Burlesque & Bubbly

Burlesque & Bubbly is your tasteful alternative to the conventional hen party, all powder pink and rosé champagne to match your lipstick. Rather than just getting trashed, it’s an opportunity to learn flirty techniques, shake your tail feathers and become a strong empowered woman who don’t need no man (unless you’re the bride to be – don’t dump him on my account).

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Hosted by professional dancer/nutcase Rachael Mellor and based in Fonseca’s at the heart of Liverpool’s gay town on Stanley St, it’s apt that her sessions should be sign posted with rainbows.

Guests are encouraged to dress up in all their Ann Summers finery (not the crotchless pants) and will inevitably flap about tightening corsets (‘TIGHTER!!!’) and applying more of just about everything. It felt a bit like the girly sleepover I never had because nobody wanted to be my mate, and many bosoms were squeezed in admiration._DSC9721 copyThe event is tucked away in a cosy curtained basement away from prying eyes. After being greeted with a glass of fizz the hens prepare a special sentimental keepsake for the bride. Then it’s on to an activity to devise your own sassy burlesque persona involving the name of a first pet (mine was a cat called Ben so it didn’t really work).

cerdiau.jpgThe dance lesson involves learning five key burlesque techniques which are incorporated into a routine in which the bride takes centre stage. The song comes from the film Burlesque and the routine is simple, but champagne makes most people tipsy so they won’t notice you being rubbish anyway.

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Rachael and our gorgeous Aussie bride Barbie Von Possum who definitely should have been named Kylie Down Under.

Afterwards hens receive three glasses of wine each, and the opportunity to play with Rachael’s box of props so Facebook can see just how fit you can be and why on earth didn’t they see it before?

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I’d never been to a hen party before and literally lower my voice to utter the word ‘penis’, so the thought of willy straws, willy piñatas and probably an actual well-oiled willy had me a bit scared. However, this was a lovely alternative to the traditional last night as a free woman.

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received_10156532930965374It’s a safe environment to explore your sexuality away from the prying eyes of strange men, except for barman Niall who’s a bit strange in that he wasn’t paying any of us attention. Gobshite.

It also isn’t strictly for hen parties. Finally turning 18 or 80? Just want to get together with the girls? Divorce finalised? It’s all good – various styles and themes are adaptable to your shindig.

Regular readers already know my take on burlesque; it’s not about what flesh you’re flashing, but what you aren’t. It’s about expressing another side to your personality through narrative and costume, and propping other women up with admiration and encouragement. It’s about being proud to expose your vulnerabilities.

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Rachael also runs weekly Jazz-Esque classes which fuse jazz routines and burlesque techniques. She’s a boss teacher and I’ve grown to consider her a close pal. She recognises that it’s all in good fun; we aren’t trained dancers and some of us aren’t comfortable getting our knockers out (as you can tell, I am!). Beginners classes start in March.

kairiEasy going and an all-round good egg, Rachael is supportive even when you’re rubbish and always has a massive grin. I know we’re biased, but Burlesque & Bubbly is a genuinely great event. There’s no penis paraphernalia in sight, and you might even learn a few moves to impress potential roosters. You’re guaranteed a clucking good time (sorry).

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Photography by Mina Bihi

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Why I Would Never go Elephant Trekking Again

Grief-stricken back in 2012 after a breakup with who I thought was the love of my life, I impulsively spent a lot of money on a last-minute flight to Thailand. It was in the middle of nowhere a couple of hours from Bangkok that I fell in love with elephants. Trekking through the jungle towards a river, we splashed each other and it dunked us into the cold water where we’d fall off and climb back on. It was a magical experience I would do anything to relive.

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The rest of our trip was organised by tour group Contiki, and the first of our island-hopping stops was Koh Samui. To kick off our stay we were taken on a pre-paid elephant trek.

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Samui elephants are not native to the island and are there purely to fuel the demands of the tourist trade. I could tell instantly the elephants weren’t well cared for and the experience was dismal. Chains hung from their necks and ankles, and their ears were damaged from the bull-hooks used to force them along the track when they hesitated. I found myself with a bad taste in my mouth in a country referred to as ‘The Land of Smiles’.

I so clearly recall thinking it wasn’t right and to this day am ashamed I didn’t refuse to get on. Although I should have listened to my gut, I didn’t know what I know now about the treatment of captive elephants.

