The Burlesque Handbook

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photo of Jo "Boobs" Weldon by Beau Allulli

It's the 10th anniversary of Jo Weldon's beloved instructional guide, The Burlesque Handbook!

To celebrate, she's starting an online book club show on Zoom.

The Burlesque Handbook turns 10 in 2020! It’s kicked off many an international performing career. It’s currently used all over the world by beginners and intermediates to build and improve burlesque routines. Many call it the Burlesque Bible.

The show is free on Zoom. Email with the words "School Of Burlesque Book Club" in your subject line for this week's invitation.

Every week she'll talk about a different book. On special occasions she'll interview the author, or have a guest come on to talk about one of their favorite books.

Saturday, May 30 Saturday, 4 pm EST (free, but registration required):
Re-Introducing The Burlesque Handbook

Jo will discuss how she came to create and publish The Burlesque Handbook, and will talk about Dixie Evans and Jennie Lee, the founders of The Burlesque Hall of Fame, to whom the book is dedicated. After her talk, she'll open up the chat to QNA.
This will also kick off the School of Burlesque Book Club, where a different burlesque book will be discussed every Saturday at 4 pm.
To register, email with the words “Registering for May 30, 4 pm EST” in the subject line and the code RITBH in the body of your email.

To keep notified of upcoming sessions and invited guests book mark this page or join Jo on Social Media:
Instagram: @nyschoolofburlesque
Facebook: New York School of Burlesque

June 6, 2020, 4 pm EST:
The Costumes of Burlesque
With Author Coleen Scott (AKA Rosey LaRouge)
June 6 is the first anniversary of the release of this fabulous book! Join Jo for an interview with the author and join the QNA. Coleen Scott is also the creator of The Pastie Project.
The Costumes of Burlesque: 1866-2018 is the first volume to inclusively document burlesque costume from its birth in the 1860’s through the global burlesque movement in 2018. This lushly illustrated book presents the history and development of this American art form by documenting the origins, influencers, and genuine articles that created its aesthetic. Showcases of legendary performers, including Lydia Thompson, Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand, Bettie Page, Kitten Natividad, and Dita Von Teese, demonstrate costume styles through the years.
More About The Book and Author

June 13, 2020, 4 pm
Coco Ono will be our guest as we discuss
Are We A Joke? Volume 1: Burlesque
This book project is a submission-based publication highlighting Pan-Asian LGBTQIA/womxn artists. It represents stories written by the artists, turning the paradigm of the exclusive system in the arts with an answer: No. We Are Not A Joke.
To attend email with the words "School Of Burlesque Book Club June 13 2020" in the subject line of your email.

June 20, 2020
Tigz Rice joins to discuss her book
STRIP|TEASE – The Burlesque Photography of Tigz Rice

In addition to the book club, to celebrate her book's anniversary she'll be launching:

The Burlesque Handbook Series 2020

To register for the full 20 sessions, use the button below:

Registration Buttons for individual classes are below, broken into sections to make registering more accessible.
For individual dates, select from drop-down menus.

June 2
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement Jo Weldon is pausing her classes on Tuesday June 2. The music and dance communities are observing an industry-wide #blackoutTuesday and engaging in a program called #theshowmustbepaused, created by Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang. To learn more about this initiative, please see The Show Must Be Paused, or check the hashtag #theshowmustbepaused on social media.

If you are registered or planned to register for these classes, please send an email to

Illustrated lectures
Every history is only one perspective on that history.
This is burlesque history presented by a stripper who's been a stripper's rights activist, feature dancer, and burlesque performer since 1980.
6 pm EST A History of American Burlesque Striptease 1880s-1980s
Learn how burlesque evolved from a satirical theatrical form into a fabulous striptease bonanza, then supposedly "died."
7.10 pm EST A History of Neo-Burlesque 1990s-2020
Learn how punk rock and strip joints contributed to the birth of a new burlesque.

June 9:
Lectures with worksheets
Developing Ideas for Numbers: Inspiration and Originality
Neo and Classic: Tradition and Innovation

June 16:
Movement with demo and choreography
Boa Work, Beginning and Intermediate
Glove Peels: Techniques and Tease
The Burlesque Handbook Series 2020 June
June 23
Movement with demo and choreography
Bump N Grind N Shimmy
Demos of construction and decoration, with shopping guide
Pastie Construction, Basic to Advanced, and adhesive options for applying them to your body

June 30:
Movement with demo and choreography
Fan Dance: Ostrich Feather Fans, includes shopping and construction tips
Movement with demo and choreography
Tassels, Assels, and Anarchy: Learn how to twirl tassels in every direction on any part of your body!

The Burlesque Handbook Series 2020 June

July 7:
Choosing Music, Choreography Tips
Costume Ideation: What Makes A Costume?

July 14:
Stage Names
Costume Elements: Fringe, Rhinestones, and Breakaways

July 21:
Character and Persona
Makeup and Hair Stage Glam Essentials

The Burlesque Handbook Series 2020 July

July 28:
Gimmicks and Props
Standing Out From The Crowd

August 4:
Online Presence
Getting Gigs

The Burlesque Handbook Series 2020 July

August 11 (free to all who have paid for classes in this series, use button to purchase if you have not taken any classes in this series)
Zoom link will be sent to all students who've taken any of the series classes. 6 pm Crash Course in Confidence for Onstage and Off
7.10 pm All-student meetup and qna
Invitation will be sent to all students who have paid for any of the classes above.
For students’ privacy, video of August 11 classes will not be added to recorded sessions available for purchase, but an audio recording will be made for archival purposes.