Titty tassels, galore! Break out the sparkly thongs, it’s burlesque on the big screen this weekend at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Behind the Burly Q, a documentary by Leslie Zemeckis (wife of Robert Zemeckis), compiles interviews and clips into a 98-minute in-depth look at American burlesque including its vaudeville parentage and women’s motivations in becoming burlesque performers. One of the more surprising interviewees (at least from the clips and reviews I’ve seen) is Alan Alda, whose father was a burlesque comedian and singer. That’s right. A tit singer spawned Hawkeye.

What: Burlesque 101 with Dottie Lux
Where: Grand Lobby at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco
When: Thursday, July 22; 5:30PM
Tickets: $15 or $10 with purchase of same day screening room ticket; redhotsburlesque [at] gmail.com with “S.O.S.” in the subject line or, pending availability, at the door.

Thursday’s showing includes something extra special. Dottie Lux, an East Coast transplant and leader of Red Hots Burlesque, will offer a pre-show 2-hour introductory how-to and discussion about burlesque dancing. This fee-based class is open to all ages and genders. No experience is required; all you need is motivation to want to “shake it on stage or in the bedroom.” And feel free to take the class and stow the knowledge away for future use. It might just come in handy should you lovely gals and guys be recruited by the CIA to hop in a time machine and travel back to 1890. Just remember to pack your feathers.

While you may feel awkward about signing up for a burlesque class in your florescent light-filled cubical, if you want to wiggle and giggle, reserve a spot now because “space is very limited and reservations are strongly encouraged.” Luckily, it’s easy to reserve a spot–ah, the magic of email!– and your coworkers will never even know (unless you want them to). Just shoot a note to Lux at redhotsburlesque [at] gmail.com with “S.O.S.” in the subject line.

What:Behind the Burly Q
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco
When: Thu, Jul 22 – Sat, Jul 24, 7:30PM
Sun, Jul 25, 4 & 6PM
Tickets: $8; online.

Lux gave me a little more info about what to expect come Thursday, and as I read down to her salutation of “Shakes and shimmies,” I was disappointed that I already have plans. But maybe you can shimmy for me?

Becca Hirschman: Burlesque means different things to different people. What does your class focus on?

Dottie Lux: My class focuses on the history of traditional burlesque and how it differs from Neo Burlesque, feeling great in your body, and developing the burlesque attitude, as well as some basic moves.

The lobby location says “Grand Lobby.” Will museum goers and passers-by see me as I wiggle my derriere?

This class is in a public space but will be roped off. You are not required to move if you do not feel comfortable. It is not usual to have open air classes, but we are thrilled to be at the YBCA.

What should people wear to the workshop? Sweatpants? Fishnets? Both?

You should wear what makes you feel sexy–for me that’s high heels, but everyone has their own version.

Do you teach regular classes elsewhere?

I teach regular classes out of a private space at El Rio, a bar in the Mission.

the author

Becca Klarin writes about dance. Her first stage role was at the age of four, where she dressed in a brightly colored bumble bee tutu and black patent leather taps shoes. She remembers bright lights and spinning in circles with her eleven other bees, but nothing more. Becca also has an affinity for things beginning with the letter "P", including Pizzetta 211, Fort Point, pilates, parsvakonasana, and plies.

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