I love burlesque dancing so much that I always recommend getting a burlesque dancer to perform if people looking for out of the box entertainers for their next party or event. Their work is always so inspiring, fun and sexy, that it makes for a great show-stopping part of an event that people will remember for years to come. For this month’s The People Behind The Party post, I want to introduce you to one of my favourite burlesque dancers – Abel Fox.
Photo by D Eye Photography
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Abel Fox and I’m an Australian burlesque artist based in Canberra. Burlesque is the art of the tease. Both men and women present cleverly crafted acts which are normally focused around the erotic removal of clothing. It is an art that is to be characterised by seduction, sensuality and playful humour. So essentially, I’m a stripteaser!
I work both independently and in conjunction with a local business, Sass & Tease Collective. Sass & Tease are a group of likeminded performers whose mission is to ecdysiastically entertain. We produce local shows around Canberra, host workshops, provide entertainment to private and corporate functions and team teach an assortment of burlesque classes.
Tell us about what you do at different events and parties.
A typical event sees me performing burlesque acts for an audience. I cater my performance style to the event requirements. Classic burlesque is a popular choice. I tantalizingly tease, flirt and disrobe in a flurry of feathers, Swarovski crystals, sequins and glitter. Classic burlesque is truly all glitz and glamour More contemporary and “neo” acts are also in my arsenal. I have love for edgy burlesque and foten find myself dancing to modern music and using well known hits in edgy and fetish based acts. Most performances end in a pastie (nipple tassle) and G-string reveal, however some routines can be made PG to suit the type of event.
Alternatively, if I’m not performing I’m teaching workshops, usually for hen’s parties or birthdays. The workshops focus on empowering women and teaching them how to confidently execute their own burlesque routine. During the classes women are encouraged to channel their inner minx and try their hand at burlesque. We cover burlesque basics such as the bump, grind and shimmy and follow it up by teaching a fun striptease routine which uses feather boas and gloves. As an additional option Sass & Tease offer a tassel twirling component to our workshops. Guests are provided with all the material to make their own pair of nipple tassels and then are taught to twirl them like the best burlesque dancers!
Photo by D Eye Photography
How did you first get started burlesque dancing and what led you to performing at parties?
I’ve always been a very dramatic and creative person. My love for dancing started young. I could always be caught dancing in my bedroom (hairbrush in hand) and I did it so regularly that I even wore out the carpet in front of my bedroom mirror! That was the first big hint that I was destined for the stage. During school I took up jazz dancing, dabbled in cheerleading and immersed myself in the dramatic arts. Somewhere during my early teens I discovered corsetry which eventually lead me to the old school pin ups of the 50’s, most of whom doubled as both models and burlesque dancers. At the same time, Dita Von Teese was gaining momentum in her quest to revive burlesque. Her efforts led to a popularisation of the art form – a burlesque renaissance of sorts. As a consequence of Dita’s efforts burlesque schools started to pop up, but upon moving to Canberra, I didn’t feel the courses on offer were complimentary to the kind of performer I wanted to be. Ad a result I felt it was best to teach myself, so that’s exactly what I did. During this time I met Tiffany Blue, the founder of Sass & Tease Collective, who gave me the push I needed to finally get on stage. The rest is history and now I perform regularly at both public and private events. Sass & Tease’s decision to launch hen’s packages was really the gateway into performing at private parties.
What is your favourite part about performing?
Everything! When I’m on stage I am at home. It’s the rush, the fun I have, the joy of the audience, their applause and appreciation, the complete control I feel when I am performing, the surge of confidence I get on stage. It’s a very physical and emotional art form.
Burlesque truly feeds my soul.
Photo by D Eye Photography
What inspires you?
I take inspiration from all sorts of places. It’s not necessarily one person or thing. I find the things that inspire me are very fleeting and I move on very quickly to the next thing that lights my soul on fire and brings out my passion. It could be a song, a photograph, an outfit I see someone wearing down the street.
Currently I am feeling very inspired and motivated by the recent Australian Burlesque Festival which visited Canberra early in July. Both the local, national and international performers blew my mind with their strength and control of movement on stage. It was such a great display of burlesque that it’s hard not to see that and want to improve yourself.
What is in the future for your performances?
I’d like to create some bigger, more theatrical numbers and travel outside the state more often. It’s always such a pleasure to perform outside of your home state. Taking your brand of burlesque to other people is always fulfilling.
For the moment, Sass & Tease have a monthly residency at the Polit Bar in Manuka. You can catch me there on the last Thursday of the month. A fresh round of burlesque classes start of the 3rd of August as well, so I’ll be putting my teacher hat back on and guiding students through their 10 week dance courses and solo routine production. Bigger Sass & Tease productions are also in the works including an 80’s themed show in August and a Christmas show (featuring interstate performers).
There is still plenty of time to book in for private parties and events for the 2nd half of 2015 and Abel can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Sass and Tease related inquires please visit their website.