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stage door johnnies burlesque

Boylesque performers are transforming the classic act of strip-teasing into a whole new and exciting genre of entertainment. Keeping the performances comparable with regular burlesque, men also wear ostentatious outfits consisting of glitter, thongs, nipple tassels and themed costumes such as sailors and school boys. The most enjoyable element of boylesque is the ability to make people laugh until their sides split.

Throughout history women have mastered the arts of manipulation, seduction and sex-appeal. They have also typically dominated the stage in the sultry and flirtatious world of burlesque, strip-teasing their way into the hearts of gentlemen since the Victorian era. Burlesque has expanded into a creative outlet for dance and imaginative performances. Another add on to the ultimate sport for ladies involves…well…not being a lady.

Boylesque mainly focuses on spoofs and ‘acting’ totally and unforgettably silly and coy. Boylesque performer, Tom Delish, created a scrumptious performance where he dances, strips then proceeds to spray canned whip cream all over his chest and nipples. While shimmying the audiences gets flecks and globs of whip cream all over them. Definitely a show worth seeing but if being covered in a man’s cream isn’t on your agenda, you may just want to stay in the back of the crowd.

Just like the ladies of burlesque, the men of boylesque are facing crude obstacles of judgment and rude slander. Boylesque isn’t just about stripping, dancing suggestively, being considered un-manly and flamboyant or dressing up their manhood in sparkly silver streamers and making it twirl like a helicopter. However boylesque performances can be elaborate and even visually stunning without the help of silver streamers. Boylesque incorporates more than just bumping and grinding into their routines, some performers perform aerial circus tricks, puppetry, unicycle riding, pole dancing, plate spinning, female impersonation, dressing and acting like mimes or clowns, musical theater and so much more.

One burlesque performer, Mark “Captain Kidd” WinMill, creates a feast for the eyes when he strips while hula-hooping with multiple hula-hoops. A tricky and daring routine that involves immense dexterity and training.

Where To See Boylesque

Raoulala boylesque
Raoulala, Holland’s premier boylesque performer


Interested in Boylesque now? Some great performers to see are: Go-Go Harder, Raoulala, Misty Meaner, Cherry Loco, Stormy Leather, Tigger!, The World Famous Bob, British Heart and I Kenny Believe it! There are also all-male boylesque groups such as the adorable Stage Door Johnnies.

Many burlesque clubs now offer boylesque performances such as the Wam-Bam in London. There is now also an annual boylesque festival that takes place in New York every year. Other festivals such as The London Burlesque Festival, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver International Burlesque Festivals and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe now offer the nipple-tassel seduction of strip-teasing men.

Energetic and playfully provocative, boylesque shows are definitely worth indulging in.

Top photo: Stage Door Johnnies
Bottom photo: Raoulala

Calling All Burlesque Performers!

what is burlesque

This website was created in January 2013 and is currently being updated to create a comprehensive A to Z of all burlesque performers worldwide. This website project is meant to be a community project with most performers writing their own profiles and keeping their pages, albums and events up to date. Longer term we will provide assistance with this but for now we need a lot of help to get all the information we can in this website.

Please get in touch if you are a burlesque performer and you would like a profile here. Alternatively if you just love burlesque and  you’d like to help out with getting information into this website please contact me: contact Nina

Photo credits:
Photograph copyright of Kate Robson
Models Jessy Riot and Bethany Parker
Clothing/accessories by Nina Young, Bite Me Couture

Dorian Dennis

Dorian Dennis Burlesque Performer

Dorian Dennis had a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from New York University and aspired to become a doctor.  Gossip slinger Lee Mortimer once said she was “five seven and a half in her nylons” and had other notable proportions including a 40 inch bust.

Dorian performed in black and white striptease 8mm films for Irving Klaw and was a high earning dancer in venues in Europe, earning up to $1,200 per week.

