Hot on the heels of their latest blockbuster show an innovative university club is promoting a new spin on the art of burlesque dancing – boylesque.
The University of Central Lancashire Burlesque Society promotes body confidence and has proved that the seductive art – that is often associated with feminist values – is not just a stage for females.
And one of the male stars of the show – who refused to give his real name – performs in the society under the stage name Leo Amant.
Leo is now the group’s Creative Director and has gained more confidence through the society and says the key to mastering the art is an electric stage presence.
He said: “I’m still fairly new as a burlesque performer so my style is still developing. I’d describe my alter-ego as more of a vamp performer.
“I try to have stage presence – that is being as big and dominant as possible but I also try to keep a little bit of sly cheek about my routine.
“Basically I try to be a sexy ‘Jack the lad’ not too over dominant but confident and comfortable.”
And Leo believes that the society can help other males overcome their body insecurities and wants more men to embrace the art.
He said: “The big thing for me has been overcoming some self-image issues enough to go bare chested on stage.
“So I would say I have grown more comfortable with myself – it is a brilliant way of overcoming body issues.
“I think that most men have some issue with their body.
“I’d defiantly recommend it to anyone thinking of being on stage, whatever their aim.”
But Leo – who joined the society as his girlfriend is the chairman and founder – has been ridiculed for his passion and believes many people are just confused by the concept of ‘boylesque’.
He said: “The general response I get when I mention I’ll be performing a routine is surprise followed by a bit of laughter.
“I think it’s a lack of understanding what it is a boylesque performer actually does.
“Most of my friends and people I know understand how burlesque is good for women and appreciate it as a skill but when it comes to men doing it confusion is the general response.
“I don’t think burlesque as a whole is received as negatively as it used to be, so people are interested.
“The biggest help though has been the fantastic response of the ladies who already perform.
“I’m from a musical theatre background and it is a totally different style of performing – I like the challenge.”
For more information see: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=105465219499229.