Burlesque in San Miguel!

By Joseph Toon

Burlesque, like other uniquely American art forms such as blues and jazz, started in the Victorian Era of US History. Originally, young women showed off their figures while singing and dancing; some were less active but compensated by appearing in fancy stage costumes. By the1930s there were over 150 major burlesque clubs in the US.

In recent decades, there has been a revival of burlesque on both sides of the Atlantic. A new generation, nostalgic for the glamour of classic American burlesque, developed a cult following for the art in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlantic City, New Orleans, and San Miguel de Allende.

This uniquely American art form is celebrated locally at VC’s every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. and often at Luciérnaga on Sunday afternoons and the Shelter Theater on Open Mic nights.

The SMA School of English was thrilled to finish their unit with this aspect of English- speaking culture by having one of their own perform. Volunteer teacher and Mexican artist, Lulu Sametini, performed for the school amongst cheers and celebratory cake.

Lulu, a long-time volunteer, graced the school’s courtyard with a culmination of cultural exposure to burlesque dance and music. She can often be seen entertaining throughout San Miguel.

To learn more about the SMA School of English, please contact President Joseph Toone at toone.joseph@yahoo.com. The school provides English language and cultural education with a profound impact on over 250 adult students in year-long classes.

Cheerleading in San Miguel

What do Mitt Romney, George Bush, Sandy from Grease, Snoopy, Katie Couric and Madonna all have in common? They were all once that American icon of wholesome sex appeal, specifically, they were cheerleaders!

Organized cheerleading started as an all-male activity in the late 1800s. Women joined cheerleading in 1907 and began to dominate the sport during World War II, when few men were involved in organized sports. At that time, there were no collegiate sports for women but women were allowed to participate in cheering squads.

Estimates show that about 97 percent of modern cheerleading participants are female. However, at the collegiate level cheerleading is a co-ed sport with about 50 percent of participants being male.

The SMA School of English recently examined the cultural impact of cheerleading with performances by a local high school squad and instruction from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Christie Olvera, owner of Arthur Murray and SMA School of English Board Member, said, “Dance, and cheerleading in particular, is a great way to learn English language rhythm and culture!” Olvera added, “Who doesn’t enjoy cheering to Hey Mickey or Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk?”



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