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The Land of Smiles

But the fact is that wild elephants need to be tamed before they can be ridden. The taming process is brutal, and accomplished when the elephants are very young. In a process called phajaan, or “the crush”, the baby elephant is snatched from its mother and tortured to completely break its spirit. Beaten into submission with clubs and pieced with sharp bull-hooks, they are simultaneously starved and deprived of sleep for several days.

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Photojournalist Brent Lewin won a Science/Natural History Award of Excellence for this image at the Pictures of the Year competition, exposing how the babies are prepared for elephant trekking.

A British tourist was recently killed whilst elephant trekking on Samui in front of his teenage daughter. When the elephant’s mahout – handler – climbed down to take photos he was attacked by the elephant’s tusk, leaving the elephant free to go on the rampage. It threw the tourists of its back, trampling the man and stabbing him in the chest with a tusk and killing him instantly.

Now aged 23 and wiser, I would have made a point of refusing to get on and letting everybody know about it. The industry thrives because tourists all want to ride elephants or watch them do tricks, paying good money for the privilege.

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Likewise, through research I would have learned the Tiger Temple had long been accused by animal rights activists of mistreating the tigers for commercial gain and even trafficking some of its animals. I should have wondered whether a wild animal, even one the size of a dog like a monkey should be kept on a leash.

I learned about an elephant named Tyke, kept in captivity for many years before finally killing her trainer and escaping from a circus in Hawaii. Bolting down the streets of Honolulu, police fired 86 shots until she eventually collapsed from her wounds and died. Her bid for freedom and disturbing final minutes can be seen here, whilst the documentary Tyke: Elephant Outlaw  elaborates on the correlation between wild animals treated as entertainment and them paying the ultimate price.

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Tyke

If you’re determined to interact with an elephant, there are a select few sanctuaries where they are are treated with respect and free to behave as they would in the wild. The Elephant Nature Park sanctuary is tucked away in the beautiful jungles outside of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, with a mission to protect & care for mistreated elephants rescued from the tourism and logging industries. You can feed them fresh fruit out of the palm of your hand, watch them play in the mud, accompany them on walks and even help give them a bath – which in my opinion sounds brilliant!

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Taking a bath at the ENP looks just as satisfying as elephant trekking (source).

We all know the ivory trade is illegal, but many of us are still ignorant about the socially accepted abuse of elephants. Keeping such a majestic creature alive for monetary gain is equally as cruel, and need to spread awareness of elephant trekking to eradicate this treatment.

If an elephant camp in south east Asia claims to be “responsible” with its animals, you should still be sceptical. Remember the process used to train them is often the same, and even if they’re now treated with kindness it’s the fear of being stabbed used to motivate them to work.

The elephant has been a cultural icon of Thailand since ancient days, a symbol of fortune renowned for its intelligence. It’s easy for me to say this being from a prosperous country, but what Thailand doesn’t see is the good fortune it has in being able to share its land with such incredible animals.

Everybody has the right to make their own decision on whether animal trekking is an essential Thai activity, but neither should they be under any illusions: tourists who pay to ride elephants support the continued exploitation of wildlife.

I don’t know whether that elephant in the river really was enjoying itself, as I do recall a bull-hook, but I often find myself hoping so. I could tell the elephant on Samui wasn’t happy, and I wish it could know how sorry I am.  I will never forget either of them.

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My trip to Manchester’s Alternative & Burlesque Fair

Now in its fifth year, the Alternative & Burlesque Fair is the UK’s largest touring alternative shopping & entertainment event. Promising up to 70 exhibitors selling everything from vintage to steampunk fashion, the Grade II listed 02 Ritz provided a glamorous backdrop for this performer’s Mecca. I was on on mission to be inspired, spend too much money and see plenty of breasts.

Compère Liberty Pink hosted a full programme of entertainments ranging from twisted cabaret to aerial acts providing shoppers with an hourly reprieve as the lights were dimmed.

I was surprised by the pole dancing and a particularly graceful, ballet-like routine. Burlesque performers included the fabulous Raven Noir, who I met as an extra on Hollyoaks. I was so taken by her confidence that I decided then and there to share my solo idea, and I can’t wait to tell her how my first performance goes in June!

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Raven Noir

On the subject of burlesque, Verity Grey had the greatest, jiggliest bum I’ve ever seen. At £6 a ticket the entertainment by itself was brilliant value and I felt privileged to watch such respected names in burlesque. On top of that, guests had access to countless independent businesses you often can’t just walk into a store and browse.

