A personal burlesque experience by Mia Morris


I started doing Burlesque dance lessons with Lady Lou at Schönheitstanz almost 6 years ago. At that time I had no idea that a Burlesque scene existed in Berlin.

This is a very personal review about my love for the Berlin Burlesque community.

To be fair about my lack of awareness when I entered into the burlesque world I have to say that it wasn’t as big as it is now – it’s grown massively in popularity and performers in the last years. It seemed to me that it first all evolved around Emma Lady Lou who made a great effort to bring the people together. A bit later came shiny characters like Scotty the Blue Bunny, Marlene von Steenvag, Viola Vixen, Erochica Bamboo and many more.

Mia_MorrisFor me – Burlesque – I was never sure wether to take it to the stage or to take it anywhere else – I did it mainly for myself – to have a me, if you like, that enters a world of eroticism and glamour between office hours and kids and as a creative refugee to do my art projects – which were then about erotic posing, fashion and desire. This was the funkyrotic art project.

I was quite nervous the first time I went to class – of course I had no idea what to expect

I asked Lady Lou on the phone “what shall I wear” and she chuckled warmly and replied “that’s always a tricky one in the first class, isn’t it?”
From the start I was always impressed by how warm people in the scene were -and  it started for me with the Schönheitsteam – the Burlesque performers around Emma Lady Lou.

Why did this passion and love evolve so quickly and so bindingly for me?

Lady_Lou_and_Mia_MorrisMaybe it’s because I felt that everybody was normal. And I mean normal as in “It’s ok to be different – to be yourself.” I wasn’t asked what my profession was. I didn’t have to decide between art and marketing. I didn’t have to make silly small talk. It was about female companionship in feeling sexy and comfortable in the female body. It was about celebrating art, fashion, a lifestyle fit to your inner freak that seems to be a lot normal then your office job’s colleague.

Back to the Burlesque Festival

I hadn’t been to a burlesque event in a year – due to moving further away from where it’s all at: but also due to anxiety especially regarding crowds and high volume.

So again I felt quite nervous going. Excited as well at doing photos again and at diving into this magic world of glamour, passion, freak show, comedy and basically ART.

I was overwhelmed once again by the warmth of the crowd

Eve_Champagne_Ferkel_JohnsonAnd Ferkel Johnson moderating to celebrate the fact of us being here, and celebrating the possibility of having this lifestyle, in a free world.

Where some of the community have passed away – which made me also think of Herr Doktor but also of Allen Devine – a great musician and friend that has just died. And yes – that’s what this is about. Amusement; freedom; inner autonomy; and feeling grateful for the gifts we have and the life we can appreciate.

“There’s nothing you can’t do in Burlesque”

And that’s an inspiration for life – to feel good, to dance and smile and laugh and cry about it all again.

I said this was going to be a personal report. But I don’t want to leave out the compliments for the organizers Marlene von Steenvag und Else Edelstahl for doing an awesome job in getting amazing artists on stage.

Diverse, professional, colourful, skilled, daring, singing, doing magic, bombing glitter (always a good one!), men, women, bodies perfect in imperfection, the MCs empathetic and full of energy, great vibes, brilliant music and a lot more.

I hope the pictures give you an idea.

My thanks to everyone who took part in the magic.