A burlesque dancer speaks

Following on from last year’s performances, the Jailhouse recently put on another burlesque night with two dancers performing to a packed out club. With its focus on sex, glitz and nostalgia it’s not hard to see why these nights are becoming so popular with a certain section of Hereford’s clubbing crowd.
We caught up with one of the dancers, Danny Demilo.

“I’ve been a burlesque dancer for about four years. I perform anywhere in the UK run my own burlesque night in Birmingham once every three months. The beauty of this line of work is it can take you to all corners of the globe.

“I love music and I love dancing, it’s my inspiration in life. I enjoy making a spectacle of myself as well as entertaining so I was naturally attracted to burlesque.

“I have a day job as well. A girl’s gotta eat! Some perform for free (it is a very saturated market) and few make a very good living out of it. I’m lucky enough to earn money from dancing but we all start at the bottom. A lot of work and money goes into it: routines, practice, costumes, promotion etc. The reason we all do it is because we enjoy it. After all, money is such an ugly subject.

“You don’t tend to get a lot of ‘dirty old men’ at performances and I’ve never really experienced any abuse. With performances of this nature you expect an objectifying audience and that’s fine and all part of the experience. But if any member of the ‘dirty mac brigade’ were present they’d soon see that it’s not overtly sexual and very tongue-in-cheek.

“As with any performance it can be a little nerve-wracking before you take the stage. I find it boosts your performance to be slightly nervous. A happy audience can encourage your confidence as it does any entertainer. That’s why you’re there, to entertain and enjoy yourself!

“I’m definitely a sexual object. Aren’t we all? And I celebrate it. I enjoy what I do and don’t consider it an issue if people find it degrading. It’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it. I’m one of the fortunate people to profit in so many ways by doing something I love. It’s my job and hobby!

“It’s hard to tell why burlesque has become so popular with women, I guess there’s something appealing about the glitz and glamour of it all. It’s liberating rather than degrading and there’s such a variety in performers. Most girls like to dress up and feel fabulous. It’s sexy and fun. What’s not to like?”

Check out Danny’s Opulence nights

All photos © William Allen

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