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As a choreographer, I coalesce art and entertainment to explore themes of femininity, sensuality, and women’s empowerment. I strive to inspire reverence for femininity by demonstrating that women can simultaneously be sensual, intelligent, and multidimensional. Using an iconoclastic approach to both ballet and burlesque, my work highlights the dichotomy of these two styles by taking them into unorthodox performance venues. My projects often encompass other artistic mediums alongside dance to further develop this vision and increase its accessibility. 


I grew up in the ballet world and developed a deep appreciation for the beauty and truth this art form creates. Ballet was my first love and I will always be mesmerized by the refined technique and soft, feminine energy it exudes. As I got older, I had difficulty accepting ballet’s strict expectations of how women should look and behave, which is ultimately a magnification of society’s hypercritical attitude towards women. Women in today’s society are taught to hate their bodies and shown that bold women are not well-liked. 


When I discovered burlesque, I learned to celebrate my individuality and use my voice. Women often use the word “empowering” to explain their affinity towards sensual dance styles. If you dig deeper, I believe what makes it empowering is the act of rebellion. We get to celebrate our bodies, our femininity, and our sensuality without anyone’s permission. Accepting and even loving your flaws as a woman goes against the grain in a capitalistic, patriarchal society. It makes us much harder to control or profit off of.


Another aspect of burlesque that makes it empowering is the vulnerability that comes with moving in a sensual way with minimal clothing in front of other people. When you perform in a theater setting, you can’t see or hear the audience while you’re dancing. You get to be in your own world, which is a beautiful, imaginative space to be in. Burlesque shows, on the other hand, are much different. These are typically held in more intimate venues and you cannot ignore your audience. You have nothing to hide behind because you are exposing your whole self, literally and figuratively. Interaction is a crucial part of this performance style, which again, takes a great deal of vulnerability to pull a stranger into your art with you. There is a more active cycle of energy between the performer and the audience. We all want to feel seen and connected to one another–burlesque shows deliver that in a thrilling way.


Burlesque is often dismissed and not recognized as valid in high art circles today. It’s viewed as low art, which is thought to distract our attention instead of focusing it and encouraging reflection. I find this ironic given that certain forms of high art, ballet included, were developed as an escape from reality during difficult eras in history. Furthermore, in today’s day and age, escape is essential. We are inundated and overwhelmed with negative information about the world and our place in it. Between the news, social media, and constant connection through technology, we never get time to just be. The majority of the population is energetically drained and does not want to spend their free time further taxing their mental capacities. 


The messages of artists will not reach people if our vehicles are inaccessible. But what if there was a middle ground? What if we could package our messages in a more palatable way and reach audiences we wouldn’t otherwise? That is my vision as an artist who aims to integrate art and entertainment. I believe the world would be a better place if our culture encouraged a deeper respect for femininity and empowered women’s participation in art that makes them feel confident, bold, and beautiful. If I can successfully share that dream through art, it will have a ripple effect that reaches the root of many problems we face in modern day society.

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