In 2016, I founded the Detroit School of Burlesque. Together Leena Allure and I spent months developing comprehensive curriculum that would provide a strong foundation for aspiring burlesque performers. We saw an interest in learning the art of burlesque and a need for a body positive, empowering environment in the community, so we started with an introductory burlesque course at Agora Arts in Ferndale. Not only did the students learn burlesque, but friendships were formed, self esteem was raised, women were supporting each other in a truly inspiring way.
Requests for additional classes started coming in and we quickly realized that they would have to expand, as soon as the decision to expand was made the perfect location turned up.
Fast forward to 2017, we’ve outgrown Agora Arts and, thankfully, we’ve found the perfect space. Or at least a perfect-ish space: it’s a beautiful, nearly 100-year-old building in Ferndale that is in need of some serious TLC. It needs an extensive cleaning, repair, paint, signage, retail displays, lighting, decor, fixtures, class supplies and all the things that go along with a start up in addition to the costs of deposits, rent, city inspection fees, insurance etc.
After careful consideration, we decided that doing a funding campaign offering discounted classes, show tickets (without ticket fees), merch and other exclusive perks would be how the space would be funded rather than starting a new venture in a significant amount of debt. So this IndieGoGo campaign was created in the hopes that the community would be excited to help support this dream all while receiving some awesome perks!
Work will begin in August and the goal is to have the space usable in September with an official grand opening event in October. Lots of additional burlesque class options will be offered, including special one day only workshops with traveling performers plus yoga, creative arts workshops and more! In addition the studio will also be offered to the burlesque and performing arts community as a private rehearsal space.
Creating this space to teach a beautiful, empowering art form is something that Leena and I are very passionate about and your support is appreciated more than words can say! Every single dollar contributed is one step closer!