Learning how to burlesque balloon dance is a classic and fun staple in any burlesque dancer’s arsenal. We share some burlesque knowledge on the emergence and development of the flattering balloon dance.
How to Burlesque Balloon Dance
We began with the basic moves of how to pose, twirl tassels, perform a sultry glove removal and a stocking peel. These are all skills you can use on the stage or in the boudoir. Balloon dances, however, are an entire burlesque act.
There are two balloon dance techniques. During 1930s burlesque, Sally Rand not only introduced the fan dance but also the bubble balloon dance. She made history by dancing gracefully with a five-foot see-through bubble.
That balloon size did not exist up to that point. According to Partial Coverage, Sally Rand paid for the research and development to fit her vision.
The second balloon dance style is the balloon pop. Burlesque dancers secure balloons to their burlesque costumes and pop them to reveal the lingerie beneath.
Though burlesque dancers all have their own identity, many adapt these burlesque dances to suit their gimmick. Lets celebrate the tradition.
We’re here to inspire you with our top five techniques and tricks. What’s your top tip for a burlesque balloon dance?
(Burlesque Gif from Tumblr)
The place to start is research. You want to know if you like burlesque balloon dances as an act but also if they fit your stage persona and style. If they don’t you can always do it for fun or adapt.
The place to begin for inspiration is at the start. See Sally Rand burlesque dancing:
The bubble dance is a classic burlesque style. It’s also a great burlesque routine to begin your burlesque dancing career. It is a slow, teasing and poised, based on alluring poses.
Burlesque dancer, Zoe Scarlett (above) from Switzerland created her bubble dance as a homage to Sally Rand. Even Dita Von Teese (below) began her career emulating the famed burlesque legend.
Mimicking another burlesque performer can be a good way to see what suits you and what doesn’t. This, however, does come with its own set of perils, as Goodtime Mama Jojo explains in How to Become a Burlesque Dancer.
See how far she has come in the Dita Von Teese Tour in pictures.
Smoking Sex Kittens
There’s lots of things to consider when performing a balloon dance. First thing to know is your personal style that will be teased and revealed beneath the balloons. Remember that a balloon dance is fun, tongue-in-cheek and naughty.
Dirty Martini chose a smoking hawt, classic bubble pop. Her sizzling red burlesque outfit goes perfectly with this idea. Whereas burlesque dancer, Rubyyy Jones‘ style is sweet and shocking. She chose black balloons, filled with liquid for her risqué Bukkake Balloon Pop.
There are a lot of practicalities and variables when performing a balloon dance. For yours you will need to also select a balloon shape, colour, popper and attachments. Picking your instruments comes with research and practise. Knowing what you’re good at, what you like and what’s unique to you is key.
Smaller balloons mean more of them, more popping and more attachments. So more costume work and probably a faster track.
Different shaped balloons are usually thicker and harder to pop so you’ll need a strong popper. The colour will also usually match the rest of your burlesque costume. Though, an unusual popper can add more to your costume, like Dirty Martini and her cigarette.
See more of Miss Dirty Martini in our Burlesque Gifs.
You can use the balloons to inform what burlesque character you use. Missy Malone (above) performs as champagne. She blows bubbles from a champagne glass then uses the bubble-maker as her balloon popper. Not to mention the fro, colour of her balloons and champagne glasses in her hair.
While Inga Ingenue (below) chose some adorable, small white balloons for her poodle look. Her long gloves and tufts of fur, make this routine all her’s. What other bubble based burlesque costumes can you think of?
Be the Balloon
There’s lots of ways to update a bubble dance and balloon poppers don’t get all the fun. Bubble dancers can inject a little whimsy too. You can do that through your burlesque character. The balloon could be a runaway ball or the moon with you as a giant hamster or an astronaut.
Another way to do this is by getting in the balloon. Whether you’re tap dancing in Las Vegas burlesque (above) or becoming the balloon like Katie Balloons (below). This technique is perfect for a bouncing bawdy broad. From these women’s burlesque performances, this is definitely a crowd pleaser when done right.
A balloon pop and bubble balloon dance can also be used by dance troupes, whether burlesque or boylesque. Sugar Blue Burlesque sees A’Dora Derierre, Mia Bella, Miss Jane, Showgirl Satine and Trixi Tassels. They show how you can use bubble balloons in unison.
Again, this style of burlesque dancing is perfect for starting out so it’s great when you begin dancing with others. It’s all about moving and posing in time.
You can show off your figures, the different dancers in your troupe and charm the audience with a chorus line style. As long as you don’t drop the ball.
Burlesque and boylesque troupes can also use the bubble pop routine. Check out The Greatest Show On Legs on O.T.T in 1982. Likewise, their focus is keeping in sync. By using serious, straight faces they add to the hilarity of the act. For more boylesque you can also check out our trashy little brother show, Boylexe.
Watch How to Learn Burlesque Dancing with Goodtime Mama Jojo and watch our answer to: what is burlesque?