A Comprehensive Guide on How To Become a Burlesque Dancer


How To Become A Burlesque Dancer
02 Jan, 2024


In this guide, you’ll discover the art of burlesque, learn how to captivate your audience with your unique charm, and explore the world of sensuality and creativity. We’ll cover steps to become a good burlesque dancer, insights into the salary of a burlesque dancer, tips for improving your skills, and even guide you on how to get in shape for your dance performances. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your skills, this guide is your key to understanding and mastering the art of Burlesque.

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What is a burlesque dancer?

A burlesque dancer is a captivating artist specializing in the unique and entertaining world of burlesque, an art form celebrated for its dance, humor, and enchanting storytelling. These performers craft unforgettable acts, incorporating elements such as tease, elaborate costumes, and a touch of satire. With extravagant costumes, theatrical flair, and a blend of wit and sensuality, burlesque dancers leave audiences mesmerized.

Burlesque has evolved since its origins in the 19th century with modern interpretations, focusing on the art of the tease for an electrifying and empowering experience. This form of theatrical entertainment embraces individuality, welcoming diverse body types and performance styles, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. As skilled storytellers, Burlesque dancers creatively deliver one-of-a-kind performances, making each show a unique and captivating experience.

Steps to becoming a good burlesque dancer or performer

Becoming a skilled burlesque dancer or performer is an exciting journey that involves several key steps. Here are eight steps to help you craft your journey:

Step 1: Take a class

Enroll in burlesque classes to grasp the basics of this art form. Learning from experienced instructors can provide you with the fundamentals and techniques you need to excel in the art of burlesque.

Step 2: Do your research

Immerse yourself in the world of burlesque by researching its history, styles, and iconic performers. This knowledge will help you develop your unique style and lay the foundation of your journey.

Step 3: Create your first act

Put your creativity to work and craft your first burlesque act. Choose music, costumes, and choreography that resonate with your personality and style. Make it a reflection of you.

Step 4: Get your promotional materials together

Prepare professional promotional materials such as photographs and videos of your act. These materials are essential for marketing yourself, and securing performance opportunities, and will help you stand out in the industry.

Step 5: Build your social media presence

Use social media platforms to promote your burlesque career. Create a strong online presence to connect with your audience and fellow performers.

Step 6: Get experience (become a professional)

Start performing in local venues, even if it’s for small audiences. Uphold professionalism and punctuality in every interaction and performance. Building a good reputation is crucial.

Step 7: Build your skill level

Continuously work on improving your skills by practicing regularly. Attend workshops, seek feedback, and learn from experienced dancers to enhance your abilities.

Step 8: Create your second act

As you evolve as a burlesque artist, create a new burlesque act that showcases your growth and creativity. This will showcase your growth and versatility as a performer.

Tips for becoming a better burlesque dancer

If you’re looking to become a better burlesque dancer, here are some simple yet effective tips to guide you along your journey:

Tone your body

Physical fitness is crucial for a burlesque dancer. Regular exercise and strength training will help you achieve the flexibility required for captivating performances. Because burlesque performers are required to play live in front of audiences, they need to shed fat and remain in top shape for performances.


Your costume is an integral part of your act. Invest time and creativity in designing or selecting outfits that highlight your character and create a visual impact. Experiment with different styles, textures, and colors that accentuate your body and captivate your audience.

Hair and make-up

Experiment with different hair and makeup styles that enhance your on-stage persona. Creating a distinct look can elevate your performance. From classic vintage looks to contemporary glam, find a style that enhances your stage presence and adds flair to your act.

Incorporate props, music, and more

Elevate your act by integrating props, captivating music, and other elements that amplify your storytelling. Props such as fans, feather boas, or hats, can add depth and drama to your act. Choose music that complements your choreography and evokes the right emotions from your audience.


Like any art form, practice makes perfect. Rehearse your routines to ensure flawless execution. Practice boosts confidence and helps you connect with your audience. Rehearse your routine diligently, focusing on fluidity, grace and confidence. Use mirrors for self-assessment and seek feedback to fine-tune your performance.

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How much can you earn as a burlesque dancer?

The earnings of a burlesque dancer can vary considerably based on numerous factors. Factors influencing income include performance frequency, venues, and popularity within the burlesque scene.

For an entry-level performer, earnings can range from $50 to $200 per performance. However, established and well-known burlesque dancers often earn substantially more, sometimes reaching $1000 or more per show. Additional revenue streams can include merchandise sales, teaching workshops, private events, and online content creation. Ultimately, a burlesque dancer’s income is diverse and can fluctuate widely based on various career-building efforts and opportunities.


In this comprehensive guide, we unveiled the captivating world of burlesque dance, providing you with insights into how to embark on your journey. Here’s a quick recap:

  • What is a burlesque dancer? A burlesque dancer combines humor, satire, and seductive dance moves to create an electrifying and empowering stage show, celebrating the art of the tease with flair and individuality.
  • Steps to becoming a good burlesque dancer or performer: Embarking on your journey involves enrolling in classes, researching, creating acts, and building a strong presence in the burlesque community.
  • Tips for becoming a better burlesque dancer: Tips for becoming a good burlesque dancer include physical fitness, costume selection, fashion choices, hair and makeup experimentation, regular practice, and incorporating props and music.
  • How much can you earn as a burlesque dancer? Your earnings as a burlesque dancer depend on performance frequency, venue location, and experience level, and range from $50 to $1000 or more per performance.


What is a burlesque dancer?

A burlesque dancer is a performer known for their unique blend of comedy, satire, and striptease. They use humor, elaborate costumes, and sensual dance moves to entertain and captivate their audience in a playful and often provocative manner.

What are the steps to becoming a good burlesque dancer or performer?

Becoming a successful burlesque dancer or performer involves several key steps: begin with burlesque classes, learn about the art form, craft your debut act, prepare your promotional materials, use social media for networking, gain experience, and maintain professionalism, enhance your skills, develop your second act.

Do we need previous dance experience to become a burlesque dancer?

Not at all! While past dance experience might be helpful, it’s not a strict requirement to become a burlesque dancer. The essence of burlesque often lies in self-expression, confidence, and embracing your unique style.

How much can we earn as a burlesque dancer?

Earning as a burlesque dancer can vary widely based on factors such as venues, experience, and the number of performances. While some beginners may earn $50 to $200 per performance, experienced burlesque dancers in popular venues can make several hundred to thousands of dollars per show.

Is there a specific age limit for becoming a burlesque dancer?

Burlesque dancing does not have a specific age limit. This art form embraces diversity, welcoming individuals of various ages and backgrounds to express themselves through performance.

How to get in shape for becoming a burlesque dancer?

Getting in shape to become a burlesque dancer requires specific preparations. Begin by perfecting the art of walking gracefully in heels and stockings. Incorporate charming props like feather boas into your routines. It’s essential to strengthen your core muscles. Additionally, maintain a cardio exercise routine to boost your endurance.

Is becoming a burlesque dancer a good career?

Becoming a burlesque dancer can be a rewarding career for those who have a deep passion for this art form. It provides a fantastic way to express yourself creatively and can be quite empowering. However, it’s essential to understand that the industry is highly competitive, and self-promotion is vital to land performance opportunities.

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