When I’d seen enough beautiful naked women, vintage themed dining was provided by Lil’s Parlour which was reasonable at £2.50 for a really special slice of cake so I could eat my feelings and sob.

In terms of exhibitors, the event was a little lacking in products geared towards burlesque; I saw few fabulous pasties, showgirl eyelashes or anything much beyond corsets. I also would have liked to see more rockabilly clothing because there’s not enough Vaseline in the world to slip me into fetishwear.

However, I had a fabulous, enlightening day. Here’s a round up of things to catch my eye.

 Nicola Hebson’s Curiosity Shop Dead Good Jewellery

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Nicola Hebson has a deep respect and appreciation for nature, preserving the beauty in things which otherwise would be discarded or left to rot. Her pieces celebrate the loveliness to be found in the great outdoors, and capture the spirit of the great English woodlands.

All specimens seen in her work have died of natural causes or are victims of roadkill accidents, giving them a new lease of life and creating curious one of a kind works of art in the form of jewellery and ethical taxidermy.

Past commissions have included menstrual blood, unmusical cord, kidney stone and a lover’s hair encapsulated into a pendant.

My pal was appalled, but I personally have  a real soft spot for stuffed animals, and not the teddy bear kind. Here are some cute taxidermy pieces…

Whilst others are incorporated into headpieces…

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Note: not actual dead baby.

And here is the pièce de résistance, yours for £55. Fascinated, I returned several times throughout the day to convince myself I definitely didn’t need half a dead rat. I think Nicola and I could be friends.

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Another interesting brand is Nippleicious, offering piercing-free jewellery for your nips. Run by a vivacious eastern European named Sveta who will insist on demonstrating how to attach the jewellery to your pinkie, there are hundreds of really lovely designs available and I particularly like this piece – so many TITanic puns!

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I thought I was pretty clued up on kinky stuff, but basically I was wrong. I didn’t even get the names of some exhibitors because I was flustered and trying hard not to look like I was looking, but I couldn’t ignore The Bondage Man:

‘Awh, candles! I might buy one for Mum!’

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…wait, what’s alternative about candles? The Bondage Man helpfully provided photos of how to keep the flame alive with your lover. I am a great fan of UV so this wax would provide a cracking photoshoot if I wasn’t a giant chicken.

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Time to leave.

It took a while to figure out what this was, and the more I saw it the more I wanted it:

plugHere are some ultra trashy stripper heels and Taylor Momsen rocking a similar design:

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Brooches may no longer be cool but under lights, costume jewellery and accessories are really something. Although this piece by C J Accessories in particular caught my eye, I was after something red for an upcoming performance because I’m not domesticated and can’t sew. I settled on puckered lips for some simple, elegant decoration.

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Of everything I saw, it’s this bespoke showgirl costume by performer and designer Daisy Cutter that really stole the show. It’s a shame the whole set isn’t visible, although you can spot it in the background of Raven Noir’s photo. The colours lilac, baby blue and mint are just dreamy and reminiscent of the dress Carrie wore for her junior prom in The Carrie Diaries.

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By John Fox Photography

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Now, on to what I actually bought. How great is my new hat by Twisted Stitch Designs?

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I also got my hands on this gorgeous kimono (£20) by Madams Pinups, a brand I’ve previously written about. My fat bum and lack of ironing skills don’t do it justice, but my pal liked it so much she bought her own then and there.

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On a vintage sale rail I found a sequinned crop for just £5 – buzzing! And to blow my last tenner after sprinting to a cash point, an apron I will definitely never wear. Should have bought the raccoon butt plug/feather duster.

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And finally, feeling guilty for leaving the boyfriend at home I brought him back a very adult bondage colouring book (£5). However, I hear he’s also keen on the apron…

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Madams Pinups

I came across Madams Pinups last week at the North Wales burlesque festival.

Selling clothing, homeware and accessories, what makes this brand special is that all this gorgeous pin up and burlesque art is painted and then hand printed by artist Melanie Adams.

And if Tempest Storm isn’t your cup of tea, Melanie also offers watercolour portrait commissions for performers, pinups or anyone needing more glamour in their life. They can be used for personal or promotional use, costing between £120 – £155 which come with a free personalised robe, so you can literally walk around with your own face on it.

Although the art is great, it’s what Melanie does with it that really caught my eye. This showgirl tie would be a cracking Valentine’s gift! And at just £8 you can afford to buy one for every ex boyfriend and the boy you used to stalk.

