great performers such as Gypsy Lee Rose and Zorita took to the stage.

Nowadays Burlesque can be clearly defined in two categories – the European political satire, involving taboo topics and risqué performances, and the other being the American pin-up girl style of the saucy tease. Here at Bottoms Up’s we enjoy combining both genres & delving into the modern neo forms, along with the classic & traditional elements.

Burlesque has since evolved dramatically and new burlesque, or neo-burlesque, tends to try to shock the audience and takes on many forms. It includes acts based on the earlier conventions of strip tease, cabaret, comedy and elaborate costumes but brings the original foundations of political satire to the relevant issues of day.

New in 2021 are End of Term Showcases.  Specialty Showcase courses will be available for students who wish to perform their new found craft on stage in a choreographed group routine.


Burlesque Beginners

New to Burlesque?

Bump and grind, peel and pose your way through this 8-week course. Learn the history and the foundations of Burlesque through playful poses, shimmies and shakes, hip and chest isolations, undulations, glove peeling and Burlesque struts. While learning technique and moves you will be guided through a choreographed group routine giving you the tools needed to develop body awareness and confidence, along with a cheeky and seductive burlesque attitude! 

This course is for those with little or no previous experience in dance and burlesque. 

All levels of fitness welcome.


Burlesque Beginners Showtime

New to the timetable in 2021
Commencing in Term 2

Moving on from the Burlesque Beginners course, this is for those that want to put their new found skills on stage in a group routine in our end of term showcases.  With new found sassy confidence it's time to show off to your friends!  You will learn & perfect a choreographed routine throughout the term, along with learning basic Burlesque stage make-up & costuming skills, (hello to your new best friend 'the hot glue gun') and enjoy the experience of being part of a group and all the fun of rehearsing with. view to performing together on stage.

This course can be done in conjunction with a new Beginners course, and is for any student, new & existing wanting to perform at end of term shows in a venue.



The Great Unlace

Corset Removal

Whether you've been too intimidated to try removing a corset onstage, or whether you're dying to master the art...it's time for the Great Unlace! There's no need to panic when you know the tricks of the trade and Bella is here to unlock her treasure box of inside knowledge! Learn how to lace for stage, how to unlace, incorporating corsetry into performance and choreography, tricks to quick removal and more. 


BYO laced corset: Steel boned is not essential but is a bonus. Please also bring sweat towel & water bottle

Suitable for all levels

currently not running


Technique & Tease

Learn how to manipulate this staple of traditional burlesque to tease, titillate and torture your audience! Learn a little of the history and a lot of the technique. Conceal, reveal, wrap, bump and twirl your way to boa mastery with Bella de Jac. 

BYO boa. Both vegan (organza or fabric) boas & ostrich feather boas are suitable.

If bringing a shorter chicken feather boa (under 1.5m length) please bring 2.

Please also bring sweat towel, water bottle

Suitable for all levels

currently not running

Glove Love

Peel & reveal

The glove peel is so synonymous with traditional burlesque that it has been elevated to icon status. But if you've ever wanted to make sure your peel is more "did you SEE THAT?" than "we've seen it all before" then it's time to show the glove some love! Learn how to connect with the fetishistic nature of the glove, look beyond the social meaning implied and create a peel that is truly entertaining in this fun 3-week intensive course.

BYO: Opera length gloves. You are also welcome to bring any other kinds of gloves you have in addition to opera length gloves and we will show you how to peel them!  Please also bring sweat towel, water bottle.

Suitable for all levels.

currently not running

Bump Skirts


Ever heard of chiffonography?

Whether you're thumping your bumper or twirling like a butterfly across the stage, the panel or 'bump' skirt is a fun and fabulous costume staple of the strippers from the golden era of burlesque. Understand the history of how this piece came to be, and how to play with (and avoid stepping on) your skirt when you're busting out some show-stopping choreography. 

BYO: Fabric panel/bump skirt. All bump skirts welcome but a half or full circle back panel will give you more to play with.

Please also bring sweat towel, water bottle

Suitable for all levels.

currently not running

4-week courses

Dirty Dancing

Bump 'n Grind takes a heart throbbing twist. 

Bump, grind and shimmy with a new choreography each week. Because nobody puts baby in the corner!  

Bump 'n Grind throws  spotlight on the transition from golden age peelers through to modern striptease. Learn the techniques, history and attitude of the fierce bump and grinders of Burlesque!  The more classic style of Burlesque.

Suitable for all levels including Beginners (completion of Burlesque Beginners course preferred but not essential)

Please bring sweat towel, water bottle 

Vegas Showgirl


Sparkle. sparkle, sparkle

Inspired by classic Las Vegas showgirl revues like the Lido De Paris at the Stardust and Jubilee! at the Bally this course with Gina Stirling will have you living a showgirl fantasy! Think headdresses and sparkle, sparkle, sparkle! 

Through choreography that's big and sassy you will explore how to shake it till you make it, develop control while performing faster steps and confidence with posing and cheeky moves. 

