Burlesque show comes to the Sandbar in Vail
Vail CO, Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” There’s more to burlesque than Betty Page look-alikes stripping behind feather fans.
For the Ooh La La Burlesque troupe, neither punk music nor skateboarding ghosts are off limits, said its founder, self-described tomboy Michelle Scheffer.
“For me, I wasn’t somebody who was into burlesque,” the 30-year-old Denver resident said in a phone interview from a skate park. “I wasn’t into vintage clothes. A lot of people interpret (burlesque)as pasties and G-strings and fishnets and garter belts. I think burlesque can be whatever you want it to be.”
The Ooh La La girls plan to tease audiences Saturday at the Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail. Along with a classic feather fan dance, eight dancers will partake in acts such as juicing mangos with a bra to competing in a tassel-off ” a contest to see how fast girls can spin the tassels on their panties.
“The Ooh La La Girls will tease and taunt while showing off their flesh, tattoos and flexibility.” Sandbar talent buyer Dick Dime said in an e-mail. “It will be a very sexy night for sure, but included will be equal doses of comedy, dancing and jazz standards provided by the jazz trio Pawn Ticket and yes, sexy girls with barely a thread on.”
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Oh La La formed 10 years ago, when Scheffer teamed up with Kitty Crimson, a friend who looks like a cross between a pin-up model and Jessica Rabbit. The girls had been part of a different burlesque troupe in Denver, but they decided to branch out on their own.
“The girls we performed with were strict on what they wanted,” Scheffer said. “They wanted ’60s music and we wanted to do fire and have exploding costumes. We wanted to change it up a little bit. Kind of like a more in-your-face burlesque.”
Adding twists like octopus costumes, the women created their own style of burlesque. Over the years the show built momentum. A rotating cast of about 50 dancers have strutted their stuff in Oh La La shows, and the girls have a steady Monday night bartending/dancing gig called “Panties at the Bar” at the 3 Kings Tavern in Denver.
Burlesque is entirely different from stripping, Scheffer said.
“I’m not dancing for dollars,” she said. “I serve drinks. I get a dollar for giving somebody a drink. I’m not going to put my hoo ha in their face. And I’m not saying that stripping is trashy by any means but it’s a different element. It’s not about a naked girl. Burlesque is about an art form and about how you take your clothes off.”
At the Sandbar, girls will display their showmanship as much as their skin. Girls in vintage sailor outfits will sing a duet and audiences can look forward to a “punk rock surprise,” Scheffer said.
The act isn’t for guys’ only, Scheffer pointed out.
“Granted it’s a great show for guys but I think it’s very liberating for women if they come to the show because we’ve had girls come up and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you could do that. I feel sexy. I’m going to go home and hang out with my boyfriend.'”
High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or email@example.com.