Shimmy and shake

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The expo will bring together a variety of local and national performers in an effort to raise awareness of Oklahoma’s growing community of movement-art enthusiasts.

“Burlesque is a huge part of American popular culture history from live theaters to movies to fashion,” said Lynne Crowe, Expo director/ producer and owner of Teaze Dance. “Pole dancing is contemporary, but it is quickly gaining recognition for being as acrobatic as any form of gymnastics in the Olympics.”

Friday night’s lineup starts off with the Oklahoma Pole Championships followed by performances from Teaze instructor Rachele Ribera and celebrated pole performer and contortionist David Owen. Friday’s headliners are Las Vegas acrobats and Cirque Du Soleil alums Duo Ronin. A fashion show will conclude the evening with clothing provided by The Edge Clothing & Accessories and body painting by Bryan Crump.

Swing band The Storyville Scoundrels will help set a nostalgic tone for Saturday’s performances as burlesque performers from local troupes compete for titles in the Oklahoma Queen of Burlesque Competition and the Miss Pin-Up Oklahoma Pageant.

OKLAHOMA
POLE AND BURLESQUE EXPO
TEAZE DANCE & FITNESS
8PM FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
PLAZA
THEATRE
1725 NW 16TH ST.
TICKETSTORM.COM
$35-$60

Burlesque came to prominence in America in the late 19th century and enjoyed great popularity until the social crackdown of Prohibition. Interest in the art form was rekindled on both coasts during the 1990s. Tulsa troupe The Spider Lilies and OKC’s Kabaret Falschtanz helped kickstart the local burlesque scene over a decade ago.

The Dust Bowl Dolls became OKC’s first neo-burlesque troupe in 2007, incorporating more modern styles of music, dance, costuming and satire into their shows.

“Many of the performers were inspired by the history of burlesque and wanted a new way to express their femininity,” performer and co-founder Merry McGinnis Ireland said.

Inspired by musicals like Chicago and Moulin Rouge and
the success of dance studios with a flirtatious bent in other states,
Lynn Crowe opened Teaze Dance in 2009. The company teaches classes and
workshops and has two in-house performance troupes, the Oklahoma
Showgirls and the Teaze Pole Team.

The
Bang Bang Queer Punk Variety Show got its start in 2010 when cofounders
Austin Tatious, Chase Vegas and Cassidy Queerface decided to embrace
their status as the black sheep of the drag scene and create an
eclectic, inclusive show that matched their tastes.

“We enjoy being a hodgepodge of different acts thrown together to make a lovely jumble of fun,” Queerface said.

TnT
Burlesque & Variety Troupe also got its start in 2010 after founder
Apple Angel attended the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas.

“That
event inspired me more than I had ever felt before, and I couldn’t wait
to come back to Oklahoma City and begin taking classes and performing,”
Angel said.

TnT has since taken up residency at The Boom, producing themed variety shows.

Opening
its doors in 2012, Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque in Bricktown is the
newest member of the scene, hosting vintage and modern burlesque
performances every weekend.

“For
audiences, I think many are attracted by not only the performance art
but the experience of seeing a woman’s view of her own sensuality,”
Ireland said. “For performers, it’s fulfilling to take a step back from
the media image of sexy and decide how to interpret your own ideas of
sexuality.”

See more burlesque

Teaze Dance troupes can be seen performing across the states at private parties and casinos.

The
Dust Bowl Dolls perform the last Thursday of every month at the Drunken
Fry, the third Tuesday of the month at The Blue Note Lounge and every
other month at Hilo Club.

The next TnT Burlesque performance, Viva Las Hollywood, runs Feb. 28-March 2 at The Boom.

You
can catch Bang Bang at the Hilo the second Friday of the month and at
Downtown Sound in Norman on the last Saturday of the month. They also
have an upcoming show at The Boom on March 23.

The Dollhouse has multiple shows every Friday and Saturday night.

Eric Webb

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