The burlesque circuit evolved alongside the vaudeville movement in the 19th century, which explains the genesis of the ever-popular ventriloquist strip tease. Learn the classic art of sultry performance with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a four-week Intro to Burlesque course at Miss Dakota's Burlesque Academy in Sherman Oaks and North Hollywood (a $75 value). Beginning on January 10, classes run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A veteran burlesquer, Miss Dakota opened her school to teach the age-old art as a form of fun, creativity, and fitness. Donning sensible heels and comfy clothes they might wear to yoga or Civil War reenactments, students dive into the first week of burlesque class immediately strutting, posing, and working the boa as they learn the elusive Art of the Tease. Each class builds on the next, introducing sultry, tuneful, and comedic aspects of the craft, all the while fortifying self-confidence and body confidence. New props crop up each week, including gloves, sweaters, and fans, which pupils can wield to individualize their routines or perfect their sexy Eleanor Roosevelt impersonations.