We want to give a shout out to Deanna Danger for inspiring us! Every year we open scholarships so more performers, regardless of finances, have the chance to learn at our convention in Seattle. But the lovely Miss Danger has taken it upon herself to create her own BurlyCon Scholarship for her students at her studio in Richmond, Virgina. Performers attending class at Boom Boom Basics have the chance to receive a scholarship assisting them in making it to BurlyCon!
When we asked Deanna why helping her students get to BurlyCon was so important she had this to say:
“The first time I attended BurlyCon, I knew within the first few classes that it was going to change my life. The quality and breadth of education and educators is unparalleled, and as the only strictly educational & social burlesque convention out there, the amount of perspective and growth it brings to its attendees extends far beyond the burlesque journey. As a studio owner, I don’t feel right about not attending every year that I’m blessed to be able. That’s why I created the Boom Boom Basics BurlyCon Scholarship, we are a small community with very limited resources, and BurlyCon can serve a more encompassing burlesque education much better than we can. I wanted to help make BurlyCon more accessible to students with the drive and fire to work on their burlesque, and personal selves, who may not have ever otherwise had the ability to make it there on their own. Even just one year of BurlyCon can make a marked difference on a developing performer, and helping to get at least one person there a year is the least I could do in return for the art form (and this con) that has helped save me time and time again. <3”
We’re so glad we can continue to bring exceptional educational opportunities to the burlesque community, but we couldn’t do it alone. Thank you to Deanna Danger for motivating us to create a community where everyone can grow in their love of burlesque. If you’re a studio owner wanting to create a similar initiative send us a message!
And if you’re not attending class at Deanna’s studio you can still apply for a scholarship over here.
Financial Assistance and Scholarship applications to attend BurlyCon November 9-12 2017 officially
open February 1, 2017. To help us kick off the application process we were able to catch up with Singe, the
2016 Scholarship Winner to find out how attending BurlyCon helped her and any advice she can give to those
of you working through the application process!
Your Performer Name: Singe
Which City are you based out of: Bloomington, Indiana.
Singe and her smores- ready for the camp fire!
Congratulations on being awarded a BurlyCon Scholarship to attend the convention! It must have been a delightful surprise to receive the notification! On February 1st, BurlyCon will open scholarship applications to attend the 2017 convention and having gone through and being awarded the scholarship yourself, can you reflect back on to the process of submitting the application? Did you find the application simple, overly challenging, a mix of the two?
I almost didn’t submit an application, because I figured there was no way that I’d win it. I mean
really, who’s going to pick Singe from Bloomington, fly-over-Indiana of all places? Yeah I have
hardships, but other people have it harder than I do. But I realized, while it would be disappointing, it
wouldn’t be the worst thing not to win. I would at least have put myself out there, reached outside my
comfort zone & tried. The worst thing would be to accept defeat, by not even bother trying. So I bit the
proverbial bullet and decided that the only way I’d know for sure, would be to give it a shot.
I was nervous that the application would be a nightmare to fill out, but I didn’t find it hard at all! It
was well thought out, asked important & introspective questions, and made me truly question what my
genuine intentions were for wanting to attend BurlyCon.
It was more than just getting to be around shiny things & sparkly people, it was a true desire to
gain more knowledge & experience. To better myself as a performer & as a human being, and to bring
back what I learned to help in my own community here in Bloomington.
Was this your first time attending BurlyCon?
It was! I have been wanting to attend BurlyCon for YEARS, but have never been able to afford
it. But because of the scholarship, I was finally able to get there!
I admit when I got to BurlyCon, I was a little over whelmed. I felt that especially because I had
won a scholarship & that it was my first (and perhaps only) time there, I HAD to do ALL the classes,
lectures, & workshops that I possibly could. I felt that I would be some kind of failure if I didn’t “go! go!
go!” from sun up to sun down. But I realized it wasn’t about doing everything I could, it was about
making the most out of my time at BurlyCon. So I took a step back, cut myself some slack, drank
everything in, and once I found my groove, was able to really enjoy myself & get the most out of my
scholarship by just being myself.
How did you benefit from attending BurlyCon?
I gained so much insight, advice, & knowledge that I have been able to apply in shows as a Stage Madam,
Producer, and MC. It’s been great for my self confidence as a Burlesquer. There have been many times throughout my Burlesque career that I have felt looked down on, or as if I’m someone lesser because my niche is Stage Management, Production or Hosting, rather than stripping. That was absolutely not the case at BurlyCon. Everyone was equal, no matter where their niche lay. Being able to talk to & take classes from people who are known & praised for their skills as MCs and Stage Managers was very inspiring to me. I made some fantastic connections with people from all over the world. It was wonderful to see so many different people from so many different places come together to support & raise each other up, rather than to be catty or tear each other apart.
