Rosie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I am a creative type who comes from a dance background. A few years back I fell in love with the world of burlesque and ever since have been working hard to live my best showgirl life. On a daily, you can find me highly caffeinated either dancing or performing around the city. I’m often either with my Wife for Life (Pastel) or my dog (Snug). I’ve most recently been involved in some cool projects including the remake of an 80s fitness TV show called “Angelica’s 22 Minute Workout”, a two-woman show with Pastel, and of course opening a burlesque studio.
Pastel: Welcome back to FYIG! What have you been up to since we last spoke?
Thank you, It’s been quite a ride! I had the pleasure of producing and choreographing a few more shows, presented the theatrical release for the movie Beginning Burlesque and helped Rosie prepare the new studio for its opening. Then I took some much needed time to mourn the loss of my greatest and toughest teacher, my mother. When I the time was right, I came back to it all full of love and a revived drive.
How did you two meet?
We met when Rosie joined my burlesque company, Love Letters Cabaret and we have been bouncing off of each other’s creative ideas ever since.
What led to the creation of Burlesque Uni?
The Uni was created because Toronto was lacking a professional showgirl training program that fully encompassed the steps to creating a persona, building performance techniques and learning stage production. We built a fun and safe environment for everyone interested in burlesque, from the most novice level to those looking to make showbiz a full-time job.
How do you two complement each other as instructors?
We both have a similar performance aesthetic and value the same qualities in excellence and execution but we listen to different music, focus on different techniques and teach in different ways. Rosie vibes on comedy and pop and I, Pastel, get heavy into energy and culture.
How does the drop-in option differ from the 10-week course in terms of content?
The 10 -week intensive is a much more in-depth program dedicated to those interested in working as a showgirl. The drop-ins welcome all level participants looking to improve dance and fitness within the burlesque world.
How does someone apply for classes if they’re interested and what should they know before enrolling?
Look us up! www.Burlesqueuni.com has our schedule, class blurbs and a breakdown of what to wear or bring. In general, you should be prepared to get sweaty, loud and *hopefully* addicted to showgirl life
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about joining a class?
Give us a try! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never danced, worn heels or less than a full snowsuit in public. We acknowledge everyone is different and all we aim to do is promote self-love. You don’t even have to tell anyone you were there.
What other projects do you two have coming up in the future? What are some of the common misconceptions about burlesque?
We will be releasing dates for our two-woman show, Wife and… look for us on TV. (That’s all we can say for now)
What are your lives like outside of burlesque?
Literally the same. We are showgirls. We are currently sitting in the sun midday completely covered in rhinestones ready to go teach classes before giging tonight. Later we will be making costumes for the upcoming student showcase Looking Like a Snack at The Velvet Underground on July 25th.
Let the readers know where to find you online
Find us anywhere @burlesqueuni (all one word) for our classes @lovelettersto for our shows and @huntyswag for our costumes and streetwear.
Check out our earlier interview with Pastel here!