To give you some background information about me, Emma Hone aka HeavenLee Velvet: I have been dancing since I was 6 years old, starting with ballet and tap on a Saturday morning and eventually building up to dancing four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evenings and most of Saturday) covering ballet, tap, modern dance, stage, jazz, gymnastics, gymnastic dance, choreography, fitness and singing.
I started teaching when I was 12, first as an assistant teacher in the baby ballet class and then eventually as a teacher of ballet, tap, modern and stage of all ages from babies right up to adult. I covered all disciplines as well as a limbering/keep-fit class.
By age 15, I was teaching at two different dancing schools; one in the evenings and one at the weekend. I passed all exams in tap, ballet, modern and stage from pre-primary up to elementary level plus exams in the other disciplines and studied at associate/teaching level. Unfortunately, due to financial restraints, I couldn’t afford to pay for my final exams, so never became a fully qualified teacher.
At 18, I went to university and only danced/taught in the holidays. Then after graduating at 22 I got a job and gave up dancing to concentrate on my career.
I always missed it, so after I got married at 25 I joined the local drama group The Binfield Bards and stepped into the role of choreographer as well as actress. I enjoyed ten years with this group and really enjoyed acting, especially when I had the chance to take part in a musical or pantomime that involved acting, singing and dancing.
I also became a member of the Nick James players, a musical group who put on performances of Old Time Music Hall and songs from the shows for charity and this allowed me once again to combine singing and dancing with acting.
Plus I performed in a few shows with another local amdram group called CADS (Cranbourne Amateur Dramatics Society).
However dancing has always been my passion, so I decided to find an adult dance class. There were a few adult ballet and tap classes around but they all seemed to be aimed at beginners, so I decided to try something new and went to my first Burlesque class. It was run by the Burlesque Academy of Dance, led by a fantastic performer and teacher called Miranda Lewellyn. I fell in love with the glamour and sexiness of Burlesque and revelled in how feminine it made me feel.
I soon became a teacher for Miranda and a dancer in her Hell’s Belles dance troupe, regularly appearing in shows at the Havana bar & restaurant in Windsor, Berkshire, and other various venues in Surrey under the name Fleur Délice.
Although I loved being a Hell’s Belle, the choreographer in me wanted to be able to come up with my own routines and go in my own direction. After looking into it further I soon realised that there are very few opportunities to learn Burlesque in Berkshire and so I created BURLEDANCE. I also wanted to give women like me, who love to dance but have perhaps let motherhood take over or have lost their confidence for whatever reason, the chance to be a woman again and do something for themselves that lets them be glamourous and sexy, be comfortable and confident with their body and get fit in a fun, feminine way.
I love performing and hope to share that passion with my ladies!