Wonder Woman Wednesday: Miss Jessica

Every Wednesday Burlesquercise features one of our fabulous clients and her Wonder Woman Story! Check out our weekly client testimonial and feature video!


1) What drew you to Burlesquercise?

My passion for dance and the need to be surrounded by good people is what drew me to Burlesquercise. I had stopped dancing for a decade when I realized I need a dance in my life, and at the time I was going through a tumultuous time in my life where I needed strength around me, and saw the Incredible strength in the women of Burlesquercise.

2) How long have you been taking classes?

I was a competitive Latin student of Miss Di's from the age of 13 to 20. I came back to dance 3 years ago and joined Burlesquercise.

3) What facets of the classes do you enjoy most? I

love the ability to mingle with women from all different walks of life, that share the same passion as me. I also I love that it's a great workout and I get to wear use sparkly, creative, awesome costumes and props!

4) What benefits have you received since starting Burlesquercise?

Burlesquercise is definitely a work out! I lost 20 pounds within the first year of dancing. I've also been lucky enough to have gained some amazing friends in the women I dance with.

5) Do you have any experiences or comments as to why classes have changed your life for the positive?

When I joined Burlesquercise, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. The biggest impact that had hit me was the separation of a 12-year relationship. I found myself depressed, suffering from anxiety, suffering from a loss of identity, and just very lost in the world. Burlesquercise not only helped me get back into dance and re-discover my passion for it, but also provided me a wealth of women that had been through all kinds of things in their lives, that showed nothing but love and support throughout that dark time of my life. Sometimes, through deep conversation and advice, and sometimes by just wiping away my world's problems, and sharing in dance.

6) What would you tell people who are hesitant to try Burlesquercise?

Just come! Whatever hesitations you are having, whatever is holding you back from trying it, be stronger than that. In taking that one hesitation and throwing it out the window, you will have so much fun, and meet so many beautiful people, and it is so worth it!

7) If you are a veteran what keeps you coming back?

I've only been with Burlesquercise for a few years, so I wouldn't call myself a veteran. I'm completely addicted though, and not going anywhere! LOL

8) How do you feel about yourself since starting classes?

Since starting with Burlesquercise, I have completely rediscovered who I am as a woman, and an individual. I have gained confidence, perspective, and gotten my identity back.

9) What is your age?

I have made 33 trips around the sun. ;)

Wonder Woman Wednesday: MISS DEBORAH

Miss Deborah

1) What drew you to Burlesquercise?

I did a free class and loved it, it was fun, sexy and made me feel good.. However it wasn’t until a few years later that I signed up for a level one class.

2) How long have you been taking classes?

3 to 4 years

3) What facets of the classes do you enjoy most?

I love the dancing and the relaxed and supportive atmosphere. All the instructors are so patient, kind and fun. I also love the sisterhood and support that all the participants give each other.

4) What benefits have you received since starting Burlesquercise?

I feel more confident in myself, my body and my ability to dance.

5) Do you have any experiences or comments as to why classes have changed your life for the positive?

Classes have helped me connect and express my sexy side and have also helped me become more flexible!

6) What would you tell people who are hesitant to try Burlesquercise?

Try it! It’s one of the best things you could ever do for yourself!

7) If you are a veteran what keeps you coming back?

I love to dance, I love the instructors and my dance sisters.

8) How do you feel about yourself since starting classes?

More confident in who I am. I have had body image issues for most of my life and burlesquercise has taught me that I am beautiful and sexy, and that confidence is hot!

9) What is your age?

I am 50

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Miss Amy

Every Wednesday Burlesquercise features one of our fabulous clients and her Wonder Woman Story! Check out our weekly client testimonial and feature video!

Miss Amy

1) What drew you to Burlesquercise?

Having recently relocated to Calgary, I was having a hard time finding a dance “fit”. Having danced my entire life, I was going through dance withdrawal (it was awful - lol), and a friend told me about these amazing feathered ladies dancing at the Lilac Festival. I was so intrigued and couldn’t imagine what could possibly be better than dancing in feathers. I signed up for the next available class.

2) How long have you been taking classes?

I started in October 2016.

3) What facets of the classes do you enjoy most?

The dancing. The laughing. The costuming. The performing. Our Instructors- they are fabulous, and caring, and so skilled- not only in technique, but in warmly welcoming and encouraging everyone in the class. Above all else; the women, and the feeling of belonging to a pretty fantastic group of people. I consider it a privilege to dance next to each of them. I love the performances. I love putting together costumes, and the adrenaline rush that comes with smiling into bright lights and applause and dancing in that moment.

4) What benefits have you received since starting Burlesquercise?

My Benefits of Burlesquercise are twofold. First, I have expanded my group of friends, and the world (or our city at least) has become a smaller place. And second, Burlesquercise is something I do that is truly for me. It is my “break”, my “reset”, my way of “installing an update”. As a busy mom of three, “me time” is in short supply. Even though we work hard and dance hard, I always leave class feeling recharged and inspired.

