Burlesque dancing lessons for over 50s to be launched at Holloway charity

Sabina Wallace-King (left) and and ex-GMTV soap critic Tina Baker are launching burlesque for the ov

Sabina Wallace-King (left) and and ex-GMTV soap critic Tina Baker are launching burlesque for the over 50s - Credit: Archant

A TV soap critic has teamed up with a dance instructor to bring the burlesque revival to the over-50s.

Tina Baker, once a regular on the GMTV sofa, then a star of reality show Celebrity Fit Club, and Sabina Wallace-King hope to get women of a certain age performing racy routines at an Age UK Islington centre in Holloway.

Their “fun and flirty” workshop will be held on Saturday at the charity’s Drovers Centre in North Road and if it is successful, pole dancing classes could follow.

Ms Wallace-King, of Finsbury Park, admits she is more used to working with hen parties, teaching burlesque moves and scenes from the film Dirty Dancing.

The 23-year-old personal trainer said: “It’s about women having fun and building their confidence and being more in tune with their own bodies.

“People can be a bit nervous because of the word burlesque. They judge without understanding what the class will entail and they often assume it will involve nudity, but it’s quite far from that.

“It’s the art of striptease in which you’re not giving everything away, there’s no real stripping when I teach.

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“It’s a little bit of girly entertainment.”

The classes will emphasise boosting fitness and Ms Wallace-King says nobody will be removing their clothes.

She was brought on board by Ms Baker who works for Age UK Islington after becoming a fitness coach following her weight-loss success on TV.

Ms Baker, 54, of Crouch Hill, said: “Burlesque has had a bit of renaissance among young girls, but we’re bringing it to people who remember the original.

“It’s a bit of an art form and it’s a fun way to keep fit. We want to encourage people like myself, who are over 50, to get fit.

“I was sitting on my bum watching television for a living and I got so big they called me for Celebrity Fit Club. It changed my life and now I try to help others do the same.

“We’re trying everything and pole dancing is the next plan. You can be fit and flirty at any age.”

The hour-long class is from 11.30am on Saturday and costs £3.