Burlesque that goes Bump & Grind in the Night

If you think about it, burlesque and Halloween go hand in hand. Both give you the opportunity to dress up, step outside your normal persona and embrace another fantabulous / weird character for the night. With lots of spooktacular events happening around the globe and hundreds of Halloween-themed acts peeling, posing and teasing onstage, we asked ABC teacher and blogger Daiquiri Dusk to tell us about some of her favourite Halloween burlesque acts that she’s seen over the years….

“This is a tough question to answer, I’ve seen so many, many acts over the years, how do you pick just a handful? Here in Scotland, the scene has been growing for over a decade now and in that time I’ve seen lots of incredible acts, so I’ve decided to go with my favourite Halloween acts on the Scottish scene over the last decade.”

Missy Malone – I Put a Spell on You Fan Dance
One of Missy’s earliest acts (I think) I lost count of how many times I saw this act over the years, it was so popular! Taking a classic song, Missy made it her own in this routine, quite literally casting a spell over her audience with her stunning fan dance moves, perfect poise and swirling, luscious feathers. Definitely a modern-day burlesque classic. You can watch this spell-binding number below, in a video from a performance at the Wam Bam Club, Cafe de Paris.


Leyla Rose ā€“ Vampyra
The UK burlesque scene had a sad loss when international burlesque star Leyla hung up her tassels for the final time and went to pursue a very different career. I loved Leyla’s ‘Vampyra’ act; sexy, hypnotic and fun, it always went down a storm with her audiences. I was lucky enough to witness the final performance of this number at Torture Garden in Edinburgh.

Leyla Rose as 'Vampyra', live at Rockaburley, 2009. Image copyright Trevor Wilson.
Leyla Rose as ‘Vampyra’, live at Rockaburley, 2009. Image copyright Trevor Wilson.

Vendetta Vain – Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon
Another Scottish-based burlesquer who still occasionally performs, but is now focusing on a career in the aerial arts. Pint-sized Vendetta became a whirlwind neon-green, beaded, frenzy onstage when she unleashed ‘the creature’ on unsuspecting audiences. And they never failed to be impressed when she treated them to her rare tassel twirling skills using only her pecs (as opposed to the traditional shimmy or ‘bounce’ techniques).

Vendetta's 'Creature' act. Image copyright Stuart Crawford.
Vendetta’s ‘Creature’ act, live at Rockaburley 2010. Image copyright Stuart Crawford.

Miss Hell’s Bell – Red Right Hand
This dark, seductive and deadly number might not be strictly a Halloween act as such, but it tells the perfect tale of horror, murder and seduction. Miss Hell’s Bell plays the beautiful black widow, charming right until the end. A classic, noir-esque routine, it reached the final of the BHoF Newcomer competition in 2010 (watch the live performance from BHoF below).

Daiquiri Dusk – Twisted Gypsy
Throwing in one of my own all-time favourite acts here, as I just love performing it! I created this act for a competition 7 years ago, having discovered (accidentally) that I could tassel-twirl upside-down whilst balanced on my head. Turns out that was a pretty neat gimmick, which when thrown in with my freakishly bendy elbows and back, giving the audience a nice confusing dose of sexy versus ‘eww!’ as the act progresses.

My own 'Twisted Gypsy'. Copyright Think Thalamus.
My own ‘Twisted Gypsy’. Copyright Think Thalamus.

Do you have a favourite Halloween burlesque act? Who sends shivers down your spine or gives you a good old-fashioned scare? We’d love to hear about your favourite spooky burlesque!

We do hope this blog has put you in the mood for some scary shenanigans tonight. Happy Halloween everyone!