Anyone familiar with the burlesque scene in Buffalo has heard the name Jamie “Miss J” Doktor. Jamie first got her start in burlesque back in the days of Roxy’s as a co-founding member of The Stripteasers. Incredibly, The Stripteasers are still around today, performing at Nietzsche’s each and every Tuesday. To say that Jamie has been instrumental in cultivating this city’s fun-loving and slightly risqué dance community would be an understatement. She has been on the ground dancing for years, ensuring that women have access to a form of dance that she considers empowering, sacred, and transformational.
Recently, Jamie opened a new dance studio at 14 North Street called The Buffalo Burlesque Studio. Formerly, she was teaching classes at the New Phoenix Theatre, but due to limited hours, she set out in search of a studio that would accommodate her growing clientele. Once set up in her space, the first thing that she did was enlist the help of another dance instructor Kara Mann, who runs Free Soul Dance. Jamie felt that she needed to diversify the studio, by bringing in additional forms of dance. That way, the studio would become a center for dance enthusiasts of various interests – from ballet to contemporary to burlesque. In fact, Jamie is still on the hunt for dance instructors looking for studio space, so if you’ve been looking to join an eclectic menagerie of dancers in a studio that is dedicated to the art of dance, give Jamie a shout.
According to Jamie and Kara, their goal is to offer dance classes to anyone, no matter their age, ability or style of dance. The two refer to themselves as having all of the ingredients to bake a cake – Kara is the cake mix, and Jamie is the frosting on top.
Not only does the studio offer classes, there are also plenty of workshops to choose from. For example, Buffalo Burlesque (18+) has ongoing workshops that focus on a wide variety of talents, including tassel twirling, pinup makeup, wig styling, how to walk in high heels, and costume creation. From soup to nuts (conservative to bawdy), Jamie and Kara have got dancers covered.
Aside from the standard classes and workshops offered at the studio, the dance duo offer dance pop-ups, wedding choreography and flash mobs tutorials, bachelorette parties, private lessons/classes… if there’s dancing involved, then they want to be a part of it. Along with trying to accommodate a number of different types of dance styles, Jamie and Kara also want to ensure that they are able to work around people’s schedules. That means that there will be after work classes for women who can’t simply take time off whenever they like. Seeing that the studio is in close proximity to the Medical Campus, and Downtown Buffalo (along the Metro Rail route), they are anticipating a wide variety of dancers, many of whom need to dance around their work schedules.
Finally, Jamie says that she and her instructors want to work with the theater community, to offer classes in body language and facial expressions. Often times, a dancer or a thespian is so concerned about a dance move or a line, that they might forget about the importance of the subtleties that can make or break a performance. If it involves dance, then Jamie and Kara are on the beat. Both instructors have been part of the local dance community for years, teaching, performing and promoting their practices.
Whether you want to get back into the world of contemporary dance, you’re feeling a bit sassy, you want to have fun and get in shape, or you simply want to learn how to dance, The Buffalo Burlesque Studio is a well-rounded studio that can get you to where you want to be. From advanced movement choreography to preparing for a recital, professional and recreational dancers are welcome to learn more about the class offerings by visiting buffaloburlesquestudio.com, or Free Soul Dance.
“It starts with dance,” says Jamie. “But it’s also about modern mindfulness, being confident, and a willingness to change something mentally, emotionally and physically. Come burlesquercise (exercise with a burlesque twist) with bumps and grinds and shimmies, or try a chair dance. Our goal is to accommodate everyone, while creating a fun, safe atmosphere, where women can learn to be empowered through dance.
The Buffalo Burlesque Studio | 14 North Street | Buffalo, New York, NY 14202 | (716) 578-7825 | Facebook
Interested in attending the studio’s open house event?
The Buffalo Burlesque Studio Open House
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 7pm-9pm
Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 12pm-3pm
Lead image: LivingInTheBuff Photography