We recently got the opportunity to touch base and interview with Burlesque Goddess Elyse Elaine, based in Las Vegas! Of course we talked about her life as a dancer along with her inspirations- but we also got to touch upon the lack of POC representation in Vegas, what it needs more of, and also some self care tips! Check it out!
Are you a Las Vegas native? If not, where are you from originally?
I’m originally from the Bay Area. Born and raised. I spent most of my life in Vallejo, Ca. I moved to Vegas July 2016.
Give us some of your favorite things about Vegas?
I love that things are open 24/7. You don’t think it matters but it does. It so does. Especially when you need eyelashes at midnight because you forgot yours lol. Shout out to Walgreens! I also love that most partying/drinking is free for women. Women rarely ever have to pay a cover and they almost always comp your drinks with drink tickets… and there’s a lot more choices of things to do when you want to go out. Vegas is truly the adult playground.
How about least favorite things?
I hate that Vegas is quietly Repulican. The amount of the micro aggressions I deal with on a day to day basis is nauseating. I also hate how small the art scene is, but it’s growing! I have definitely seen the growth since I moved here in 2016. It’s thriving and many artists here are passionate about making the art scene here rich with culture.
When did you start burlesque dancing, and what drew you to it?
I started Burlesque in October of 2012. My burlesque sister from another fister, SGT. DIE WIES, waz my tattoo artist at the time and she introduced me to burlesque, showed me the ropes, introduced me to producers, and taught me everything I know about networking. It was history after that. I was drawn to the liberation it exudes. The performers I watched onstage seems so free. There’s something about stripping down in front of strangers that put that “FUCK IT” in your system. You walk off stage feeling like a Rock Star.
Is there anyone in particular that inspires you when it comes to dancing?
I’m inspired by everything! Other performers, music, costumes, movies, even TV Shows sometimes. I let my inspiration come to me organically. There is something about the initial adrenaline rush of inspiration that just gets me going. I think that’s why I’m not as organized as other performers who create acts based on themed shows and things like that. The Gemini in me has to have that flexibility as a performer to do whatever I want artistically. It’s very rare that I’ll do a themed show.
Do you feel as though Vegas is a whitewashed city?
Yes and I say that because it is predominantly main stream and tourist aimed. So a lot of the shows are looking for the typical blonde hair, blue eyes, thin body aesthetic for their shows. Coming from the Bay area, where it is a lot more inclusive, it was a hard transition navigating the Las Vegas burlesque scene, and there were a lot of times I felt like I didn’t belong. Luckily, I found an awesome tribe of people out here who keep me optimistic about the growth of the community and they book performers all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. Shout out to THE HAUS OF GLAMOUR. Love you Miranda!
What is your biggest goal when it comes to dancing?
My biggest goal as a dancer is really to inspire others to dance. To inspire others to get out of their comfort zone, try something new, and do something risky. I don’t do burlesque for money, and although I like the attention, it’s not for the recognition. It’s my escape and it’s the one chance and opportunity I have to tap into that alter ego and present her to the world unabashedly.
Give us three of your favorite self care tips!
1- Drink Water!!! I know it sounds dumb, but for real… it will help with mental clarity, energy, irritability, and stamina. 2- Read Books!!! Not only will you feel more enlightened, but reading is a solitary thing that you have to stop and hold still to do. It will make you slow down, quiet down, and calm down. Almost like an organized day dream! 3- Play music!! Not in your headphones. I mean like outloud in your home… make playlists for different moods (cleaning music, study music, relaxation music, etc.) It’s like creating theme songs for your life. Filling your house with sound also helps with feelings of isolation, loneliness, stagnation. (BONUS ONE: MIND YOUR BUSINESS!! How someone else feels about you is none of your business. Do you. Like Doctor Seuss said, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”)
We see that you’re also a radio host for HOT 702.5 FM in Vegas, tell us more!
Yaaaasss! My roommate and I started a radio show here with a local podcast station Hot 702.5FM! It’s called SALACIOUS Saturdaze and it airs every Saturday from 4pm to 5pm. Then can listen to us live at WWW.HOT7025FM.COM, any radio apps, OR they can watch us live on the Hot 702.5FM Facebook page. The show focuses on sexually liberated topics like: Masturbation, sex work, polyamorous relationships, kinks/fetishes, etc.
What’s in store for you for the rest of 2020?
Well, I’ll be performing for the AVN convention this weekend at the Hard Rock Casino alongside my Haus of Glamour homies. I’m also putting together a Summer Burlesque Tour back in the bay area. Oh and I’m also going to be teaching burlesque workshops for the Burlesque Hall Of Fame Museum here in Vegas starting in February.
For the latest on Elyse Elaine on her burlesque and radio endeavors, make sure to give her a follow on Instagram @themarilynwithmelanin and be sure to tune in to HOT 702.5 FM!