Beginner’s burlesque class debuts in Rohnert Park
Burlesque is an interesting form of dance art that gained popularity in the U.S. within cabarets and clubs. Over the years it has been depicted in various ways from comedy to striptease. Now a local Healdsburg resident has begun teaching classes in this unique style of expression in Rohnert Park out of the Footloose Dance Center, which recently relocated from Petaluma.
Ramona Hall, 34, of Healdsburg, started teaching burlesque just this past year. After fifteen years as a striptease artist, she took a year off because she was looking for something with more creativity and a positive environment. Hall discovered burlesque and began taking class in San Francisco under the tutelage of “Bombshell Betty”, who has been teaching that style of dance since 2004.
Hall fell in love with it and quickly began performing under the stage name “Feral Fox”.
“I absolutely loved it,” said Hall, a mother of two, who enjoyed the opportunity to delve into her creative side, especially working with costumes. “I met so many wonderful women within the dancing community.”
Hall performed at small and big events across the country and even traveled to Scotland to take part in a large festival. When she came back to the states, Hall returned to work with Betty, who also taught a certification course for those wishing to instruct.
Currently Hall is teaching her second eight-week course. The series involves dance moves, the history behind the style, costumes, hair and makeup tips. Each class member also has the option to perform with Feral Fox after the course is over.
“Really there is no particular type of person that takes this type of class,” said Hall. “Mostly it is women who want to step out of their comfort zone or try and get their sexy back; former performers, moms and single women who are just looking to live their life to the fullest.”
Hall’s favorite thing about instructing is watching the women discover things about themselves as they practice and perform, learning about female sexuality in the process.
What is the biggest misconception about burlesque? “People think it will be just like the movie ‘Burlesque’ with Christina Aguilera, which it isn’t,” said Hall.
On Oct. 26, Hall will perform with students from her current class and season performers. “The Pink Pistol Review” will be held at The Rocks in Petaluma.
Hall’s next beginner class will start on Nov. 7 at the Footloose Dance Center. Classes are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information, visit the Eventbrite website.
The Footloose Dance Center is located at 5681 Redwood Drive in Rohnert Park and offers classes in tap, flamenco and ballroom dancing. For more information, call 795-8058 or visit Footloosedancecenter.com.