Burlesque dancers entertain while talking feminist issues at TRU
Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor Ω
TRUSU’s women’s representative, Olivia Skagos, hoped to pique the interests of a large diversity of students with the TRUSU Women’s Collective burlesque workshop held on Thursday Sept. 26.
Burlesque dancers Coco Creme and Annaphylactic Shock lead a participatory discussion about the art of burlesque dancing. They explored the act’s satirical history, the elements of theatre and important issues of sexuality, feminism, cultural norms and objectification that surround such risqué performance art.
Approximately 20 TRU students attended the event, which was filled with laughter, dancing and serious discussion.
Coco Creme, who has a background in belly dancing, said her experience with burlesque was “very powerful” in a way she didn’t expect.
The two explained how burlesque is more about showing your personality by telling a story, and not simply taking off your clothes and letting others see you naked. They refute the notion that the act objectifies women.
Coco said that the intent behind the performance is the dividing factor between burlesque and stripping.
“Like any other art, it’s what you make of it,” Coco said, adding that the act is a personal experience and not everyone will feel the same way.
After the discussion, students were taught some burlesque dance moves by the professional hosts.
Coco said she was surprised by the invite because she and Annaphylactic Shock aren’t typical speakers for feminist issues, even though they feel they’re often on the front line for many of the issues.
Kim Worthy, a TRU law and business master’s student, said she has always had an interest in burlesque, and the dancers raised issues that she wouldn’t have otherwise realized go together.
Worthy enjoyed the event and would recommend it to others.
“I was really happy with the amount of discussion and hearing people’s feelings,” Coco said. She was also happy that men chose to attend the event as well.
Skagos was happy with the positive tone of the event and said that TRUSU would consider hosting it in the future.