A BARNSLEY burlesque studio is celebrating after three of its dancers were chosen to perform at prestigious events in London.

None of the three had danced or performed before joining the burlesque fitness classes run by dance teacher Ellie Gillott.

Ellie, 50, has owned Burlesque Be Fit UK (Barnsley) for over eight years and runs the fitness classes for ages 16-plus at Gawber Club and East Dene Club.

“The classes are all about keeping fit and we have members of all shapes and sizes, from size 6 to 28 and from age 16 to 72.

“We have 117 members who come to the different classes.

“Lots of our ladies have never danced before and some couldn’t even walk through the door the first time due to nerves but it is really all about empowerment and body positivity.”

A former college teacher, Ellie has danced since she was four and devotes her time now to not only running the classes and supporting the members but she is also troupe leader for Ellie Etoile’s Burlesque which is made up of fitness class members who take part in shows and competitions all over the country.

“I started the dance troupe about six years ago and it has been hard work and very much about taking the rough with the smooth but everything we do is about supporting each other and encouraging and raising each other up.

“We are super proud of the three dancers who have just performed in London and did so well.

“Billie Underwood aka Pixie Jazz was a Burlesque Idol contestant, Kim O’Brien aka Legs-A-Kimbo and Mandy Wilson aka Honey Ryder were finalists in World Burlesque Games 2022.