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Story-Based Burlesque: Choreographing Your Persona

Class Description: For every act we perform, we create a new persona. Sometimes it's specific: maybe you're performing as Bellatrix Lestrange, who comes with her own set of distinct personality traits and desires. Or perhaps you’re performing a classic burlesque routine, and your persona is less defined, “a confident, elegant woman”. Consciously or not, your choreography tells the story of your persona, and knowing your persona can help your ideas for choreography flow. The first step to improving an act is understanding this storytelling process, uncovering what motivates your song and choreography choices, and learning how to harness that creative power. In this class, we will use creative writing techniques to deepen our personas and unlock their stories. Then, we will begin sculpting, either revising an existing act, or creating a new one from scratch (up to you!). Performers with existing acts will have the opportunity to perform in front of the group and receive notes, while students new to burlesque will have the opportunity to try out choreography they developed in class.

Teacher Bio: Catty Wompass has been performing burlesque in the Midwest and the Bay Area for over 6 years. She is the co-producer of Bawdy Bawdy Ha Ha in Iowa City, and delights in helping local burlesque-hopefuls make strong stage debuts. In her muggle life, Catty holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has her dream job teaching creative writing at the University of Iowa. Combining the arts of storytelling and burlesque is her passion, and she’s excited to share her unique perspective and techniques with the Great Burlesque Expo!

Sept. 4, 2021, 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Hill Room
Hill Room at
The Bridge at 211
211 Bridge St.
First Floor
Salem, MA 01970

About the Teacher - Catty Wompass

Just 44 and a half feet shorter than The 50-Foot Woman and as sexually attracted to frogs as Miss Piggy, this Iowa City-based beauty is the silliest name in sapphic burlesque. She's the co-producer of Bawdy Bawdy Ha Ha burlesque — she’ll steal your socks and knock your heart off — she's just a little askew — she's Catty Wompass!