I am a performing artist currently based in Houston, Texas. I am from College Station, Texas but haven’t spent much time there since I left for college. I have a degree in Musical Theatre from Sam Houston State University and have spent the better part of time after graduation in Houston.
How long have you been a burlesque performer and what do you love about it?
I have been a burlesque performer for four years now. I love the artistic freedom it allows, the glamour of it, and the thrill of getting to interact directly with my audience. It’s a beautiful art form that celebrates the human body and sexuality in a unique and smart way; that’s what drew me to it in particular.
What kind of training does one have to undergo to become a burlesque performer?
One doesn’t have to undergo any one type of training to be a burlesque performer. There are artists from many different backgrounds in the field and so there are many different types of burlesque. As someone who is highly trained in musical theatre with dance being my strongest form, I tap into my choreography skills, my dance technique and my understanding of how to tell a story to help me when I am creating an act.
There are also elements of my training I had to unlearn in a sense because they did not serve me in burlesque the same way they had in a musical. But other performers, such as someone who comes from a circus background, is going to bring skills and strengths to their acts that are very different from mine but still translate just as beautifully into burlesque. That’s the beauty of it, it has space for all types of artists.
For those who have never been to a burlesque show before, what can they expect when attending one for the first time?
Lots of sexy fun! Burlesque is most likely going to bring a smile to your face and audience participation is usually encouraged. Unlike a traditional theatre setting, we want you to clap, hoot and holler as loud as you can for the things we’re doing! As far as what to expect from the acts, you really have to be ready for anything!
Some shows have classic burlesque, some have neo-burlesque and some have a mix of everything. If you can, do a little research about the show you’re going to attend before you go. Always come prepared to let loose, have fun, make noise and not take life or sexiness too seriously.
Do you believe in any superstition?
I don’t really believe in superstition but I do believe in energy and karma. I have my own spiritual practice to keep myself centered and grounded.
If you can learn anything in this world, what will it be?
How to be a director. I love putting all the pieces together when it comes to creating and I would love to someday learn how to be in the director’s seat of a production.
Which flavor best describes you?
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Valentina. One question before we end, how do you define “sexy”?
It’s beyond beauty or age, it’s a confidence and an attitude. It’s there for the taking if you want it.
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