Singe in the annual group photo. The theme for 2016 was ‘Camp’!
Knowing what you know now would you apply again?
Yes, yes, a thousand times YES without any question!
What was the highlight of your BurlyCon experience?
I don’t think I can pick just one highlight out of my experience at burlycon. I had the BEST
roommates in Dainty Dandredge & Sailor St. Claire. We all kept leaving snacks out for each other, and
kept in touch as we went our separate ways through the con. Having such thoughtful & considerate
people to room with made BurlyCon that much better!
The classes that stood out & were the most impactful to me the most, were Armitage Shanks’
MCing class (that has helped me SO much as a Host), Jacqueline Boxx’s class on performing with
physical limitations & Jo Boobs Weldon’s class on glove peeling. The glove peeling class was on the
last day of the con, so it felt very intimate & small despite there being probably over 40 people in the
class. Being able to interact & learn with her was mind blowing & very special.
Lastly, it was wonderful & heartwarming getting to connect with & form bonds with people from
Indiana who had either moved out of state, or who I had only known peripherally. There is a part of the
closing ceremonies where we wrote little notes about what we want from our community & then they
get passed around the room. The note I opened ended up being written by one of my fellow Indiana
Burlesquers, and Indigo Blue tapped me on the shoulder to read it out loud to the entire room. That
was such a moving moment for me, that it brought me to tears.
Anything else that you would like to add?
BurlyCon is an amazing experience, it is INCREDIBLY humbling & gives you a very unique
perspective. It really gives you an up close & personal insight into Burlesque and into our sparkle
community. It is so beautiful to see so many different people coming together to learn & build one
another up. No competition, no rivalries, no politics, or jealousy. Just Burlesquers celebrating
So… Put yourself out there & try. That’s all you can do! : )
Now go forth & be the burlesquer you want to see in this world.
Thank you Singe for being apart of the BurlyCon experience. We can’t wait to see you this year!
Interview by Vixen Valentine
Happy January 2017! For those of you who put ‘apply to more festivals’ on your New Year’s Resolutions list we’ve rounded up festival applications that are currently open and accepting applications!
POLAND: Applications are open for the Slavic Burlesque Festival until March 19th. The Festival will take place
June 16/17 in Poland, Minsk Mazowiecki (50km from Warsaw).
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application.
BERLIN: Applications are open for Berlin Burlesque Week (May 22-28) until January 31st.
HOUSTON: Bayou City Burlesque & Circus Arts Festival is accepting applications until January 31st. Their festival
is April 22nd in Houston, TX
KANSAS CITY: Kansas City Burlesque Festival applications are open until February 3rd. The festival is May 4-6th
in Kansas City.
BORDEAUX, FRANCE: Applications for the 1st Bordeaux Burlesque Festival are open until February 5th. The
festival is May 20-21st in Bordeaux, France.
OKLAHOMA CITY: Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival are open until February 5th. The festival is June 16-17th in
OHIO: Ohio Burlesque Festival Submissions open until March 15th. The Festival takes place August 3-5 in
BERLIN: Berlin Burlesque Festival Applications are open until March 31st. The festival is November 2-5 in Berlin,
And if applying and traveling to festivals seems intimidating start small by attending BurlyCon! Tickets are still just $150 until the end of the month. You’ll be able to network with folks from all over the country while learning valuable tips at our educational panels and workshops. It’s the perfect way to dip your toe in the glitter pool before embarking on a big burlesque adventure!
By Sailor St. Claire
BurlyCon is about to open the floodgates for class submissions for our 2017 convention, and we’ve put together this short how-to guide to help you write the best class proposal possible. Not only do your descriptions of your classes factor into our decision-making process, but they are also how you market your class to potential students at BurlyCon!
So what should you include?
First of all, include the learning goals of the class. We at BurlyCon want to know what you expect students to learn. If the goal is for them to learn a routine you’ve choreographed, rhinestone application techniques for different fabric types, or fancy fan dance moves, say so. Being clear about your class goal helps us see how it best fits into BurlyCon’s programming – we want to make sure we’re including diverse programming options and approaching our beloved art form from a variety of perspectives. We can’t accept 4 stocking peel classes that are identical, but we can accept a stocking embellishment craft class, a stocking peel technique class, a stocking choreography class, and a lecture on the history of stockings in burlesque. Stating the learning goals of your classes really wows the programming team – and your potential students!
Now in its fifth year “Giving Tuesday” has become a global movement celebrating giving and philanthropy. In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, Burlycon is launching our end of year giving platform, which includes our 2016-17 Membership Campaign, Burlycon 2017 Sponsorship and BurlyBenefactor Push!
Do you love burlesque and BurlyCon? Are you looking for a way to be more involved in the health and growth of the organization? Supporters like you contribute to the organization, and help to shape our growth and future.
“Invest in your passion!”
