Burlesquercise

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Helping women feel comfortable and confident in their own skin

Photo by Leah Hennel/The Calgary Herald

Calgary -

In Week 1, the women in Diana Matiaszow's Burlesquercise class are reserved, shy and uncomfortable in their own skin.
A few short weeks later, the ladies have transformed. On cue, they shimmy their hips, shake their bottoms and toss their heads back in mock ecstasy.
They are loud and unabashed.
"It's funny. At the end of the six weeks, I lose total control of the class," Matiaszow says with a laugh.
Burlesquercise is Matiaszow's hybrid approach to fitness that teaches women titillating dance moves mixed with Pilates and cardio work.
Matiaszow, a professional ballroom dance trainer, dance teacher and former competitive Latin dancer, launched the class two years ago inside the Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute, just north of the University of Calgary.
Since then, the class has grown in popularity: several run each week, with approximately 40 women in each. Participants range in age from 20 to 60 and come in all shapes and sizes, she says.
"It's sort of taken off like wildfire for women of all ages."
At the beginning of April, Matiaszow launches Burlesquercise for plus-sized women, a new class for larger ladies. She hopes it will open doors for women who perhaps have been intimidated by fitness classes in the past. (It should be noted that women of all sizes are welcome in any of her classes, not just the plus-sized class.)
Burlesquercise, she stresses, is tamer than strippercise (fitness classes that teach women racier moves while exercising). Instead, it's about tasteful tease and titillation.
The class doesn't stress weight loss, but many women lose weight and inches taking Burlesquercise, Matiaszow adds.
As part of the instruction, she tells her students not to try to be sexy, but rather just be themselves.
"To be sexy and to feel feminine is to be nothing but yourself," but a lot of women don't get that, Matiaszow says.
It's about body acceptance and body transformation, she explains.
In previous classes, some women have admitted not being able to undress in front of their spouses or lovers because of their inhibitions. But by the end of the six weeks, many have discovered their inner sex kittens, Matiaszow says.
"It's amazing to watch."

Calgary Herald

Organizations: Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute, University of Calgary

Geographic location: Calgary

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • JK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    We are becoming a nation of strippers. Well, not the entire population. Despite all the strides women made in the last century, we are now teaching our women and little girls that this is ok. Forget your brains and ambition. It is your body that counts. Sad. I am all for physical fitness. Heck, get rid of the car and walk! But if men are not taught that this kind of exercise is ok, then why is it ok for women?

    • Me
      December 01, 2010 - 12:50

      JK if you are not o.k with this kind of o.k do not seach for ithis as it is not for you

  • Diamond
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    You've missed the whole point JK, it's not about teaching little girls that it's your body that counts, it's about teaching women of all ages that their body is BEAUTIFUL - no matter what size or shape it is. We're inundated with media images of un-natural thinness, and Burlesque tries very hard to teach the public that beauty comes in many varieties.

    Case in point: i'm 41, a size 10, and I am proud of being a role model for younger girls to be confident.

    Diamond Minx, Vancouver's Blonde Bombshell of Burlesque.

  • Helen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I teach burlesque here in the city with the Headline Honeys and you can ask any of our students and they will say all the same things about our classes that are written in this article. I have watched many women of all different shapes and sizes transform from shy or self conscious into confident, sexy, powerful women. We offer classes/workshops every month and you can find us on Facebook or come visit our booth in the craft/flea market in the Avalon Mall on Sunday evenings. Ladies you don't have to move to Calgary to find your inner diva, she's inside you and you can find her right here at home xo

  • JK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    We are becoming a nation of strippers. Well, not the entire population. Despite all the strides women made in the last century, we are now teaching our women and little girls that this is ok. Forget your brains and ambition. It is your body that counts. Sad. I am all for physical fitness. Heck, get rid of the car and walk! But if men are not taught that this kind of exercise is ok, then why is it ok for women?

  • Diamond
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    You've missed the whole point JK, it's not about teaching little girls that it's your body that counts, it's about teaching women of all ages that their body is BEAUTIFUL - no matter what size or shape it is. We're inundated with media images of un-natural thinness, and Burlesque tries very hard to teach the public that beauty comes in many varieties.

    Case in point: i'm 41, a size 10, and I am proud of being a role model for younger girls to be confident.

    Diamond Minx, Vancouver's Blonde Bombshell of Burlesque.

  • Helen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I teach burlesque here in the city with the Headline Honeys and you can ask any of our students and they will say all the same things about our classes that are written in this article. I have watched many women of all different shapes and sizes transform from shy or self conscious into confident, sexy, powerful women. We offer classes/workshops every month and you can find us on Facebook or come visit our booth in the craft/flea market in the Avalon Mall on Sunday evenings. Ladies you don't have to move to Calgary to find your inner diva, she's inside you and you can find her right here at home xo