While there is no one expert about Burlesque, Jo Weldon aka 'Jo Boobs' has been a massive contributor as the head mistress of the New York School of Burlesque which reigns as the world's most acknowledged, prolific, and prestigious school of this genre since 2003. Jo states on the school's website that "Classes include movement, history, costuming, makeup, choreography, fitness, theatrical skill building, circus training, and confidence building" [http://www.schoolofburlesque.com/].
Jo has been an intrinsic member of the Miss Exotic World pageant (annually in Las Vegas), as well as running the New York school. This forerunner has an amazing online handbook and a full in-print burlesque handbook available. You can purchase your print copy online via Harper Collins directly, or visit her site for the online edition on the School of Burlesque website. The book's release date was over a year ago, June of 2010, but this is a book that is so fundamental, it will never go out of style. She even includes a forward from Margaret Cho a long standing supporter of burlesque, and amazing quotes from famous people she's performed with.
The handbook covers topics of all nature that would interest both patrons of the arts, and serious performers of strip-tease and burlesque. As burlesque steps out of the shadow of the past, and and finds it's place in today's society as a a part of the performing arts, women like Jo Weldon have been instrumental in adding grace and splendor to an art form that once enjoyed a very long heyday here in the United States. Visit http://www.schoolofburlesque.com for everything about the New York School of Burlesque, and all things Jo Weldon.