Source:  True Burlesque – Dorian Dennis

Source: Jim Linderman’s blog http://trueburlesque.blogspot.com








Dixie Evans

dixie evans

Dixie Evans (August 28, 1926 – August 3, 2013) was best known for her Marilyn Monroe tribute show which was a big hit with critics and audiences. However Dixie soon felt uncomfortable with as she was often mistaken for the dead star and finally replaced her tribute act with a parody of Irma La Douce.



dixie evans burlesque

Burlesque Styling and Outfits

burlesque style

burlesque-corset-outfitAttending a burlesque show means you have a great reason to go mad and get totally dressed up! The majority of people attending a burlesque show put in a lot of effort when it comes to planning their outfits. To look the look the part any clothing you choose must always have some kind of historical styling.

Burlesque entertainers became popular in Victorian times when corsets were a must-have element of every woman’s outfit. Burlesque performers are often seen unlacing their beautiful corsets on stage. A corset gives you the most divinely gorgeous feminine hourglass figure!

Dress etiquette in Victorian times also dictated that you should not be seen dead outside your house without a hat! The prefect burlesque outfit might include a fascinator, which is a small hat or hair clip often pinned to one side of your head.

When you attend a burlesque show you’ll find that the dress code is always formal so you’ll need to polish your best pair of shoes and make sure that you look that part.

50s style dress

If you’d rather not wear a restrictive corset then you could opt for a softer 40’s or 50’s style dress. When matched with a fascinator hat this really looks the part! Pinup shoes and short gloves are great finishing touches to make you look amazing at any burlesque show. .

Men can also look the part in quite a variety of different styles too, but again styles must always have an historical flavour. I love the Victorian Steampunk look which transforms a gentleman by adding flavours of futuristic elements such as brass cogs and watches fastened to parts of your hat or sleeves. Hard to imagine but these look really very dashing. Check out our article burlesque clothing for men.

PHOTO CREDITS: Copyright of photographer Kate Robson
Models: Bethany and Jessy
Clothing and Styling:  Nina Young, Bite Me Couture

Amsterdam Burlesque Award


The first ever Amsterdam Burlesque Award will take place in Amsterdam from 13th November to 16th November 2014. Tickets are available on the Amsterdam Burlesque Award website: www.amsterdamburlesqueaward.com/tickets.htm. The venue is CMA Theater, Paradijsplein 1, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Dressing in 1920’s Style

1920s chorus girls

thalia-barbarova-1920sLadies 1920s Fashions

Vintage inspired 1920’s flapper dresses look great on all figures as they can be slimming for larger ladies and nipped in a bit at the waist for those with a more slender figure. The release of The Great Gatsby film saw a surge in Gatsby-inspired parties and weddings, with a selection of delightful flapper dresses and accessories to be found in even high street fashion stores.

Sue Wong is one of the top designers inspired by 1920’s beaded, sequined couture featuring pastel colours and ostrich feather trims. Her delightful dresses are perfect for the modern day 20’s flapper and will give you a great deal of that Gatsby glamour that everyone loves. Sue Wong designs 20s dresses in short modern lengths and also floor length gowns perfect for a chic, roaring 1920s party.

flappers dancers 1920s

Burlesque in the 1920s

Burlesque was probably more popular in the 1920s than it is today, so what better era to choose as the style of a burlesque party. Get to wear vintage inspired 1920’s flapper dresses which are embellished with  intricate beading and sequins. Flapper outfit accessories could be t-strap shoes, headbands with beading and feathers, long beaded jewellery and flapper hats.

Sublime Boudoir hosted a 1920’s inspired burlesque event at the Old Vic Tunnels in 2013. With lusciously decorated 20’s inspired sets the party looked and felt lavishly luxurious. Take a peek at the video below.

1920’s Makeup and Hair Style

Dark smouldering eyes, dark luscious lips and tight pincurls? Just how do you achieve a 1920’s look? Click the 1920’s Make-up & Beauty Guide below.

1920's make-up Guides

1920s glamour

Men’s 1920’s Fashions

I don’t know about all the other ladies out there but I love a man in a hat! and my favourite has to be a smart, sophisticated Fedora hat. We’re in the right era for one of those and they look amazing with a smart, striking 1920’s suit.