5) Do you have any experiences or comments as to why classes have changed your life for the positive?

I began my first Burlesquercise class on the heels of completing cancer treatment. My hair had barely just begun to grow back after chemo, and I was exhausted from radiation treatments. I did not feel like myself, I did not look like myself. I felt as though my femininity had been stripped away- and I sure didn’t feel sexy- by any stretch. I was quite convinced that if cancer didn’t kill me, NOT dancing would (being a life-long dance junkie). So I danced anyway- despite how I felt. And I danced until I found myself again. This June I will dance in my third Gala. I have also danced twice with Burlesquercise at the Rocky Mountain Dance Grand Prix. So if being addicted to something can be a positive thing, I am certain this is it. And I have Burlesquercise to thank for that.

6) What would you tell people who are hesitant to try Burlesquercise?

What are you waiting for? If you’ve ever been even remotely inclined to dance and perform- or you used to love to dance but life got busy- or you feel out of shape- or you’re shy, or think you have two left feet... All those cliches about life being short, and changing in an instant are cliches for a reason- their thread of truth. Take a chance on dance. It’s a great workout, learning something new is refreshing, step out of your comfort zone and you’ll begin to see the world around you in a whole new light... that’s where the magic happens... before you know it you’ll check your worries at the door, you’ll have fun, and very likely find yourself returning again and again. It will lengthen your life, boost your sense of self, and leave you wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

7) If you are a veteran what keeps you coming back?

See 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.

8) How do you feel about yourself since starting classes?

Excited. Happy. Enthusiastic. Proud.

 9) What is your age? 


Wonder Woman Wednesday: Miss Laverne

Every Wednesday Burlesquercise features one of our fabulous clients and her Wonder Woman Story! Check out our weekly client testimonial and feature video!

Miss Laverne

What drew you to Burlesquercise?

What drew me to Burlesquercise was the movie Burlesque. I wanted to dance like those women. I had skated in Ice Capades at age 19 and danced in University, and I missed performing and the costumes.  

What benefits have you experienced from being a part of Burlesquercise?

Dance is my escape. It's exercise, brain challenging, fun and above all has kept me feeling young. Each year is a gift and keeping fit and mobile is necessary! Motion is lotion and  dance keeps the brain healthy.

I love the challenge of learning a new dance each course I take and I force myself to get way out of my comfort zone. 

How long have you been doing Burlesquercise?

6 yearsI registered for a level 1 class and I was on my way! Now I am in Level 5!

What is your age?


What would you say to someone who is considering taking a class?

I tell people to take a chance on these classes. You never know until you try! Nobody judges and it's truly a Sisterhood of dancing maniacs that love what they do! The teachers are fantastic, supportive and so much fun!

Miss Rhonda


I am so grateful to Di and everyone at Burlesquercise! 

I joined in September of 2014 by myself. I had no dancing background other than 3 years of belly dancing lessons. I was at a low period in my life. My husband of 22 years left me in 2013 and my self esteem and self confidence were very low. I was intrigued by Burlesquercise and wanted to build myself back up. I wanted to learn to love myself again, feel sexy, and hopefully make new friendships. Wow!!! I got all of that and so much more!! I relearned my vowels while touching my body! I felt like I was in a herbal essence commercial! I became a part of an amazing Sisterhood, with loving, supportive, encouraging, fun and talented new friends. I knew that no matter how rough my week was emotionally that when I arrived at class I was GUARANTEED to laugh and have fun! 

I have had many firsts since I joined Burlesquercise. I stretched my comfort zone and have grown so much. 

Words truly cannot express my gratitude!

Miss Donna

Dance is quite possibly one of the few times in my life that has allowed me to live in the present moment. Even before walking through the door to a dance practice I feel the energy of the room reaching out to me. I am greeted with chatter, laughs, and excitement, all provided by babes of various ages, sizes and abilities. Finally, it is all hugs and catching up on the week. Somewhere in those first few moments of dance class my troubles are left at the door. No matter how I feel when I walk in I ALWAYS feel better when I walk out.

Dance has allowed me to 'get in touch' with my feminine side, and to tell you the truth I wasn't sure I had a feminine side!  Within the safe, supportive environment of a Burlesquercise class or workshop I am able say... HEY look at ME, that's right I made you look, I am a woman and I LIKE it !  Get used to it as I am not apologizing for being a woman.

As someone who has spent their entire youth hiding at the back of the class andmost of adulthood desperately flying under the radar, dancing in front of a crowd was an epic moment in my life. Was it scary....YES ! Did the instructors prepare me...YES ! Did I love it....YES!  Will I Do it again...YES!

Even though dance has allowed me to be in the moment it has also provided me the opportunity to explore different personas. A paradox I know, being in the moment but being someone else as well. Why not? I have learned about women through the decades, their challenges in life and on the dance floor, as well as hair, makeup, clothing, and music, not to mention the attitude that accompanies each dance. YA that is fun... attitude !

