Every few weeks, Burana travels to some strip-mall-laced military town and offers 60-minute classes in basic burlesque. Fundamentals include the glove strip (pull four fingers with the teeth, bend, slip the tips under a foot and pull off the rest as you stand); the showgirl bounce (hands on hip, right foot forward, a slight dip at the knee); and proper boa tossing (like snapping a whip).
Though she knows a thing or two about removing her clothes to thrumming music, nothing much comes off in her classes except boas and gloves. Burana does not charge a fee for her classes, and schedules her classes at the wives' request.
“Military wives are the strongest women that I know,” she said. “It’s moving every 12 to 18 months. It’s multiple deployments. It’s raising your children without a spouse at home. It’s trying to work when you’re moving as much as you do. All kinds of things that are absolutely mind-bending.”In her latest book, “I Love a Man in Uniform”, Burana describes her unlikely marriage in 2002 to a soldier who taught at West Point and her struggles to gain acceptance among Army wives and their husbands. She notes that West Point once prevented her from doing a book signing on campus because she had been a stripper. (Her husband recently retired from the academy as a lieutenant colonel.)