My passion for movement is built upon a foundation of dance. Both of my grandmothers were dancers and I hit my first plié at 3 years old. A good portion of my coaching in fitness comes from the fundamental teachings of ballet. And the way in which I teach my group fitness classes is influenced by the various styles of dance I studied growing up (even if it’s a bootcamp!). During the years I transitioned out of performing and into fitness, I kept my eye out for ways to incorporate my skills and knowledge from both worlds and create content that is challenging, effective and fun.
There’s no reason why a workout can’t be both functional and beautiful at the same time.
This idea is what inspired me to create a Burlesque Workout. After I discovered a passion for fitness in 2008, and went through a major physical transformation, I had a rockin’ body, but I suddenly felt very rigid and obsessed with the cuts and lines I created in my figure. I had lost all sense of softness. I had no curves and had forgotten the simple pleasure and sensuality of movement.
When I was offered an opportunity to perform as a Burlesque Dancer in an amateur show, I was hit with a wave of excitement and terror. I knew I had to do it. I studied and danced as a Burlesque Dancer in New York for about a year. The experience totally changed my outlook on my body, it boosted my confidence, and truly taught me what it means to be both sexy and strong.
What I love most about Burlesque, and what most people don’t know about it, is that it isn’t just about the strip tease. It’s about telling a story through movement and music, it’s about making a statement, and celebrating the female form… whatever size or shape that may be. And there’s the shock value too, of course. There’s something ALL women can learn from watching Burlesque and even more from practicing it. The truth is, it requires a great deal of physical AND emotional strength, body awareness and control, grace, creativity and humor. Qualities we all find attractive in any woman.
You can check out the demo of the Burlesque workout I created here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEEHfZQIZeM
I hope you’re inspired to try it out and add some sexy back into your fitness routine. The full workout video will be available through www.BooyaFitness.com in March! Oh, and if it scares you a little bit… it’s probably a good thing to try.
Shelleen Kostabi teaches Flybarre at Flywheel in NYC and is a master trainer for REXIST360 Training systems, a revolutionary resistance band with accompanying workouts and online programming.