Learning how to remove burlesque corsets is a classic technique for any burlesque dancer’s arsenal. We share some burlesque knowledge on how the who’s who of burlesque does it.
How to Remove Burlesque Corsets
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, just like removing burlesque corsets.
This classic burlesque dance move has been taken up time and time again. Corsets date back to the mid-sixteenth century. They were invented to enhance curves in a woman’s figure.
It’s no wonder they’ve continued their popularity in burlesque dancing. Burlesque costumes are designed to hide and reveal, to accentuate, flatter and dazzle. Learning to remove burlesque corsets encompasses all these things.
We’re here to inspire you with our top five techniques and tips. Lets celebrate the tradition.
Like with most things, the best place to begin is research. There are lots of corset styles out there. You can decide the boning material, choose between overbust and underbust, and whether you want to try waist training. Mina of L’Atelier de LaFleur has a great Youtube channel to get you going.
The great thing about research is all the inspiration. Whether your corset ideas come from burlesque dancers, high fashion or TV, film and music, there’s no shortage out there. Here’s a few that caught our eye.
(Images from Kelly Miller)
All Tied Up in Corsets
Burlesque queen, LouLou D’vil (above) performed in this corset tightened and fastened at the back. This style means removing your burlesque corsets by loosening the back before opening the front.
Unlike most burlesque dance moves, you can’t really give a sultry glance down to both see what you’re doing and to draw the audience’s eye. Instead, you can try undoing your corset with a quick pull. Though this move takes nimble fingers and lots of practise.
Alternatively, it’s can be easier to turn your back or side on the audience. By giving them an over the shoulder glance, you can take your time and let them see what you’re doing.
The traditional front fastening for a corset is also laces. Ellie Mouse (below) shows how you pull and reveal. This takes a lot of work to put on but is worth it for a pretty corset look.
Ellie shows that this move it all about the right eye contact with the audience. It is also easier and sexier to pull up from the top of an overbust corset. Just us?
Confidence comes with practise but these corsets are generally not the most comfortable for those new to corset wearing. We recommend you try before you buy and wear-in the corset before performing.
Check out our Burlesque Costume Ideas with Chloe Ewart aka Lady Mei.
Corset Zip Zip Away
The rules for removing an overbust and underbust corset are the same. An underbust requires an added bra, which allows for more opportunities to tease and delays the final reveal.
Most burlesque dancers wear pasties with either style, so we won’t differentiate between them much from here on. Lets talk attachments and undoing them.
As you can see with the Headline Honeys (above) a zip attachment is quick to put on and therefore take off. A zipper corset allows for one fluid motion. This makes it perfect for newbies.
As you can see from Scarlett James (below) the zip corsets are no less glamorous or sparkly. Yum. The trick is to unzip bit by bit rather than all at once. Tease lives in the suspense.
How to Burlesque Balloon Dance from Dirty Martini to Dita Von Teese.
Corset Timely Teasers
Burlesque goddess, Dita Von Teese has clasps on the front of her burlesque corset. These allow for quick plucking. It is, however, a bit trickier than a zip.
Your decision about attachments can come down to timing. Your burlesque dance moves are dictated by how fast or slow your music is. It is also dictated by how long your segment is and how complex your act is.
In this burlesque routine, Dita Von Teese has quite a long segment. She also does a fan dance before bathing in a martini glass. So time is still an issue.
All takes practise, practise, practise. Watching how Dita Von Teese seamlessly removes her’s shows that it can be done.
Learn How to Burlesque Fan Dance from Sally Rand onward.
Corset Coy Coquettes
It’s all about drawing out the tension and holding the audience’s attention. Again depending on timing, you can do this slowly for more tease or faster with more energy.
This burlesque dancing technique allows the audience to appreciate your curves. You can see how well it works.
Usually this would then be followed by the drop of the corset. The corset peel can end with a sassy fling to the side but be aware to keep it out of the audience’s reach. Aim out of reach, off-stage or (if you’re lucky like us) towards one of your stage kittens.
Check out How to Learn Burlesque Dancing with Goodtime Mama Jojo.
As Banbury Cross (above) demonstrates, facing the audience makes for a cheeky reveal. You can flirt and flash the audience with a twinkle in your eye.
Of course you can always follow this by a twirl and shimmy with your back to the audience. If your stomach area isn’t something you want to flash or you have less time, you don’t have to take off your corset at all.
And if all else fails you can take a leaf out of Undine LaVerve‘s book (below). Just put your hands in the air and shake around like you don’t care. We can’t look away…
Learn How to Twirl Nipple Tassels and watch our answer to: what is burlesque?