Health The Tease in Cin City
Amanda Barraza and Mandy Franceschina probably won’t get upset if you call them both a tease. It’s precisely what they’re after as owners and cofounders of Cin City Burlesque.
“There is a big difference between classic burlesque and what you would see in a nightclub,” says Amanda. She started off the interview with Cincy Chic by trying to explain the differences between the dancing done at Cin City and other forms of burlesque.
“’It’s more about the tease and the dance, and less about getting naked,” she says. “Sometimes we don’t take a stitch of clothing off.”
Since starting in 2009, the dancers of Cin City Burlesque have found a pretty big market for their shows. The dance troupe has performed shows in Columbus, Dayton, and all around the Cincinnati area, says Mandy. The 15 dancers in Cin City have also been booked for two shows in one night, she says. Most of Cin City’s current Cincinnati shows are performed at Leapin Lizard in Covington.
In two years, Cin City Burlesque has become popular enough that the troupe is offering a lady only workshop that’s open to the general public. The two hour workshop will run before Cin City’s “Seven Deadly Cins” show at Leapin Lizard on July 17.
The first public workshop Cin City held earlier this spring taught dance moves to about 35 women. Amanda and Mandy say any woman who attends the workshop will be invited to perform the routine she learned at Cin City’s show that night. Attendees at the first workshop certainly had an interest in performing by the end of the lessons, says Mandy.
“Almost of all of them performed at the show and then told us how empowering the whole thing was, which the whole goal was really,” says Mandy.
The show and workshop uses classical music and dance to illustrate social commentary and comedy, she says.
“We have women of all ages, races, and sizes that come to these workshops and shows,” says Amanda.
“We tend to dance what we think women would enjoy,” says Mandy.
And that effort really comes across, says burlesque workshop attendee Kim Jones. The Cin City workshop was the second burlesque class she’s taken. Jones told Cincy Chic that this workshop felt different.
“You didn’t have to be a particular size to do it, and that’s what I liked the best,” says Jones. There was no pressure to dance in a revealing or uncomfortable way, or to undress too much, she says.
“I felt super sexy, that’s what I felt,” says Jones.
Instructors and dancers that perform in Cin City Burlesque shows have ballet, tap and ballroom backgrounds, says Mandy.
“We’re not there to be strippers, we are there to empower ourselves and our audience, and have a fun show,” says Mandy. “Of course it’s here to entertain, but it’s also for you.”
And that is the true meaning of “bringing sexy back.”
The Cin City Burlesque Ladies Only workshop costs $40 for registration.
Photo courtesy of CinCity Burlesque