As a non-profit organization, BurlyCon relies heavily on your support to fulfill our mission to provide “community-oriented professional growth and educational organization for burlesque performers, producers, fans, and aficionados.” In addition to supporting our commitment to providing an affordable opportunity for performers of all levels to learn, grow, and develop their skills, BurlyConwill use membership funds to:Be a part of the global BurlyCon burlesque community
- Preserve your heritage by funding opportunities to learn directly from the legends
- Shape the future of burlesque through burlesque education and community
- Support your peers by keeping costs low for attendance at the annual conference
- Show your appreciation for the hundreds of volunteers who make BurlyCon possible
- Invest in programs you value
In 2016 we were able to create an international presenter travel budget and hire a Fundraising Director.
In 2017 your contributions will help us to:
□ Expand our Community Relations Team, focusing on year-round community building communication and caucuses.
□ Update our website to make it more user-friendly and accessible
□ Develop a track for “seasoned performers” at BurlyCon 2017
□ Plan our 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Your donation will help us to do that, and more.
In just under a year, BurlyCon will reach a milestone, our 10th Anniversary. Our goal is to double our memberships, both new and renewing, to 500 members this year.
Join BurlyCon as a member or donate to the BurlyCon 2017 Scholarship program for year-end giving beginning on “Giving Tuesday” November 29th until December 31st and receive a special gift!
Become a Member today! http://burlycon.org/sponsorsvendors/members/
Last weekend, a KOMO News team took a peek in classes taught by Coco Lectric and Jeez Loueez to find out what BurlyCon is all about. Includes interviews with Miss Indigo Blue, Executive Director; Gina Bon Bon, Legend Guest of Honor; and attendee Polly Esther. Check out the article and video here.
Based on remarks given at the closing ceremonies of BurlyCon 2016
By Lillith Grey
There have always been entertainers in times of war.
There have always been artists in times of crisis. Even in the depths of despair, art survives. We saw theatre, poetry, music, and comedy in concentration and internment camps. We saw films, television, music and performance art throughout the Vietnam war. We saw drag, burlesque, theatre and music help our people cope through the AIDS crisis of the 80s. We see clowns, buskers, comedians, and musicians at the borders of Syria as refugees flee for their lives.
Entertainment is necessary in the face of despair, and in these times, our work serves two purposes:
1) To provide relief, beauty, peace, laughter, solace, and distraction. To provide healing.
2) To critique, provoke, resist, incite, subvert, and expose. To create revolution.
“In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent.” –Toni Morrison
or, in other words,
We cannot stop. We will not stop.
Grief and joy are not mutually exclusive.
Grief and suffering hollow out deep spaces that are aching to be to filled with joy, and you are called upon to respond authentically and creatively.
You are not well served to sprint through grief.
You are not well served to sprint past joy.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”
An artist who has not suffered is an incomplete artist. That’s where the light gets in.
Your survival is revolution. Your existence is resistance.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
Marginalized communities have known for generations that caring for our friends, our communities, and ourselves is the very definition of resistance. In times like these, turn toward your people. Nestle into your communities. Make physical spaces for community to gather, to grieve and to be joyful. Cultivate resilience.
“Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Just don’t be mean.” – Kate Bornstein
Turn inward. Gather your strength. Be gentle with yourself.
Your survival is revolution.
You need a map. You need a compass.
For many of us, this is our creative New Year. This is when we look forward to the coming year and say, “Who do I want to be? Where do I want to go?” As we end this weekend, now is an excellent time to draw the map of where you want to go in the next year.
Your mission statement is your map. This outlines your broad goals and areas of focus for the coming year. This shouldn’t include specific items, but should be like an umbrella that includes your goals. Your mission statement could include things like:
To create space for artists
To amplify marginalized voices
To make art to bring healing
To make art to bring revolution
To invest in self-care
To dismantle white supremacy
To dismantle patriarchy
To disrupt political systems
To pursue self-growth
To participate in community
To mentor and educate
To seek mentorship and education
To develop and hone artistic skills
To broaden your artistic endeavors
Your value statement is your compass. Your value statement includes the commitments, beliefs, and ethical guidelines you use as you move along in your mission. Your values may include things like:
Care of others
These lists are just examples – every artist’s mission and values will look different. Knowing your mission and your values will give you solid ground on which to make decisions. Write it down. Really, write it down.
What do I say no to? When should I say yes?
Do I accept this gig? Do I do this act? Do I join this troupe, start this show, create this festival? How do I respond to this issue? What do I do?
Consult your map. Use your compass.
Do not close your eyes.
Do not cover your ears.
Do not shut your mouth.
Do not turn away.
You have to see each other. Not as examples, tokens, stereotypes, or assumptions, but as 3-dimensional people with complex lives and experiences. Say, “I see you.” Say, “I am with you.”
