I’ve been part of the Liverpool-based Jazzesque troupe for around a year now. A fusion of jazz and burlesque dance, we have performed at various variety and burlesque events.
Now there’s little more than a week to go until we give our take on the Postmodern Jukebox cover of Seven Nation Army, and most of us go down to tassels for the first time! We’ll kick off the Valentine’s festivities at The Secret Circus on February 13th and the Richmond hotel the next day.
Then in March there’s not one but TWO performances at Threshold Festival, and in June a showcase of all our work including debut solos.
Time you found out who the birds behind the boobs are, no?
Meet Scarlett Adelaide, AKA Mandy. Scarlett represents her most notable, asset whilst Adelaide was the Christian name of her great aunt, also a dancer in the 40s.
An optical assistant, Mandy is the one who makes you stare at the hot air balloon then blows in your face like the monster she is and has heard her fair share of jokes about blowing old geezers in the dark.
Mandy is also an experienced alt model and has done shoots ranging from latex to pin-up for the likes of Lindy’s Boutique.
She has the sweetest, softest Scouse accent I’ve ever heard and almost makes wools sound sexy.
She loves a good rabbit (not that kind, ya filthy animal) and her big-eared baby is called Heisenberg. Her confidence has grown so much over the past months and I can’t wait for her Jessica Rabbit inspired act!
Meet our little French Fancy! Justine, i.e. Zoe LaSparkle studied English at the University of Leeds, and was so good at it she never left the country.
Now a background actress, her latest project was Peaky Blinders.
Animal lover Justine also dabbles in photography and probably enjoys the Eiffel Tower (not to be confused with being Eiffel Towered) and baguettes.
Meet Little Peaches, all the way from Down Under.
Model and burlesque performer Kairi trained and competed as an Irish dancer after seeing a display on St Paddy’s Day when she was five (Aus has a decent scene – who knew?)
This talented possum has designed and made costumes, sets and props for theatre and film since the age of 16 and a film she made costumes for was actually short listed for the Cannes Film Festival.
She even makes steel-boned corsets, so no worries if she ever loses the model bod!
A serious medical diagnosis encouraged her to grip life by the bollocks and sign up for burlesque classes.
She got her start in the The Silk Stockings, an Aussie burlesque troupe. She was known as the clumsy awkward one and once kicked a shoe into someone’s dinner – they thought it was part of the act and lapped it up.
One of her most notable career moments involves being the support act for world renowned DJ Freq Nasty; she and a fellow dancer performed a duo in mud from a nearby croc infested swamp – our Kairi is dead exotic.
In her spare time you’ll find her scouring Camden market, often wearing her own reworked vintage outfits.
She’s allergic to practically everything, including latex (soz boys).
No, she doesn’t know Kylie.
Kairi is cute as a button and I’m happy she’s my neighbour (practically), and life will be a little less peachy when she goes away to become a henna artist and wife-to-be in Brighton after a whirlwind romance. Phew!
Sassy Violette is a long time party girl and can-can queen. The phrase YOLO was probably invented for Teena, an ex punk rocker who had a full mohawk before shaving it off entirely and still wears a Levi’s 501 jacket she’s owned since 1981.
She started playing rugby aged 47 and loves her snowboarding but has yet to gain a certificate because she’s not so good at it. She’s set her house on fire twice and now has her eye on learning to fire dance. Her greatest ambition is to see the Aurora Borealis and she’ll never leave the house without factor 50 on her face (ginger person probs).
Our Teena has seen it all so is a wise but young at heart owl, although if any of us were gonna end up in jail I reckon it would still be her. However, she’s a right good egg and recently popped down to Calais to help those folks in need – nice one Teena!
Venus Von Trix
Venus Von Trix AKA Lydia is an actor, dancer and performance artist who loves to create and devise new material, collaborating recently with Paperwork Theatre company to create Shortcut to Bliss.
A free spirit with a chaotic past, she’s ‘just tumbling through this amazing and overwhelming journey of self discovery’.
She has a long haired ginger Chihuahua called Coco and thinks men look fabulous in guyliner and glitter. She has a rubber fetish and loves latex.
In March she’ll be running 10k obstacle race Chain Runner whilst chained to another runner and then to work American summer camp.
When there’s time she loves to bake and make jams/pickles.
She loves nature and being outdoors away from the madness, it soothes the introvert in her.
She doesn’t really sit still and is a member of fight club, shhhh.
Venus has an intergalactic feel, living with captain Kronos somewhere between a black hole and the Andromeda galaxy. Venus is forever shaking her pulsar nipple tassels, bringing a little sparkle to dark matter!
Alex, or Spraggs, is like Courtney Love’s better looking sister and from BOLTON!!! Yay!! (Nope there’s no way to make that sound good, sorry.)