Suitable for all levels, students need to have Completed Beginners Burlesque 8-week course or equivalent 

Please bring: character shoes or small dance heels, sweat towel, water bottle 

Disco Fever

Bringing back the 70's

Inspired by artists such as Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and of course the film Saturday Night Fever, Gina will have you doing the funky chicken and grooving into the night!

A fun, energetic course with character/persona building qualities.

Open to ALL levels, all bodies.  No experience necessary

Please bring sweat towel, water bottle

NEW in Term 3


Cabaret Musical Theatre

Inspired by choreographies of Bob Fosse and classical musicals such as Chicago, Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Gina will have you using 'jazz hands' & isolations that can be translated into further performance techniques.​


Open to all levels, all bodies, no experience required

Please bring sweat towel, water bottle

NEW in Term 3

Feathered Fan Dance


Fluttering, floating feather fans

Accredited to Faith Bacon and popularised by Sally Rand, Feathered Fan dancing has been the bawdy bump and grinder's delicate, ephemeral sister in Burlesque. Using conceal and reveal to tease and titillate, feather fan dancing is a staple skill in any Burlesque enthusiasts bag of tricks!   Learn how to become one with your fans as you flutter and float.  Beautiful & mesmerising. 

Every term reveals new choreography & techniques so you can fan dance the whole year round!

Beginner & Intermediate levels available

For Beginner level, no previous experience is required.  Intermediate requires completion of Beginners fan and a good understanding of fan technique

Fans provided. Please bring sweat towel, water bottle

Silk Fans


Naked Butterflies

Fluttering, floating, soaring! Silk fans are a dramatic, mesmerising style of fan dance and dramatically different from Feathered Fan performance both in look & technique.  Learn the basic techniques and an emotive choreography with Bella de Jac.


Students must have completed a Burlesque Beginners course (or similar) prior to enrolling.

Slow & Sultry Chair


Sensual & slow 

Are you interested in how to incorporate a prop like a chair into your choreography and performance? In Slow & Sultry Chair the chair is your dance partner as Gina teaches you how to use dynamic transitions contrasted with posing and find empowerment through moments of stillness and sensuality. Master the arts of slow and sultry and get your audience all hot and bothered with nothing but yourself and the humble chair! 

Suitable for all levels including Beginners (completion of Burlesque Beginners course preferred but not essential)

Chairs provided. Please bring sweat towel, water bottle


Neo, sexy, fierce

Strut is fierce, sexy and stomping it's stilettos into Bottoms Up in Term 1!  A modern, dance-based, neo burlesque class for students who are ready to amp up the dance with Bella de Jac.

Strut is Intermediate level. You don't have to have done a burlesque class before but you do need to pick up choreography and be ready to MOVE!

Please bring sweat towel, water bottle

Slow & Smouldering

Smoulder.... to smoke and burn slowly with a flame

Bring the tension and the heat with this hot and heavy Burlesque class.  Bella de Jac will guide you to uncover your deep sensuality, subtlety of movement and body language to hold the audiences attention..... and breath.  

Intermediate level. You don't have to have done a burlesque class before but you do need to pick up choreography and be ready to smoulder!

Please bring sweat towel, water bottle

NEW in Term 3


All about Rock N' Roll attitude!

With hot rock n’roll routines, attitude and red lipstick this brand new course is suitable for beginners to advanced dancers. Unleash your rock’n’roll showgirl while building your dance confidence and strengthening technique with Burlyrock this summer! With over 20 years of experience, Ferri Maya the Goddess of Rock ’n’ Roll, AND the current Miss Burlesque Melbourne 2019, has performed far and wide. She is educated across ALL areas of Dance and has performed internationally for rock royalty and Royalty alike.

BurlyRock is the creation of  Rock n'Roll Goddes Ferri Maya.  Workshops & Intensives will pop up throughout 2021, so be sure to stay tuned so you don't miss out.


Chair 'Ography

Sassy & fun for everyone

A casual chair choreography class for Beginners,  new Beginners and everyone else that wants to dance on the humble chair!. Learning basic yet eye catching chair moves, combined with floorwork & movement put together in a mini routine.   Sometimes sassy, sometimes slow, sometimes dynamic, but always fun!  This class is perfect for those unable to commit to an 8-week course, and those students wanting an extra weekly class.   You'll never look at a chair quite the same again!

Chairs provided.  Please bring sweat towel, water bottle



Burlesque Dance Fitness

Join this class for an hour of high energy fitness and fun. Bump n Grind, shimmy and shake your way through a dynamic class incorporating cardio fitness, core, strength and flexibility work with Burlesque moves and disco grooves designed to condition and tone your body while burning those calories away. A great way to improve your fitness level, get your heart rate pumping and have a good old workout filled with FUN!


"I feel like I've just been to party!" - student quote at the end of the class. 


Please bring sweat towel, water bottle. Wear sneakers or bare feet and clothes that don’t restrict your movement. Gym attire is perfect!


Pop in any night from 5:15pm and all day Saturdays and have a chat to one of our lovely receptionists. They will be more than happy to help you out with any enquiry!



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