1920s suits for men


For some really great guides on what to wear I found a couple of inspiring guides:  How To Gatsby and Great Gatsby Style Guide.

1920s hats for men
SOURCE: www.fedoras.com/blog/great-gatsby-hats/

Blaze Starr


Blaze Starr (born  January 1, 1932).  Starr’s striking red hair, voluptuous figure and on-stage enthusiasm were a large part of her appeal. The theatrical flourishes and unique gimmicks she used in her stage show went beyond established burlesque routines like the fan dance and balloon dance.

Her trademark routine was “the exploding couch”. As she described in 1989, “I had finally got my gimmick, a comedy thing where I’m supposed to be getting so worked up that I stretch out on the couch, and — when I push a secret button — smoke starts coming out from like between my legs. Then a fan and a floodlight come on, and you see all these red silk streamers blowing, shaped just like flames, so it looked like the couch had just burst into fire.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaze_Starr

blaze starr burlesque

5 Burlesque Outfits for Men


Get some inspiration for burlesque outfits for men: whatever outfit you decide to wear for a burlesque event, in order to fit in and look the part you’ll need to find an outfit which has some kind of historical reference. Here are some great ideas of what men can wear to a burlesque event.

1. The Steampunk



What is steampunk? Read about it here: about steampunk.

2. The Victorian


3. The Rockabilly

rockabilly look for men

4. The Roaring 20’s Dashing Gent


1920s suits for men

For more 20’s dressing style ideas check out our article Dressing in 20s Style.

5. The Regency Dandy

By Karl Lagerfeld

Looking for some inspiration for your lady’s outfit? Check out our burlesque styling article.

Sherry Britton

sherry britton

Sherry Britton (July 28, 1918 – April 1, 2008). Sherry performed in many theatres and clubs during the Golden Age of burlesque. She once said “I despised burlesque.” However, she did enjoy stripping in nightclubs, like Leon & Eddies where she was a regular for seven years. She stripped to classical music, wore lovely long gowns and tiaras and crowns. Although Britton had never attended high school, she was said to have a very high IQ. She attended Fordham and graduated pre-law in 1982, magna cum laude, at the age of 63.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherry_Britton


sherry britton burlesque

Gypsy Rose Lee


Gypsy Rose Lee (February 9, 1911 – April 26, 1970).  Her innovations were an almost casual strip style compared to the herky-jerky styles of most burlesque strippers (she emphasized the “tease” in “striptease”), and she brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. She became as famous for her onstage wit as for her strip style, and – changing her stage name to Gypsy Rose Lee – she became one of the biggest stars of Minsky’s Burlesque, where she performed for four years. She was frequently arrested in raids on the Minsky brothers’ shows.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_Rose_Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee burlesque



List of Burlesque Festivals Wordwide


This spreadsheet has been shared with kind permission from the lovely Ri Ri SynCyr on her website Burlesque Festivals. Thank you Ri Ri SynCyr!

Dirty Martini

Location: USA
Website: www.missdirtymartini.com
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Burlesque made a comeback and the new stars are creating new classic performances. One of the best performers in the world of burlesque entertainment goes by the stage name Dirty Martini and she is lighting up the stage in venues all over the world.

From New Jersey, Miss Dirty Martini was born into a performing family. A SUNY graduate, she studied Dance Performance and began work with a variety of theater and dance groups. However, once she discovered burlesque, she was hooked. Endowed with a voluptuous figure, she wanted to celebrate it and created a fan dancing act.

Dirty Martini’s talent was quickly recognized within the industry. In 2001, she won the Sally Rand Award for her fan dance. A hard-working performer, she worked with comedian and drag king Murray Hill as well as Taylor Mac and Penny Arcade. She celebrated with stunning performances in Margaret Cho’s “The Sensuous Woman” in 2007.

Dirty Martini has been proclaimed The Reigning Queen of Burlesque and has performed in New York, Las Vegas, and London. Now a headliner, she has graced the stage at international festivals such as the Tease-o-Rama. For three years in a row, she won the title “Best Body in Burlesque.

