Burlesque at Bodelwyddan!


Burlesque is a very old and very popular form of entertainment, which began in the 1840s. It was used by the working class performers as a way to mock the upper classes, their traditions, social habits, culture and fashion and many of the performances were spoofs of operas, Shakespeare and other classic literature and plays.

Today however, burlesque is more about empowering women, encouraging them to embrace their sexuality and femininity and be confident in expressing themselves. We then took on the challenge to prove that you can still be sexy, powerful and classy as you get older and we had some real grown up fun doing it!

We invited five ladies aged between 50 – 75 to Bodelwyddan Castle in Wales to try Burlesque for the very first time.  The ladies learnt their moves at our one off ‘Burlesque Bootcamp’ and performed what they had learnt in front of a live audience in the Thowther Hall at Bod.

Our young-at-heart learners were put through their paces by the head of The Folly Mixtures, Sarah-Louise. Famous burlesque moves were taught such as; the tease, the glove peal, the shimmy and of course, the wink! Each dancer was given a personalised ‘Burlesque pseudonym’; Brandy Pink, Chloe Diamond and Bunny Sparkles were just a few! With these new names, the women were encouraged to let their inner ‘burlesque goddess’ shine through!


Teacher Sarah-Louise said:

“Burlesque is all about having a bit of grown up fun. It is very light hearted, it is very tongue in cheek, it doesn’t matter what your age, what your background or what your fitness level is. It’s for everyone and I was very impressed with how quickly our ladies transformed into Burlesque goddesses.”

One of the dancers, Ellen Wilson, AKA, ‘Brandy Pink’, loved the experience and said she will carry on learning Burlesque at home to continue her new found hobby.  Ellen said:

“The whole experience was great for my fitness and confidence and I loved meeting the other ladies and getting to know them. Burlesque is such a sociable activity and great for ‘girl power’ in our later years! I definitely want to learn more routines and will be showing my show my family my new moves – goodness knows what they’ll say!”

Our guests loved seeing the performance, with one guest saying how it proved that “anyone can do anything at any age”. The dancers themselves told us that we’d increased their confidence and given them a highly entertaining experience.


This is proof that you are never too old to try something new and that even if you think that you can’t do something, to try it anyway! To watch the video of our Burlesque boot camp and live show, visit our Facebook page here: