Guest Blog: New Routine: Enjoy the ride, Don’t Stress about it by Miss Aurelia
By Miss Aurelia
I love burlesque and I love performing! Creating a new routine is my favourite part of burlesque, as it allows me to be as creative as I need and/or want to be with both dancing and costume-making! However, as a non-professional performer, it is also the hardest and most time-consuming part of it! This is why I try to allow myself enough time to prepare for a new performance, so I can enjoy the process and not stress about it!
I really want to highlight here that this is by no means a perfect or the most efficient way to create a new routine. Each person works differently and this process is unique for each one of us!
Step 1: Having an idea
So how does it all start for me? First thing is the song! I might listen to a track once or 100 times, when something clicks and I get an idea for a performance. The more I listen to it, the more I think about it and I finally decide that it’s a great performance idea. I’m not going to lie, sometimes my ideas are beyond realistic! But a girl can dream right?! 😉
Step 2: Choose a theme (if applicable)
Anyways, coming back to reality, second step is trying to make this idea work. Personally, I find it easier and more creative to have a storyline in my performance or perform to a particular theme (for example 1920s style). Having said that, you can’t go wrong with a good, classical or alternative striptease routine! The beauty of burlesque is that you can perform WHATEVER you feel like on stage, so you can choose whatever suits YOU and YOUR personality!
Step 3: Pick the outfit
After I figure out my performance theme, I start getting ideas of possible outfits. Having a plan of what I’d like to wear and what I’ll be taking off gives me a rough idea on peels, which helps with the choreography later on (see step 4). However, pretty much every time I start creating a new routine, the outfit will change somehow after the choreography, but I’ll come back to this later.
Step 4: Choreography
The style of my choreography really depends on what I want to perform. Sometimes, I have a stricter choreography for a more theatrical dance routine. Other times, I want to have a bit more flow, a bit more movement, play a bit more with it.
No matter what the routine is, this is the most difficult part of the whole process for me, as I am not a professional choreographer/dancer. So, no shame in saying, I ALWAYS get help on this. I watch loads of YouTube videos with different dance moves, I ask friends for advice or I have a professional dancer to choreograph a routine for me, based on my idea an what I want to do on stage.
I also like to give myself a little challenge (as if performing is not challenging enough!), which might be a different style of dance or a single movement that I feel I need to work much more on.
Step 5: Time for changes
Most of the times when I start practising a new choreography, I change a few things on either the choreography, the costume or both. It is possible that particular moves that I have in mind don’t work very well in practice, or they might not fit well with the next part of the choreography.
Alternatively, some moves might not work well with the costume/shoes, in which case I change either that part of the choreography or adjust the costume or change both! The more I practice, the more I get a feel on what works and what doesn’t – so practice, practice, practice!
Step 6: Putting everything together
Finally, it all comes together. The costume, the choreography, the makeup! Only one word at this stage: PRACTICE! And then practice some more! I like to feel that my routine is as well-prepared as possible, taking in mind that perfection doesn’t exist (so I push myself enough, but also give myself a bit of a break).
Now it’s the time when I start thinking about the final touches: facial expressions, going with the flow of the routine, practical elements of the venue (if known). The more comfortable I become with my routine, the more I can really feel it and get immersed in it!
Time-wise, I aim to create one new routine every year if I can, which can take between a few weeks to a few months, depending how busy I am with life! I love how burlesque allows me to be super creative and showcase different aspects of my character, so I make sure I enjoy the ride! 😉
I hope you found this helpful! And don’t forget: ASK FOR HELP if you need it, PRACTICE and ENJOY the process!
Loads of love,
A huge thank you to Miss Aurelia for this insightful and informative blog post. We really hope it sparks some creative ideas for your own choreography. We would absolutely love to hear your thoughts, head on over to our Facebook page to join in the conversation.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Burlesque, in particular the choreography creation to put Miss Aurelia’s tips into action.