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The Burlesque Handbook Perfect Paperback – June 1, 2010

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The Burlesque Handbook + Honey & Spice: Sensual and Fierce Burlesque, with Jo Weldon: Burlesque classes, Burlesque dancing instruction, Feather boa dance how-to
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006178219X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061782190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Jo Weldon is the gold-standard for New Burlesque. A learned burly-q historian, a skilled and gracious teacher, and a breathtaking, world-class performer, she’s everything you could want in a shimmy queen. I am proud to call her my friend, and unashamed to admit she’s my idol.” (Lily Burana, author of Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America and head bombshell of Operation Bombshell: The Burlesque School for Military Wives)

“That’s Jo Weldon – and she’s perfect!” (Leighton Meester, star of Gossip Girl)

“Jo is one of the true champions of the burlesque world….Hearing her speak, seeing her teach, and marveling at the way she has been the driving force behind successful events is a real pleasure for me!” (Catherine D’Lish, Two-Time Miss Exotic World, Creative Director for Dita Von Teese)

“When you need an academic diatribe about the importance of burlesque in a gorgeous package served with sex appeal, intelligence and love, that’s Jo! This woman is passionate about burlesque and can recreate the sex appeal of the genre lost long ago.” (Dirty Martini, Muse to Karl Lagerfeld, Voted #1 Burlesque Performer in the World 2010)

“When Jo performed at Exotic World, I’d never been so mesmerized by a woman sitting on a chair. That’s the mark of a true performance!” (Immodesty Blaize, Miss Exotic World 2007 and the UK’s Premier Burlesque Performer)

“Jo is not only one of the most classically elegant dancers ever to grace the Slipper Room Stage, but in my humble opinion, she is also one of the sexiest performers I’ve ever known.” (James Habacker, Artistic Director, The Slipper Room NYC)

“Why she’s willing to make the secrets of her fantastic skills available to the public is beyond me, but if I were you, I’d buy this book quick, before she changes her mind.” (Jonny Porkpie, author of The Corpse Wore Pasties, creator of Pinchbottom Burlesque)

From the Back Cover

The Burlesque Handbook is the essential manual to understanding and performing both classic and neo-burlesque. Written by Jo Weldon, award-winning founder of the New York School of Burlesque, this book features easy-to-follow suggestions and exercises for developing stage-worthy confidence, presence, and sexiness. You'll learn about the fabulous makeup, costumes—including pasties!—moves, grooves, and attitudes of burlesque. The Burlesque Handbook is the must-have guide for everyone interested in this vibrant and wildly popular performance art, providing inspiration and practical information that readers can take straight from the page to the stage!

More About the Author

Jo is the Headmistress and Founder of the New York School of Burlesque, and is one of the most recognized burlesque instructors in the world. She is a recipient of the coveted Burlesque Hall of Fame award for Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Burlesque. Her groundbreaking DVD, Honey and Spice, is the best-selling how-to burlesque DVD in the world. She is Co-Director of Education at The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Vice President of Burlycon, and conducts the Master Class in Burlesque at Coney Island USA. She has been interviewed for or mentioned in countless major press articles, films, documentaries, news items, and television shows. Internationally renowned as burlesque personality Jo Boobs, she's rounded her heels on stages from Coney Island to Sydney Harbour. Garo Sparo named her one of the Top Ten Badass Burlesque Babes, and she has been voted one of the top ten Burlesque Performers in the World at 21st Century Burlesque 3 years in a row. She's taught thousands of women (and men!) to twirl tassels, and has conducted performance workshops producing some of the most respected new performers in burlesque. She recently taught burlesque to disabled performers at DaDaFest in Liverpool. She's the winner of such exotic titles as Best Bump N Grinder, Best Teacher and Mentor, and Biggest Cougar in Burlesque! She has worked with performers from Leonard Cohen to Spinal Tap, and has been featured on television shows from CBS Sunday Morning to Gossip Girl. She's taken it off in the grimiest strip clubs and at the most esteemed venues, including being the first burlesquer to ever strip down at The New York Public Library, and has performed and headlined at dozens of festivals all over the world, including The Vancouver Burlesque Festival, the Toronto Burlesque Festival, and the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. She has released three ground-breaking how-to burlesque DVDs (via World Dance New York), and her critically acclaimed book The Burlesque Handbook, with a foreword by Margaret Cho, (HarperCollins/ItBooks) is the first book ever published on how to create burlesque routines. She is also the founder of Pink Light Burlesque, a program that produces free burlesque classes for breast cancer survivors and patients.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
This book covers the basics and beyond.
This book gives you a million tips and tricks on how to be a performer as well as a business person (which as a performer you sort of are!
I would highly recommend it to everyone interested in starting off in burlesque.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J New York on July 22, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
The revival of Burlesque, or the art of strip tease, has spread across the United States as a form of female empowerment, creativity and community. What Jo Weldon or "Jo Boobs" provides in this book is nothing short of extraordinary. To my knowledge nothing else exists out there in book form that gives such detailed instruction on working with pasties, fans, makeup, costume, use of glitter, rhinestones, body makeup, hair, and overall performance style and confidence. Jo is specific. Not only does she delve into the history of burlesque and how she herself transformed herself from a featured stripper in commercial clubs to the definitive Burlesque expert that she has become today. Jo also give tips on working with producers, increasing your likelihood of getting booked and general etiquette towards the audience and other performers. This is far from a fluff vanity piece. It is a practical handbook with real life working knowledge that any aspiring burlesque performer could use today to help them become the best performer they are capable of becoming.

