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Boylesque 101 on Capitol Hill
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Boylesque 101 on Capitol Hill

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Miss Indigo Blue, twirlygirl extraordinaire and headmistress of the Academy of Burlesque, along with gender-bending sensation Miss-ter Waxie Moon, will begin teaching Boylesque 101 - the first class of its kind anywhere - at Oddfellows Building inside West Hall September 7.

"Boylesque seems timely," Indigo told SGN. "The first class of graduates are really pioneers in all of this."

Indigo started the Academy of Burlesque six years ago. Since then, she's watched it grow by leaps and bounds. The academy offers classes like ballet, bump and grind, belly dance basics, and now Boylesque.

She came up with the idea for a Boylesque course, which accents the very popular Burlesque 101 class featured in the local film A Wink and a Smile, and said the class quickly filled to capacity, proving "How hungry the community is for Boylesque."

Indigo said the academy is experiencing unexpected growth as many classes fill months in advance. To accommodate the growth, the academy has teamed with the Century Ballroom by moving to the Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill. Now the students and instructors strut their stuff in a 2000 square foot space capable of accommodating the expanding dance class schedule.

Boylesque co-instructor Waxie Moon is no stranger to the craft. If you've been to a burlesque show during the past three years, chances are you've seen Waxie. The Julliard-trained modern dancer was one of the first male students to enroll in the Burlesque 101 class a few years ago.

"I am much happier with performing now," Waxie told SGN. "I stopped caring about what art and theater should be and just started having fun."

Character development, Waxie said, is important in the world of burlesque. In the early stages of Miss-ter Waxie Moon's identity, he said he knew he didn't look good in full drag and wanted to go a more unconventional route via masculine yet effeminate drag. The character Waxie Moon, known for his height and always-present mustache and glitter, was developed, and the rest is Seattle burlesque history.

The expertise Indigo and Waxie impress upon the Boylesque students is tangible. Indigo says she's taught and graduated over 100 burlesque students over the past six years. Pair that with the hundreds of performances Indigo and Waxie have produced or been a part of, and you've got one dynamic faculty.

According to Waxie, Boylesque is not a new concept. In fact, he says, it's been around nearly as long as burlesque. In modern times, however, it is virtually an unexplored territory. With the exception of a few notable players such as Dirty Martini of New York, the style is begging for exposure - lucky for Seattle, we've got Indigo and Waxie who are more than willing to unleash new boylesque talent upon the city.

The Academy of Burlesque, Boylesque 101 class begins September 7 with a six-week curriculum that will culminate in a public recital with the graduates at the West Hall Theatre in the Oddfellows Building on October 17.

According to Indigo, students will learn the fundamental of burlesque history and style, develop a character and persona, and create, costume and choreograph their own routine. Indigo said the academy does not discriminate. Persons of any gender, sex, affiliation, identity or sexuality can apply for a class. However, no one under 21 years old will be admitted.

After the last tassel is twirled and the public recital is through, Indigo says her devotion to the academy's students does not end at the final curtain call.

"A week after the recital, I invite all of the students over to my house for a potluck," Indigo told SGN. "We all watch the video of the performance, the students get their professional 8x10 portrait, and I give advice and resources to those who want to keep performing."

For more information about Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque or to sign up for a class, visit the academy online at www.academyofburlesque.com.

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