Through dance I have been a Barefoot Gypsy, a Wood Nymph, Pin Up Girl and Gatsby Girl. Just this year

I was a Hollywood Diva wrapped in a feather boa, a Steam Punk Sheriff, and a member of a flash mob. Now I am learning to dance on a cloud, A.K.A. the Fox Trot, along with an amazing group of women preparing for the "Ginger Girls" performance this fall.

My life is certainly more magical since I joined the sisterhood of Burlesquercise. I have forged strong lifelong friendships and met some interesting characters on and off the dance floor. If you are waiting for the right moment to try this, the moment is NOW.  Step into the spotlight, Burlesquercise is waiting to applaud you!

Miss Aubrey

So, I was introduced to Burlesquercise by my friend Lorinda. I went to watch her dance with her beginner Burlesquercise class at their Circus Gala in 2012. I loved it!!! Miss di was so charismatic and looked amazing (she even gave some of us a taste of Burlesquercise in a mini class), the teachers were fabulous, including in their dances (hot!), and the students blew me away with their talent, courage and poise! I was so proud of Lorinda as this was completely out of her comfort zone and she was amazing! 

I signed up for the "Intro to Burlesque" class in early 2013, joined by my friends, Shannon and Dawna, and it was so much fun! Miss Leslie is a fantastic teacher and as awkward as it was at first, it got easier to step out of our comfort zones. Unfortunately, we (Shannon, Dawna & I) missed what would have been our first performance, but it was for a good reason: Justin & I got married! :-) After the 2013 "year of three floods" (in total for me and Justin), I took my next class with Miss Annick (another amazing teacher), and my first performance was Level 2/3 "Daisy Duke" ("These boots were made for walking"...Jessica Simpson version) at the Zoo's Stampede breakfast in 2014. Since then, I've done cha-cha, east & west coast swing, the can can, jive (all with another incredible teacher, Miss Kim!), hip-hop, and a flash mob!, all with the amazingly talented, beautiful and sexy classmates and teachers that I've had the pleasure of getting to know and continue to grow with (zoning all the way...ha ha ha ;-)). I love to dance, and I love to get dressed up and play different characters. Burlesquercise gives me the best of both worlds. Miss di has created an incredible place where we can be ourselves, and in some cases, the self within us that just needs an excuse to get out and have fun (Thank you so much, Miss di!!!). Through the challenging choreography, laughing with my "burly" sisters, and dancing until our we're (I'm) sore all over, I can honestly say this is one of the best things I've ever done in my life. I love every minute of it and I'm hooked! (It also helps that I have the best husband who is so supportive, and says that there is no downside to his wife doing Burlesquercise...except all the feathers that get everywhere.) :-)

I hope you never discount the things you love by taking them for granted. You may forget how talented you are and how much you have to give (including and especially to yourself), so make some time to remind yourself and give in to your passions. As I go through the past 2+ years of my Burlesquercise journey, I'm so thankful to have had these opportunities to push myself to grow more as a dancer, performer and person. There's so much to be said when you surround yourself with people who love you, support you, and bring joy into your life. Thank you to my husband, Justin, for all your love, support, energy, laughter, and so much more; to Lorinda for introducing me to Burlesquercise; and to Miss di for bringing the magic of dance and a sisterhood like no other, to so many of the incredible people I'm blessed to know and look forward to continuing this journey!

Miss Natalie

I was taking a group class at a dance studio around 7 years ago and I saw this lady walk across the room with a top hat and a cane. I wondered what kind of dance she was doing that she needed such interesting props. It was then that I learned about Burlesquercise. A few years later I finally decided that it was time to sign up. I signed up because I loved dancing, I needed to be dancing and most of the time dancing was the only place I knew who I was. 

When I first started I was weary of all the "we love each other" stuff, it just seemed unusual and I wasn't sure if I could trust it. I left for a year, but when I came back, I decided that it was up to me to make it fun and it was up to me to make myself part of the group and not be afraid to let people in. I am so glad I decided to come back. 

I consider myself a pretty normal girl, there is nothing special about me, I don't have an amazing story, I am just a regular human. This crazy group of women make me feel like a super human and like I am capable of doing so much. I feel like I have found the perfect place to be myself because Burlesquercise has helped me realize that I am allowed to be me. I am a free human and I can't be anything but me and Burlesquercise encourages everyone and accepts everyone.

Through Burlesquercise my life has truly changed. I have found many people I consider my best and closest friends. A group of women I can say anything to and they will never judge me. I have had so many wonderful performance opportunities over the years which I am so grateful for and I will forever be trying to return the favour. I have started Latin dancing, which I love. I basically get to play Dancing With The Stars every week (a show I am obsessed with). My teacher Anthony is the best teacher I could have possibly asked for. 

I appreciate my teachers so much. Di, Kim, Annick and Leslie bring so much to each lesson. Not only do they teach us how to dance and perform but how to be women too. This helps me be the right kind of person I want to be. These people are my home and I want every woman to feel this accepted and free.