A politics student who now hates politics, she did a year at the University of Bristol but wasn’t impressed by the cast of Made in Chelsea swanning about.
She loves cheese, punk and thinks 2pm in an early morning. My favourite memory involves us trying to awaken the spirits with an ouija board and Spraggs being quite socially awkward with it.
Pint-sized Jemima is the youngest member of our troop. The name Leather Lacey is inspired by a Stevie Nicks song, so she has pretty good taste considering she’d be forgiven for still liking 1D.
She loves mod fashion and Fred Perry, funk, every kind of tea and fringes, so her fave pinup is obv Bette Paige.
Her entire house is pinup themed with a rockabilly style kitchen diner.
She says ‘fabulous’ and ‘snazzy’ far too much, although she is both fabulous and snazzy so gets away with it.
Her modelling alter ego is Jacky Daniels.
She loves a drop of gin, probably because she hasn’t had enough time for a bad experience.
Ally the model by day, Alluring Alice who’ll take you to Wonderland by night.
You’ll often find Ally strutting about on stilts and covered from head to toe in body paint at events.
Ruby Von Strudel
Nicola is one of our newest recruits. She studied Creative & Performing Arts at university and it was there she began researching burlesque purely for her own needs as opposed to an assignment set by a subject tutor/lecturer after coming across it while studying dance and choreography in my first unit.
More interested in researching burlesque than an assignment set by a tutor, she became fascinated having watched Dita Von Teese’s martini glass routine online.
She watched a burlesque show at the Bluecoat staged as part of Dadafest, a festival run by those with disabilities. It included Diva Hollywood who began performing 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MS, and she became well & truly bitten by the burlesque bug.
She came across Jazz-Esque and Ruby Von Strudel was born. Dealing with issues about body confidence and self-esteem via counselling, she credits Jazzesque for making a significant contribution. She herself is the Group Facilitator for a self-injury support group.
Her burlesque inspirations include Barbara Stanwyck in ‘Lady of Burlesque’ and Marilyn Monroe in ‘Ladies of the Chorus’.
Meg LOVES the forties when all that good stuff like Slinkys and WW2 happened.
On the subject of the forties, did you know rationing laws ordered the trimming of beachwear fabric by 10 percent, so designers introduced two-piece suits that exposed the midriff but covered the navel. Although the shrinking swimsuits were controversial among mainstream Americans, starlets and beach vacationing teenagers embraced the original version of the bikini.
Meg is an actor but prefers directing because she’s really quite bossy (her words not mine). She swears like a sailor but only because she’s so passionate about things/lacks self control.
She’s a film geek with a quote for every situation, especially Tarantino’s because most of them are full of swearing.
She loves dancing although her body disagrees.
‘In my head I’m like ginger Rogers. ..the outside just isn’t the case.’ Shut up Meg.
Rachael is our teacher and reminds me of a demented fairy.
Graduating with a degree in Dance Drama and Physical Theatre, she pursued a career in all three arts forms; ranging from touring pantomimes, dance shows covering a range of styles, and educational children’s theatre.
Ferrero Rochelle is both a performer and a choreographer. She runs her own company Rachael Mellor Dance, first and foremost teaching Jazz-Esque to “a wonderful and inspiring group of women” (aw, we know).
She has big plans for the dance troop this year as well as beginners classes for anyone who wants to be part of the fabulous Jazz-Esque gang.
Then there’s the contemporary dance where girls probably let out their inner Bush (Kate! You are just filthy today!), first wedding dances and hen parties.
Besides all that, she’s a film and television background actress and hosts princess parties as Elsa and was an entertainment host on the Disney Cruise Line. WHY wasn’t Elsa around to drown yet?
She also cooks a mean breakfast at 81 Renshaw (please only stalk if you plan on killing Elsa).
She loves a good flapper dress, Audrey and Marilyn.
And here are some retired sisters that we all miss…
Nobody quite knows who Naffrodite is. Reverse drag queen? Oedepian Freudian Frankenstein? Hostess of Romantic Horrors?
I tend to think of Frankii as one of the “movers and shakers” of Liverpool who has her mitts in many pots. She’s a compère and singer, hair stylist and performance artist, life model and event organiser.
Last year she shaved her head in aid of CALM in memory of a pal.
What I love most about Jacqui is she’ll try absolutely everything once, be it burlesque or drum circles or fire dancing. It just isn’t the same without her.
It was short lived but we still consider her a sister. Good luck with your contemporary dancing!
Selina is a proud mumma but also a twin, and I still hold out hope they’ll do a Cheeky Girls duet.
And finally, it’s me!
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that my solo ‘When Life Gives You Lemons’ involves a cross between my fave fruit and that Katy Perry bra.