French Burlesque

T-shirt and pyjama bottoms. Shirt and cotton pants. Sweater and sweat pants. Parka and husband’s baggy ski pants. Toque and babushka and baseball cap. No, I’m not packing for a trip. I’m dressing in layers, piling on as many clothes as I can think of and fit into.

Take a deep breath, walk into room, don’t answer any questions, ignore looks and titters of laughter, and turn on burlesque type music.

Dance across the front of the room. Toss cap off yelling, “Chapeau!” Stunned silence.

Dance a bit more. Unzip and throw parka to the floor crying, “Anorak!” A few titters.

Twist and twirl. Slink (stumble and squirm) out of baggy ski pants. “Pantalons de ski!” A few gasps.

Sashay down row of seats. Slither (wriggle) out of sweat pants. “Les sweats.” More gasps and some muttering.

Now the sweater. Unbutton slowly, pull off with a little finesse. “Chandail!” And it too tumbles to the floor. Gasps. Mutters. Titters.

The scarf, “Echarpe!” the cotton pants, “Pantalons!” and blouse, “Chemise!” and toque, “Toque!” soon join the rest.

Strut across the room in T-shirt and pyjama bottoms, turn off music, take a bow. Full blown laughter.

Why the striptease? To introduce the clothing unit to the junior high French as a Second Language class. Did they remember all the vocabulary? You bet. Did they think French was boring? Nope. Did the principal hear about the “performance?” Nope. Not until you told him yourself, that is.


6 comments on “French Burlesque

  1. I love it. That’s the kind of teacher we all should have had. I know lots of people who hated learning French and I think it’s because they didn’t have it taught “á la burlesque.”

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