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 V.16 No.15 | April 12 - 18, 2007 


Burlesque Etiquette

Say it like you mean it!

It’s often accepted as gospel truth that one must be silent while in the audience of a great performance. This rule has been beaten into the very brains of every American child by nagging mothers, overbearing fathers and obnoxious ushers. Well, let me assure you, my dear friends: If you find yourself in the audience of one of the fine burlesque shows New Mexico has to offer, you will then be asked—indeed, encouraged--to lighten the hell up and have some fun. To help you become a better “outfitted” audience member, here are some helpful principles of etiquette you might find useful while attending a burlesque show.

If you keep applauding for the girls, they will give you a better show. There is an unspoken give-and-take between the lovely ladies on stage and you, the audience member. It is your patriotic duty to hoop, holler and clap as hard as your fat little hands will allow. The more you cheer, the more the girls will reward you. Yell and roar to your little heart’s desire. However, be mindful of what comes out of your gaping blowhole of a mouth. An unacceptable phrase would be: “Show me your tits, toots!” (“Tits” is a negative term for a lady’s lovely breasts.) This shows great uncouthness on your part. When wanting to encourage a dancer to reveal her tantalizing bobbles you may exclaim jubilantly, “Show us your boobs!” This is a very acceptable phrase to use at a burlesque show. If you think the sexy siren on stage is a particularly delicious dish, try replacing the word “boobs” with “tasty cupcakes.”

Perhaps you are a fan of the lower-limb area--say, the legs? Feel free to vocally persuade a fabulous female on stage to “shake-a-leg.” Alternately, you might want to try shouting the phrase, “Great gams, (insert dancer’s name here)!”

If you enjoy a dancer who swings her hips in a circular motion and you want to encourage her to perform such an act, try exclaiming the phrase, “Go girl! Grind it!” Again, the charming lady on stage will be ever so glad to consent to your request as she will be utterly impressed by your smashing vocabulary.

And lastly, if you happen to be a devotee of the feminine pelvic thrust, you are guaranteed an eyeful if you boisterously cry out, “Bump it baby! Bump it!”

By using the proper burlesque vocabulary and your vocal excitement you will undoubtedly impress those around you. Others will say to themselves, “Wow! That person knows a lot about burlesque!” See, now don’t you want everybody to think you are a well-versed individual?

Classic Burly-Q Vocab:

Jerk–Audience member, a.k.a. “stubholder.”

Banana–Comedian. The term “top banana” means head comedian.

Yock–A belly laugh.

Talking woman–Delivering lines in a comedy skit.

The asbestos is down–The audience is ignoring the jokes. (Asbestos = curtains.)

Boston version–A cleaned-up routine.

Blisters–A stripper's breasts.

Cheeks–A stripper's backside.

Gadget–A G-string.

Trailer–The strut taken before a strip.

Quiver–Shake the bust.

Shimmy–Shake the posterior.

Bump–Swing the hips forward.

Grind–Full circle swing of the pelvis.

Milk it–Get an audience to demand encores.

Cherry Jubilee is a member of the BellaDonna Burlesque Revue.


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