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Corps de Burlesque Logo

About us...

Corps de Burlesque (pronounced "core") is Palmerston North's premiere boutique dance studio for adults.

The business was founded in 2017 by two burlesque artists, Dahlia Dangerous and Trillian, together known as The Ballet School Dropouts.

Dahlia and Trillian met while learning burlesque in Palmerston North in 2013, debuting as solo artists at the time, they then joined forces with their combined dance knowledge and knack for synchronicity to become a standout double act across Australasia as well as high calibre, award winning solo artists in their own right. Having both come from the rigid discipline of ballet training they saw a need for more structure in the way burlesque was being taught in Aotearoa, and so, one night in 2016 whilst on tour in the USA Dahlia and Trillian created the first of their courses - Prep School levels 1 & 2 and Debutantes.

These classes were taught for 2 years out of The Loft studio in Square Edge, becoming increasingly popular in that time. In early 2019, the demand for more of a traditional dance lesson structure had grown and the Ballet School Dropouts found themselves in a unique position to create a burlesque syllabus which establishes a standard for teaching and learning that can be utilised by other studios. With funding from CreativeNZ and ten months of hard work, the Garter Syllabus was launched, comprised of - six courses, three of which include history lectures researched and written by Alyssa Kitt, and a dance fitness class. By the end of 2019, Corps had outgrown its timeslot in The Loft and the decision was made to rent their very own fulltime studio.

The beginning of 2020 was spent madly painting, decorating and laying flooring at the Princess Street studio. The timetable expanded from 3 classes once a week to 12-14 classes across 4 days with two new teachers! Dahlia Dangerous, being a qualified ballet teacher, added ballet classes to the curriculum and Trillian, being a long time pole dancer began pole classes as well. They launched into the new year at full speed with the Garter Syllabus being taught in Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Auckland. Having been open a whole 6 weeks, the covid pandemic put the breaks on things a little. Lessons were conducted via livestream from teachers living rooms but that didn't slow things down for long.

Fast forward to 2022, Princess Street had become too small to accommodate class sizes and so the move to Fitzherbert Avenue took place. Corps de Burlesque now occupies a gorgeous, bright, huge space with two rooms. The timetable now boasting up to 30 classes a week and a teaching team of seven!

The studio has become a beautiful community space for folks of all backgrounds, genders and orientations to come together and be their best selves through the medium of dance. 

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