You have to listen to each other. Listen to each other’s truths. Say, “I believe you.”
You have to speak up. We cannot afford silence. Be loud. Be proud. Speak truth to power.
Act up. Use your privilege. If you’re in this room today, you carry privilege. But do not forget there are some people in this room who carry far more privilege than other people in this room. Remember there is a difference between not racist and anti-racist. There is a difference between not transphobic and anti-transphobic. Ally is a verb.
You are going home to a shifted culture. Nothing has changed in the last week – the problems have been there all along. But our country has shifted, and we all know it.
Do not close your eyes.
Do not cover your ears.
Do not shut your mouth.
Do not turn away.
We have work to do.
The BurlyBoard is so very impressed with each and every one of you. Thank you for your kindness of spirit, enthusiasm, encouragement of one another, and support of BurlyCon and burlesque as an art form. We were all amazed at how well you handled personal issues by asking for help, speaking directly to one another, and remembering to take care of yourselves during our long weekend of learning. We are also completely impressed by how well everyone seemed to enjoy our camp theme!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Registrations are on sale starting at $150 for our 2017 TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Our theme is “Get Polished!” We as your board and the steering committee have many ideas in the works for how to make next year extra special. We cannot do it without you, so keep your eyes open for presenter applications, volunteer opportunities, and vending applications.
You are in our hearts and on our minds. Stay strong. Stay safe. Stay weird!
Much love to you all,
Coco Lectric, Jo Weldon, Kristina Nekyia, Red Delicious, Indigo Blue, Sandy Beaches, Baby Doe, Jen Gapay, and Ophelia Flame
Think of BurlyCon as burlesque’s summer camp! It’s a weekend off from show mode, so wear what makes you comfortable. We do offer the chance to dress up for our themed special events (see below). Leave space in your suitcase for a few glamorous items, and be aware that your yoga pants will probably see the light of day far more than your beaded evening gowns.
What to Pack
– Comfortable clothing – think yoga pants!
– Comfortable shoes
– Dancewear (leggings, legwarmers, tank tops, etc)
– Character/dance/tap shoes
– Warmer layers: hat, jacket, and an umbrella or raincoat (Seattle in Autumn is going to be cold and rainy!)
– High heels you can dance in
– Fans/Boas/Gloves/Stockings (if you are taking a class with those things)
– Pasties (if you want to learn to twirl)
– A crafting or costume project you want advice on
– Swimsuit (pool and hot tub at the hotel!)
– A robe (to wear over revealing outfits in public hotel spaces)
– Water bottle
– Your favorite snacks
– Hair accessories (if you are taking a hair class)
– Wig (if you are taking a wig class)
– Make-up (for make-up classes and events)
– Notebook and pen (or technological equivalent)
– Camera (or smartphone) so you can #BurlyCon16 all over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Selling, Buying, and Promoting!
– Business Cards or Flyers for you and/or your troupe or show
– CASH for the Vending Area – you will want everything!
– Things you’d like to sell or trade at the SWAP MEET! (your gently used castoffs, sparkles that don’t fit, or up-cycled crafts! About 1 grocery bag’s worth is what you’ll have room for…)
Particulars for the Special Events
Check out our Pinterest board of ideas!
Thursday Night: Vintage Meet & Greet
Vintage Beach Attire Suggested. Kick off your weekend at Camp BurlyCon at the Vintage Meet-n-Greet!
Friday Night: Class Photo!
The Class of 2016 BurlyCon photo will be taken *right before the dance* – So come dressed ready to dance.
Friday Night: BURLYCON Dance Party– Theme Camp BurlyCon
– Come dirty-dance in your tacky khakis or camp couture. Or just be yourself!
– Must cover nips and nether regions!
Saturday Night: Tales Around the Glampfire
-Extra pillow/blanket. Chairs will be provided.
-A cup with a lid if you plan to bring any beverages.
Class Tools & Props
– Hair accessories
An Act You’d Like to Work On
One of the truly unique and fantastic opportunities available at BurlyCon is the chance for personal feedback on your acts from your peers and top professional performers. If you’ve signed up to show your work-in-progress at Peer Reviews, then remember to bring your act!
Bring your dollars! This year’s Con features more fabulous vendors and BurlyCon merchandise than ever before! You won’t want to miss out on the dazzling deals on clothing, accessories, and bunches of bobbles available. Some vendors do accept credit cards, and there’s an ATM onsite if you find yourself in need of more cash.
We are very excited to announce the 2016 Class Schedule! You can also download the official BurlyCon Guidebook onto your phone or tablet.
Check out our amazing lineup of presenters. We also present our 2016 Guests of Honor: Rachel Shteir, Bonnie Dunn and Legend Gina Bon Bon . You’ll want to make sure to attend at least one class with each of these distinguished individuals of the burlesque world.Register today!