It's a Tuesday night in Southlake, and a handful of housewives in high heels are bumping and grinding their way through a striptease.
They never actually take much off; this is sedate suburbia, after all. But for an hour, this class of mothers, wives, executives and entrepreneurs put aside their roles at home and at the office and dance like burlesque queens. In their semi-skimpy costumes, they shimmy and shake their way through a not-so-risqué routine to the tune of If You Got It, Flaunt It.
This is clearly not your mother's aerobic dance class.
It's the Hotties n' Heels burlesque class at Core Fitness & Pilates, and it's fast catching on as a very fun way to work out. The weekly class and monthly workshop has grown so popular that studio owner Natalie Goodwin plans to add more burlesque to the lineup, which already includes pole, Zumba and Pilates classes.
Although it draws on the sometimes bawdy gyrations of burlesque, there's nothing dirty about the dances.
"The class is very classy," Goodwin said. "We've stuck with more traditional, cutesy routines."
Sometimes they do a very G-rated strip tease, other times they use props such as canes or boas, to enhance the dance.
It's all about putting on a show and entertaining, said instructor Kellie Grant, who constantly encourages students to smile during a workout.
Once a month, students are encouraged to dress up in their favorite burlesque costumes, complete with fishnet stockings and, always, high heels.
"Whatever makes you feel sexy, that's what you should wear," Grant said. "As long as it is comfortable and you can move."
The pace is fast but still slow enough that students are able to memorize the dance, which changes every month.
"It's not cardio, but it does get you moving," said Goodwin, who opened Core Fitness in March.
Students do indeed move enough to work up a sweat. They strut across the floor, kicking and can-canning at a pretty good clip. One minute they are stretched out on the floor, the next they are swinging their button-down shirts overhead.
Over and over again, they go over their routine until they have the dance down. But mostly they just enjoy the experience and the confidence that they leave with.
"It's about letting loose, feeling good and looking good, too," Grant said. "It's just so much fun."
How it works: The one-hour burlesque class is offered at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays. A workshop is offered once a month. New students can join at any time and usually can master the moves after just a few repetitions.
What the class is like: The lights are dimmed (which makes it a little easier to let loose), the music plays, and students follow the instructor until they have memorized the moves. The instructor shouts directions throughout the routine to make it even easier to follow along.
Who can do it: The class has about 10 students and is open to women of all ages. Older -- late 30s to 60s -- voluptuous women tend to be most attracted to the class.
Calories burned: 600 in an hour according to those gadgets that measure total calories burned.
Sweat factor: You will sweat, but you probably won't get soaked unless you really put your heart into it.
What participants say: "It's fun, like dance," said Heather Pattern of Fort Worth. "I'm a stay-at-home mom, and this gets me out of the house and I get to feel cute." Paula Heinrich of Grapevine said it is something different from aerobics but is still a workout. "You sweat a ton and then, two days later, your abs hurt."
Details: Core Fitness is at 402 Carroll Ave., Southlake. Students should go online at www.corefitnesssouthlake.com to register for classes, which fill up fast and are limited. A single class is $20. An eight-class pass is $125.
Jan Jarvis, 817-390-7664