BurlyCamp: If we build it, they will come!

Getting stuck in traffic sucks. When a journey time doubles and the sat nav keeps sending you to more road closures, sometimes you just have to give in and sit it out. Passing the time in a car used to be a speciality of mine as a child, but waving at strangers isn’t quite as much fun when you’re a grown woman stuck in stationary London traffic on a Sunday afternoon. A few months ago, on our way back from What Katie Did’s Glamour and Seduction workshop, my good friend Amanda and I found ourselves revisiting the problem of how to diffuse the frustration caused by traffic jams. Thankfully, we had just spent time in a glamorous lingerie boutique surrounded by vintage vixens, burlesque babes, cocktails, cake and chocolate. This provided more than enough inspiration for what was to follow.

The afternoon had encompassed everything I love about the burlesque scene: it was glamorous, friendly, accessible, inspiring and attended by a variety of fascinating people. I sat in that car and told Amanda about how much I loved the collaborative feel of events like that. It reminded me how much fun learning burlesque was. It reminded me that I love helping to organise shows and performing with The Rebel Rebels because it creates a fun night for our friends. It reminded me of all the wonderful people I have met through the amazing burlesque community that London has.

Somehow, out of my love of that wonderful community of creative people and our enjoyment of a damn fine workshop, a tiny spark of an idea sprung. What if there was an event where you could try taster workshops in lots of aspects of burlesque, all in one place? A quick smartphone search proved that no such thing existed in London… yet. It wasn’t long before we realised that, with Amanda’s experience in organising conferences and my contacts list, maybe we could actually organise this ourselves. The next 30 minutes saw the ideas really start to fly and, by the time we’d reached our destination, BurlyCamp was born!

Taking place in the gorgeous surroundings of Hoxton Hall on 19th-20th May 2012, BurlyCamp will provide an opportunity to discover or develop your burlesque persona with two days of skills workshops, performances, crafts and classes. Whether you’re new to burlesque performing or are hoping to take your career to the next level, BurlyCamp will have workshops to educate and inspire you. Even if you can’t quite imagine yourself on the stage, you can simply come along for fun! If you are as enthusiastic about burlesque as I am, I do hope you’ll come and say hello on Twitter, Facebook and also in person at the event in May. Remember, this one’s not just for the girls either. Spread the word!

BurlyCamp illustrations by Rosa Maria Koolhoven.