When did you begin performing live? I can’t really remember a time in my life when I was not performing. I was introduced the stage as a ballerina when I was 3, and it has been a love affair ever since. I began publicly performing burlesque in the summer of 2010 with the Urban Bombshells Burlesque Show in Seattle, Washington.
How did you chose your stage name? Research, research, research. I sat down and defined the qualities I wanted in a name. It was important for it to be memorable, easy to say and feminine without being too clean. I spent lots of time looking at name books and historical figures while Googling my potential identities to make sure they were not already in use. Finally I took a spin of my former pin-up name The Lady Fatal and added a flower with a less than bright connotation in modern society the ‘Dahlia’.
How would you describe the burlesque audience? A rowdy mixture. It varies show to show from people who have never seen burlesque before and are just curious to the super-fans who can be seen at every event to the occasional observer. In general it’s just people looking to have a good time with some fantastically different entertainment.
Who is your favorite all-time burlesque artist? Midnight Martini from Colorado. Her movement is so engaging and sexy while still being silly and incredibly creative.
Do you have to be into rockabilly to be a burlesque dancer? Definitely not. While many performers are fans of rockabilly, there are also performers who are strictly metal listeners, some punks, some dub-step fans, rock and rollers and many eclectic individuals. Rockabilly is an important side of the burlesque world, but it is not the only one.
Music is a big part of the presentation: what tunes do you like to perform to? Every act that I do picks its own song. I do a lot of dance focused choreography, and my acts vary from super serious and contorted to fun-loving and free. Probably my three favorite songs I have acts to are I Believe In A Thing Called Love- The Darkness, Idlewild Blue- Outcast, and Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice.
What’s the nexus between what you do and punk? The nexus lies in the DIY spirit and creativity. Both burlesquers and punks frequently design their own costuming, create their own art, and aren’t afraid of offending their audience or causing some out-of-bounds thought. Although I do think the punk communities would agree that we should keep the glitter and sequins on the burlesque side.
What was your favorite band growing up? The Clash. I have been rocking out to “Straight To Hell” since I can remember.
What are you listening to today? Literally everything. Over the course of yesterday I listened to Missy Elliot, James Brown, Prince, Streetlight Manifesto, Bad Brains, Muddy Waters and Fantomas. I find that the more music I listen to the more styles of music I have to pull from for new acts.
Where would you go if you could time travel? 100 years in the future….just to see what kinds of fabulous costuming and music we have yet to come up with!