CABARRET: The Combined Benefits of Barre and Burlesque

Your barre workout just got better

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I work out because I love it, it feels good. And I also love to feel good. (I don’t get people who like to push themselves to do things that make them throw up - that holds no appeal to me!) I love to move and dance, so I created CABARRET, a barre, and burlesque combo class.

I get this question all the time - “Why burlesque?” People get the barre, the fitness, even the dance - but why make it burlesque?

To me, burlesque isn’t about the striptease or the glitter. I believe participating in burlesque is an act of self-love and an act of feminism! When you participate in burlesque, you have decided to empower yourself by moving your body; you have decided that your body is beautiful, just as it is; you have decided your body is worthy of appreciation - not necessarily by others, but by yourself!

Part of what I love about burlesque is the sheer number of women who participate, all with different body types! Burlesque is a celebration of bodies, in all their shapes and forms. In burlesque, a woman celebrates her body whatever  shape, size or experience. When you participate in burlesque, you are “putting yourself out there." You are asking to be heard, to be seen, as purely and simply as who you are! You become confident in your own skin.

CABARRET classes are structured with a half hour of barre work, with the focus on resistance training, particularly for the booty, thighs, core, and arms.

Then we let loose and have fun with cardio burlesque dance.

As opposed to other dance fitness classes, where there is continual motion without comprehension or corrections from the instructor on technique or form, in a CABARRET class, you actually learn an entire burlesque routine. You get to work on coordination, memorization, and endurance, as well as the cardio dance aspect!

Learning to execute burlesque dance moves properly will teach you to use your muscles effectively and safely. In CABARRET classes, you learn a complete burlesque dance, so you leave class with a fabulous feeling of success and accomplishment, as well as an excellent workout.

Each class also includes a few 8-counts you can create yourself. You probably spend all day being told what to do - by bosses, clients, significant others, children, even your fitness instructor! You've learned to follow directions, and work to keep others happy. So, for a few counts of 8, all you worry about is making yourself happy - doing what feels good for your body and soul, and relishing in the moment!

In America, burlesque usually refers to the striptease portion of a show, but burlesque was originally comic theater - wit, parody, even straight-up defiance of cultural norms. I love that element of it.

When you participate in burlesque fitness, you're confronting convention: the idea that you have to look a certain way, move a certain way, work out a certain way, all in the pursuit of being “normal." And, burlesque helps you confront the most dangerous myth of all - that your body is not worth celebrating right now, but only when you reach a specific goal of weight loss or toning.

In CABARRET, we call BS and celebrate what everybody is capable of right now, while we work to create our best and healthiest selves for the future!

The performance and theatrical elements of burlesque are also an important aspect of CABARRET. Here, we really perform each burlesque dance. This performance requires more energy, and a complete focus on the dance, which in turn has you burning more calories as you give it everything you’ve got! And, performing makes that killer “one last time” more fun!

At CABARRET barre and burlesque fitness classes, we don’t require a striptease or 6-inch platform shoes and booty shorts.

Of course, you can wear or do any of those things if it makes you feel good about who you are what you're doing, but in CABARRET, it's the burlesque attitude that's most important. Your body, and what it houses - your voice, mind, and soul - are the only things you possess that are truly yours. You have a responsibility to honor your uniqueness - and that’s what burlesque is all about.

The CABARRET Manifesto

  • I believe the world needs confident women, unafraid to express their desires, needs, triumphs, fears & deepest selves.

  • I believe self-expression, by any and all means, is an absolute necessity.

  • Dancing, Singing, Writing, and all other types of CREATING are always fabulous ideas.

  • Keeping up appearances is over-rated. And, doing what you're told simply because it's what "good girls" or "nice girls" do is a definite "NO"!

  • I believe women can TRANSFORM their relationships with their bodies, and that once they do, they will be UNSTOPPABLE!

  • Our bodies are our power. They house our minds, hearts, and voices. They are how we present ourselves to the word.

  • When we celebrate our bodies, and work to create our best selves, we are telling the world, and ourselves, that we are WORTHY, BEAUTIFUL, MORE THAN ENOUGH & CREATIVE FORCES FOR GOOD in the world and in our own lives.

Nicole LaBonde is a Health and Wellness entrepreneur who has created a business from her experience as a professional in the fields of fitness, dance and theater, and nutrition.