“Getting naked in front of strangers is the best thing that ever happened to my self-esteem.”
Betsy Bottom Dollar can sing, dance, and strip without keeling over in her heels, losing a rhinestone, or disturbing the giant wigs she’s known for rocking. The “most mature” member of Victoria’s very own Cheesecake Burlesque Revue empowers and inspires audiences with every act.
“As women we don’t get to see what real bodies look like, ever,” says Betsy. “We look in a mirror and then compare ourselves to magazines, and TV and Internet. It’s a completely unrealistic expectation and we all know that but we still strive for it internally.”
Betsy joined the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue in 2008 as a choreographer, but quickly began emceeing, then singing, and eventually performing her own tease act. She struggled with her self-esteem and body confidence as a result of gaining weight. That all changed for her after her first corset-free, full-frontal burlesque show.
“Doing these shows now for quite a few years, I have more self-confidence than I ever had when I was ripped and had a six pack.”
Audiences look on in awe as women of all ages, shapes and sizes get on stage and twirl their pasty-covered tits. She looks so confident, she looks so glamorous, she looks so sexy, she looks like . . . me?
The Cheesecake Burlesque Revue has been getting this reaction from audiences no matter where they perform, be it Vancouver, Montreal, New York, or Paris. “It hits somebody in the crowd that one of them looks exactly like them, and they look great,” says Betsy.
The dancers have been heating up hearts (and pants) since 2007 with “Head Cheese” Champagne Sparkles leading the way, pasties first. The troupe appeals to a vaudeville style of performing with big costumes, lots of comedy, and larger than life acts. With 11 current members ranging in age from 20s to 40s and over 75 diverse acts, this group manages to titillate a variety of audiences.
These girls have it all: they sing (while stripping), dance (while stripping), and are incredibly funny (while stripping). But this is not a strip show.
“There are similarities: there is stripping involved and the art of the tease, but the venue can be different, and the crowd can be different, and the expectation is quite a bit different,” says Betsy. “That and nobody’s throwing money at us!”
The troupe is performing next at Blue Bridge Theatre at the Roxy on Dec. 5. The 5th Annual Naughty But Nice Peepshow will feature the spectacular, sexy, and sparkling Betsy Bottom Dollar, Champagne Sparkles, Dollipop, Ginger Kittens, Kitten Kaboodle, Lolly Lishbottom, Maya Papaya, Midori Colada, Mz B Haven, Scarlett Pearl, Silk E Gunz, and Wild Honey.
Until then, Betsy Bottom Dollar is busy covering everything she owns in rhinestones.
The 5th Annual Naughty But Nice Peepshow is this Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. at the Roxy Theatre. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; the show is at 8:30 p.m. 19+ only. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door.