Amateur dancers dazzle Ipswich clubbers with burlesque skills
SOME are mums, some have jobs, some are students, some haven’t even danced much before; but they’re all daring to bare for a bunch of strangers to prove how sexy real women are.
Forget the Pussycat Dolls, Liquid is the place to be tonight when the Just Jay Dance students show off their burlesque skills for clubbers.
“One of the questions people always ask me about classes is ‘are all the girls young and have normal shaped bodies; will I fit in’,” says teacher Jay Patrick.
“My reaction is ‘by normal you mean women who have children, nine till five jobs, who like a takeaway; then yeah we have normal shaped women’.
“The classes are for real women, of all ages, sizes and experience. It’s about being sexy and loving the body you have and not dwelling on what you don’t.
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“It’s sad people don’t come to the class because they don’t think they’re sexy, worth it or deserve to dance with a girl who may be smaller than her. You can’t blame them with the constant image in the media of the ‘perfect skinny waist’.”
Deciding to shatter this image, and inspired by the movie Burlesque, Jay added the dance style to classes. When he asked students who’d be interested in performing live, so many leapt at the chance he had to hold open auditions.
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The first show earlier this year was such a hit Liquid were happy for an encore says the club’s operations manager, Emily Palmer.
“It was absolutely amazing and the customers loved it. When Jay said can they come back and do it again we said definitely. We want to support local talent and you wouldn’t be able to tell they weren’t professional dancers.”
It went so well, Jay – who also performs – had clubbers congratulating him and the dancers afterwards.
“The crowd were amazing and I had numerous people tell the girls they looked beautiful and were amazing - including a couple of men tell me I was the luckiest guy in the club to dance with 12 beautiful women.”
Looking forward to tonight is dancer Shereena Nelson, who decided to take part as a personal challenge.
“At 36 and a mother-of-two I wanted to see if I still had it in me,” she laughed. “The cheeky seduction of the routines was a challenge as I do not consider myself to be an exhibitionist so this involved some theatrics.”
Thirty-four-year-old Kat Miller never thought she’d dance on stage again after having her children.
“When I came off stage last time I couldn’t stop smiling. It was one of the most positive, confidence-boosting things I’ve done. I wish I could do it again on Saturday but my four-year-old is performing in her first dance show at the Regent and I’ll be supporting her.”
Fellow dancer Alice Rae, 19, was nervous before the first show but like everybody else was buzzing afterwards and can’t wait for tonight. “It was so much fun before and it’s nice because the girls are all different ages and sizes; it’s nice to use proper people.”
Twenty-year-old Kirsty Wells agrees: “It’s showing, especially how we’re dressed, you don’t have to be really thin and have big boobs and big bums and everything to look sexy; we can all look sexy - it’s just confidence.”
The troupe will perform two sets at the Cardinal Park hotspot between midnight and 12.30am.
“Some songs are new and we have a few surprises,” says Jay. “I can just imagine all the girls practising at home with their kids or at work behind the desks now.”
Just Jay Dance classes are held every Wednesday, 8pm-9pm, at Gym N Trim and vary from burlesque, street dance, hip hop and 80s work-outs. Visit www.justjaydance.co.uk for more info.