Lolly Belle: Intriguing and Inviting



For new mums, it’s not easy to find time to socialise, or make the most of meet-and-greet opportunities when they arise. In fact, no matter how far we’ve come there’s still a lot more social clubs for “the boys” than there are for women. Enter The Peninsula Dance Project, an initiative started by Mornington Peninsula resident Lolly Belle.

An award-winning choreographer as well as public relations manager, Lolly also has skills in marketing, herbal medicine, change management and entertainment production. The best part is she wants to share her passions with the community.

She’s been dancing all over the world for 35 years, so it should also come as no surprise that her cultural influences are wide and varied. She’s been teaching all over the country too, in her own words “from 3 year olds doing classical ballet to 70 year olds doing pole dancing, and everything in between!”

The project’s just starting out, with Lolly holding her first classes earlier this month, and people are already talking about it. Given she also runs Blueberry Communications and Bombshell PR and has a cute-as-hell two-year-old daughter, she’s sticking to introductory burlesque, Fit & Fab Mummies classes and Ballet Barre (starting in May 2016) for now.

How Lolly – official name Laura – could possibly juggle this serious skillset whilst being a “stay at home mum” (her words, not mine!) is phenomenal, and well and truly beyond me. She’s obviously got a keen empathy for new and new-ish mums, providing classes for those who want to get away for an hour or two and leave the kids at home in addition to those who want to bring them along.

As co-founder of the Voodoo Trash Dolls, she bears partial responsibility for the rise of neo-burlesque, which puts a contemporary twist on the more traditional art form of American burlesque. Yet when presented, it stands alone as a genre of dance and art – watching the Voodoo Trash Dolls’ performance to a Marilyn Manson soundtrack and comparing it to almost-naked women with feathers is apples-and-oranges – it just doesn’t compute.

That’s not to say that Lolly’s form of burlesque is devoid of eroticism, not by a long shot. It’s her way of giving new mums an injection of self-esteem, something often lost after pregnancy’s toll on the body. It’s best to come prepared, and that means opening your mind and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Whether you’re looking to meet other new mums, get fit while having fun or find new ways to express yourself through art, Lolly Belle is someone you should meet, no matter what class happens to be in session. Her first week saw three courses completely sold out, and the Project’s only going to grow from here.

I’d recommend getting onto and securing yourself a spot with the neat online booking form (another of Lolly’s specialties happens to be web development and creative design). The Peninsula Dance Project is located right on the Rosebud foreshore, in the Memorial Hall, so parking is plentiful and the beach just a stone’s throw away.

You’re guaranteed a fun-filled session and a casual way to meet other like-minded individuals, with or without the company of your kids. You’ll also have the pleasure of meeting a highly-skilled, well-trained and socially active woman who’s travelled the world, studied a staggering number of disciplines and now started a dance company on the Mornington Peninsula, all the while nurturing her child and sharing her ways with the world around her. That’s someone worth knowing, even if you decide that dance isn’t your thing.

First published in Mint Magazine – March 2016

Author: Anne-Marie Tunks

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