In 2013, Dirty Martini’s burlesque dancing is on tour with the Dita Von Teese’s Burlesque: Strip Strip Horray! revue. With pinups available and plenty of performances recorded on film, every fan of burlesque can get the opportunity to see this established star in action.

When it comes to modern burlesque, Dirty Martini leads the pack. She is creative and voluptuous with a huge personality! No wonder she with the burlesque performer that burlesque dancers love to watch.

Photos of Dirty Martini

Videos of Dirty Martini

Dita Von Teese

Dita von Teese burlesque performer
Location: USA
Website: www.dita.net
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When it comes to any sort of a classic beauty, one would quickly think of a retro styled pin up model. Dita Von Teese is well known for her unique style and her love for 1940s cinema as well as the starlet, retro style. This love for classic beauty was adopted at a very young age and nurtured by her mother who is known for buying her daughter all sorts of incredible clothing for her little girl to dress up in. This golden age Hollywood film era is where Dita draws her inspiration from and uses it throughout her modeling and shows today.

Not only does Dita Von Teese have an affinity for classic, retro style but she is also known to have a love for the art of dance. At a young age, she was trained in classical ballet and even had solo performances as early as age 13. This dance training can be seen today when she performs her numerous burlesque shows, which happen to sell out at each venue that she is booked. This love for dance as well as classic performance is what makes Dita such a unique beauty and incredible performer to behold.

Throughout the years, Dita Von Teese grew quite a fondness for the world of dressing up and lingerie, which led to her immense passion for frilly undergarments. From fashionable stockings to lace trimmed corsets and accessories, Von Teese is well known for being the poster girl for all that is glamorous about the retro pin up style. Not only does she star in the photo shoots, but she will often design all of the costumes and fully design the shoots herself. If you ever have a chance to see Dita Von Teese perform, you are going to be very glad that you did.

Photos of Dita von Teese

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London Burlesque Festival

london burlesque festival

The London Burlesque festival was founded in 2006 by producer and burlesque pioneer, Chaz Royal. Held in May every year The London Burlesque Festival spans an impressive number of days which seems to be on the increase every year. In 2013 the London burlesque shows were held over a period of 10 days and in 2015 that number has increased yet again to a burlesque extravaganza lasting 17 days.

Events are hosted at venues around London and the main regular venue is burlesque club Madame Jojo’s. Performers are organised into different events according to the genre of burlesque style. For example the Boylesk Revue, the Twisted Cabaret and the Hollywood Revue which are regular nights seen every year at the London Burlesque Festival.

For more information including booking information, please see the London Burlesque Festival website here: www.londonburlesquefest.com

PHOTO CREDITS: Copyright London Burlesque Event. Performer Betty D’Light.

Millie Dollar

Millie Dollar
Location: United Kingdom
Website: www.milliedollar.com
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Sultry dancer and model Millie Dollar is a starlet in the world of burlesque. In love with the glitz and glamour of the 1940’s and 50’s her stage presence exudes the very word attitude while her performances use classic feathered boas and fans to thrill and tantalize audiences with her peek here and a peek there signature dance acts such as Jealousy and the Blue Martini. The Blue Martini not only pays homage to classic burlesque with its dance style and music even the name is a nod to the history of burlesque when performers were often jailed and a blue light bulb was used to notify dancers of a police raid.

For the last 7 years Millie Dollar has been transporting people back to a time when burlesque was king, and no doubt she is one of the prize jewels in its crown. Neil Kendall founder of Goldust Burlesque Show said “Millie Dollar always adds a touch of Vintage Glamour. “ By combining classic burlesque style with the rock and roll of the Las Vegas Bump and Grind she delivers a raunchy and energetically frenzied performance with her trademark sassy pout.

Millie can be seen touring with Revue shows such as Missy Malone and Friends, and Time for Tease, and she is a regular at London’s annual Great British Tattoo show. But, never one to stop Millie became the founding member and producer of her own revue show The Martini Lounge possibly named after her act. Though petite compared to most burlesque stars her sensuality packs a punch few others can match.

Photos of Millie Dollar

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