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And don’t even get me started on these Bottom of my Heart cufflinks, £10:

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If you just want to treat yourself the clothes are just lovely, although photos don’t do them justice because assistant Norma needs to eat some cake. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a kimono (only £20!), and also had my eye on a pencil skirt.

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And if you know a man who’ll be lonely this Valentine’s, Dita will gladly give him a hand… putting a TV dinner in the microwave.

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If you’re after a card for your pinup queen, here’s the official 2016 Valentine’s design. I would even buy it for myself to put it in a frame.

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And here’s something that gives new meaning to adult colouring. For 50p you can download and print an un-watermarked A3 copy of her artwork, and although I usually think colouring books for grown-ups are silly this is a really nice idea.

Not quite brave enough to try burlesque? Steal another’s identity! Burlesque costumes are so creative and glamorous, I’d have a lot of fun designing my own without even learning to sew.

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Note: copyright belongs to Melanie Adams so don’t rob the design and pass it off as your own or she’ll stab you with a stiletto.

Frustrated by too many nights standing beside the Missus whilst she touted her wares and being forced to watch lovely ladies dance in crystals and feathers (yeah right!) the Prof decided he wanted in on the act. Unable to paint and unwilling to dance the dance of an ecdysiast, he went back to his roots as a chemist and decided to develop a line of cosmetics for the Madams Pinups brand.

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A plan began to brew for products that were just a little bit different and that would compliment the products we already had. After a few weeks of being treated like a very pouty guinea pig, Madam approved some luscious lip balms and we were ready to roll. The infamous jelly soaps soon followed in various incarnations and Professor Pinups was garnering his very own following.

Ah, the jelly soaps available as boobs or brains, that lifelong question. The bath crystals poured from science beakers test tubes that change colour when coming in contact with water are also pretty snazzy and a great gift for a nerd/young human.

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I really love how this couple harnesses their talents to the best of their ability and comes together to create one special brand. I’ve just learned they’ll be at tomorrow’s Alternative & Burlesque Fair in Manchester. See you both there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockin’ Rockette’s Bedhead Boutique

I love Tink’s accessories so much, they deserves a post all of their own. But first, can we take a moment to appreciate how she she co-ordinates her hair, eyebrows AND glasses?

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Right. Back to business.

Fed up of not being able to find quirky accessories in her local area, she began making them for herself and now creates custom accessories for aspiring pin-up girls, ranging from garters to shoe bows – and they’re faaahhbulous.

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She made me this tattoo heart necklace displaying my favourite Welsh lyric (‘Honest heart, pure heart’), which serves as a great talking point so I can gently inform English people that WALES IS A REAL COUNTRY DAMNIT.

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However, the vinyl record bag is arguably her trademark creation and was my most prized possession until someone recently stepped on it at a party, and even though it’s cracked I can’t bring myself to chuck it. It seems to match everything and brings a really special finishing touch to swing dresses. No to mention EVERYBODY thinks you’re the bees knees despite not being quite sure how to use a record player.

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Photo by Studio Six

There’s a humongous range of fabrics available, although I personally went for the black and white musical note print because it’s so versatile; realistically, Disney Princesses will only match my nipple tassels.

Although the record you’re given is random (does Justin Bieber sell vinyls? Baah!) you’re welcome to post Tink a particular vinyl, or even your own shoe!

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And while we’re on the subject of bags, how ridiculous if this Grumpy Cat tote?

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Not only extremely talented, Tink genuinely cares for her customers and was recently reduced to floods of tears on learning a pair of child’s boots had been made for a daughter’s funeral.

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She also firmly believes in braving the bullies and celebrating your size no matter what, which makes me like her even more. Good thing you can’t outgrow a handbag because my Christmas pudding thighs are going nowhere soon…

For more of Tink’s work visit Rockin’ Rockette’s Bedhead Boutique.

Meet my Jazzesque sisters!

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?

 Scarlett Adelaide

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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!

 

Zoe LaSparkle 

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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.

 

Little Peaches 

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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

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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

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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 Spragg

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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.

Leather Lacey 

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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.

 

Alluring Alice

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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

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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 McFarlane

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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.

Ferrero Rochelle

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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…

Naffrodite

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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.

Jacqui Bevington

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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.

Kayleigh Jayde

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It was short lived but we still consider her a sister. Good luck with your contemporary dancing!

Selina Dunne

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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!

Lula Limonada

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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.

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Yeehaw!