Free Yourself

Tone up & get fit with this unique fitness dance class with a burlesque twist!

Burlesquercise heals Liz

Having started last summer, this babe has had an incredible journey that brought her to perform at the Hollywood Christmas Cabaret Gala! Read her story.

I can’t believe that I danced my first Burlesquercise Gala this past December. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. And it was something I never would’ve imagined I’d be able to do!

In 2002, on the eve of my 42nd birthday, I received a call from my doctor informing me that I had progressive, degenerative arthritis in my hips and lower back, and that their condition was the equivalent of a 70 year old. I was devastated. This was not how I imagined the rest of my life to be. By Christmas, I was walking with a cane, and if I had to park at the back of the shopping centre’s parking lot, I was exhausted by the pain by the time I made it to the doors.

My doctor pretty well gave up except to see me to renew my pain medications. But I had found an athletic therapist who refused to give up on me. With her treatment of ultrasound, massages with myofascial release and lots of pain, they got me to the point where I could walk without the cane. But I had to exercise on a daily basis to ensure that I didn’t backslide to where I was before. I joined the Arthritis Society’s Joints in Motion Training Team and proceeded to train to walk marathons and raise funds for The Arthritis Society. The training was hard and painful, but it kept me mobile.

I kept doing this for a number of years until the pain no longer allowed me to continue. It was a very hard and painful decision to make, as I was always active, and didn’t want to believe that I was being sidelined again. Even with steroid injections into my lower vertebrae every 3 months, I still couldn’t walk the necessary distance or do the training. Since then, I tried a few different types of activities, hoping to find something that I loved doing, but without much luck.

And then I found Burlesquercise!

I was nervous that first class, not knowing what I was getting myself into. And I didn’t know if this was something that I could actually do. But 1 ½ hours later, I knew I was hooked. It was a great physical workout, involving cardio, stretching, Pilates and yoga. And of course, dancing. And zoning!! I could do the exercises/moves the best I could, and if I needed to adjust some exercises, then that was OK too. The instructors and women of Burlesquercise were so much fun, so welcoming and accepting.

Diana Lefebvre, the founder of Burlesquercise, is a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Along with her instructors, Kim, Annick and Leslie, they empower all the women in their classes to free that sexy, confident woman, all within a safe and accepting environment. And on the eve of the Gala, Diana helped alleviate our nervousness by reminding us that this night was for us to celebrate our accomplishments and “just have fun!”

Though my pain continues, I look forward to the nights I have dance class. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired and sore, or if it’s cold and dark outside, the thought of dancing with all these fabulous women buoys my spirit! And the added bonus – I’m overjoyed with the change that’s happening - the toning and slimming of my body!

Many thanks to Diana, Kim, Annick and Leslie!


Liz has been a classmate in a couple of Burlesquercise classes with me so far. She's lovely and great fun! Wonderful blog entry!

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