Showgirls walk. A lot.
In my experience as a Las Vegas showgirl, half my time spent on the Jubilee Theater stage was spent walking across and around it. And it’s no tiny stage—it is the size of half a football field!
Because of the size, we didn’t have center or quarter marks. We used steel rails to delineate the width and marks for the dancers. 0 for center and then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. on each side of center. Each mark was about 6’ apart.
But just because it was so big, didn’t mean we could just charge like a herd of galloping ostriches to our spots during each number. We had to move with grace and poise. We glided to our spots, showing off our amazing costumes with grace and elegance.
I remember being a tall Bluebell (tallest covered dancer line named for Miss Bluebell, aka Margaret Kelly,) and taking my final pose in the finale and watching the jewel parade ensue. The Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires and Amethyst all parading across the stage and up and down the grand staircase in their Bob Mackie designed costumes. I got to watch it every night.
I remember seeing one nude in particular that had the most beautiful walk. She sailed across the stage exuding sensuality, grace and poise. I loved to watch her. I wanted to walk like that.
My chance came when I was asked to join the tall nude line. I had all the chances in the world to practice a strut like hers. Twelve shows a week for contract after contract.
During that time of learning to emulate that gliding beauty, I realized that certain things had to be in place in order for the execution of such a graceful strut to be realized.
- flexible but supportive shoes with rubbered soles
- strong legs
- flexible hips for isolation
- strong upper body and solid posture
- walking on my toe pads, instead of heel toe
Sometimes the showgirl walk is referred to as “Tippin’,” a loving reference from the show boys of how it appears as the girls glide across the stage—like they are tip toeing. Which is why I named my showgirl class Tippin’.
I’m sure many of you are asking
What is the difference between a showgirl walk and any other walk?
A true showgirl walk consists of:
- a forward facing body
- isolated hip movements
- walking on the balls of the feet instead of heel toe
- movement on a sideways plane
- graceful arms and upper body
If you want to take my class and see what it looks like and how to execute it in person, sign up for my newsletter below for a FREE class!
Parading across the stage with hats and backpacks weighing up to 35 pounds took strength and grace, and there are many benefits:
- it makes an excellent time filler
- you can fill up that huge stage with a gorgeous strut
- supports better posture
- supports better onstage presence and confidence
- adds grace to your acts
- develops leg strength
- develops foot strength
While walking may seem like the most mundane movement to most, a beautifully executed strut can transform you into a confident and sensual being onstage and capture an audience.
I hope to see you in one of my classes!
Athena, aka Gazella