The book is easy to read, contains detailed photographs of step by step instruction on working with fans, how to build pasties, and of course twirling tassels. Jo also includes hundreds of photographs of fellow burlesque artists from around the country. So even though some of the information is technical the book is far from boring.

And as a burlesque producer myself, I wish any newcomer would memorize chapter 10 which includes information for newcomers on the best ways of getting booked again and again. It is not just about being the best dancer, but showing respect towards others and earning trust so that people will want to hire you again and again. I wish this particular set of skills was taught everywhere!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Witkowski on August 2, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
International celebrity, performance artist, activist and Burlesque luminary Jo Weldon shares her legendary wealth of experience and wisdom through her recently published The Burlesque Handbook.
With a page turning combination of history, humor, sophistication and sensuality, The Burlesque Handbook is an inviting adventure, making Burlesque accessible to everyone from students to soccer moms and a few superstars along the way.
Photos and quotes from a myriad of well known Burlesque performers, famous photographers and celebrity makeup artists inspire grace, glamour, individual style and confidence for all types, shapes and sizes to celebrate their gorgeous, flirtatious and alluring selves.
As the founder and Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, Jo Weldon has a longstanding following of devoted students and performers who admire the fun, intelligence and approachability she presents through sincere interaction with her students. The instructions learned from her expertise are unforgettable.
Along with The Burlesque Handbook, treat yourself or share with friends the experience of "Showgirl School" presented by a true expert!
Honey and Spice: Sensual and Fierce Burlesque
...Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anja Keister on October 16, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
One part memoir, another part history lessons and a whole lot of how-to, this book is quite applicable to whatever one might be looking for in a burlesque book. It works for the curious, the newbies and those already performing. I wish I would have had this book when I first started getting into the world of Burlesque for I learned and read a lot about backstage etiquette and creating routines that I had to learn the hard way or have been struggling with.

Another great thing about the book is the way Jo makes you feel like you know all these performers as well. She frequently discusses their acts, their advice and uses her own personal pictures, making it seem like you are looking through someone's (fun and scandalous) scrap-book.

The only parts of the book that weren't enthralling for me were her step by step instructions on the NYSoB routine and fan dance techniques, but that is only because I took the 4-week essentials burlesque class where I was taught these techniques and moves in person, so reading them, although a good reminder, just couldn't live up to the real experience. Really though, I think that says something about the Burlesque Handbook, the only negative was that I was given some of the information from the author, herself, in person!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D.Redman on July 29, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a burlesque student at the New York School of Burlesque. This handbook is great to read cover to cover or to reference when needed. I appreciate the info on the backstage etiquette, which only people in the field would know. I also bought all 3 of Jo Weldon's DVDs (they are great also) so I can learn at my own pace in the comfort and privacy of my home. She generously shares her knowledge. Individuality is encourage. All body types, shapes and sizes will celebrate their attractive, sensual and sexy selves. Woman and Men of burlesque are the most supportive and open minded, positive people I have ever met. So if you're planning to perform or just have an audience of one special person this is the book for you. Wait, I forgot to mention the most important thing it's FUN!!!
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