Burlesque Dancing was first introduced in the United Kingdom at the end of the 18th century. But, at that time it wasn't considered as just dancing. In initial days, early performances were not just the dancing performances but they were a pack with music, literature, and theatre. “Burlesque” word came from the French language it is derived from a Spanish word “burla” and it means a joke. A strip-tease element in dancing performance was introduced in the 19th century. Burlesque dancing was introduced by Lydia Thompson in the United States. She was a British dancer, comedian, and actor. She came to the United States for a toured from 1868 to 1869 for one year, with her group of burlesque dancers called “The British Blondes”. In New York city, girls in her group faced a scandal due to short shirts and as a result, their demand is very high for entertainment. She gets a very good response from citizens of the United States, so Lydia Thompson came back to the United States again in 1874 and perform various roles all around the country. Here we discuss top 10 vintage burlesque dancers.
This one of the best burlesque dancers was born on 17th December 1923 in New York City. There were rumors that her father was a Norwegian man and her mother was from Sweden, but actually, she was Polish-Italian descent. She started her career as a dancer in 1948 and proved that she was a natural dancer. She was dancing in New Orleans, Louisiana at Prima’s 500 club. She performed in a musical show “Michael Todd’s Peep Show” and always performed with her signature dance called cat dance. Due to this dance, her audience called her a “Cat Girl”. She was famous from the end of 1940’s to early years of 1960”s. she died on 9th January 1965 at the age of 41 years.
Gypsy Rose Lee was one of the top famous burlesque dancers. She was born on 8th January 1911. She was also an author, playwright, vedette, and actress. She started her career as burlesque dancers accidentally. One day, during dancing strap of her dress, broke down and her entire dress falled on the floor. She seemed the reaction of the audience and decide to become a burlesque dancer. She started her dancing career at the start of the 1930’s and started her acting career in 1937. She died on 26th April 1970.
Lilli St. Cry was also one of the famous burlesque dancers. Her real name was Willis Marie Van Schaack. She was born on 3rd June 1918. She got her first job in Florentine Gardens, Hollywood. She started her dancing career as a solo artist, but she failed so she tried to become a burlesque dancer. She also appeared in movies like Miami story (1954) and naked and the dead (1958). She died on 29th January 1999.
Mae West was an American burlesque dancer, singer, screenwriter, actress, and comedian. She was born on 17th August 1893. She started her career as burlesque dancers at the age of 14 years in 1907. She married her dance partner named Frank Wallace secretly at the age of 17 years in 1910. She died on 22nd November at the age of 87 years.
She was a famous burlesque dancer, actress, and vedette. She was born on 3rd April 1904. She was famous for her dancing styles called “Ostrich Feather Fan Dance” and “Balloon Bubble Dance”. She was also known as Billie Beck. She started her dancing career in the 1920’s. She performed in Chicago World’s fair and give her best performance in 1933. In San Francisco, she purchased a burlesque hall in 1936. She died on 31st August 1979 at California.
Rosita Royce was also one of the famous American burlesque dancers. She was born in 1918 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She started her dancing career at the end of 1930’s. she became a popular dancer after her performance in New York World’s fair. She was also an actress and appear in two movies like striporama (1953) She died due to cancer on 24th September 1954.
Ann Corio was a famous United States burlesque dancer and actress. Her real surname was Cicoria. She was born on 29th November 1909. She started her career in New York but at the start of 1940’s she moved to Los Angeles. She appeared in different Hollywood movies like Swamp woman, jungle siren etc. she died on 1st March 1999.
She was an American burlesque dancer. Her real name was Kathryn Boyd. She was born in 30th August 1915. She started her dancing career at the age of 17 years. She was best known for her twenty-two minutes dance performance which she performed with Oscar and Elmer. She died on 12th November 2001.
Dixie Evans’s full name was Mary Lee Dixie Evans. She was an American burlesque dancer and stripper. She was born on 28th August 1926. She started her dancing career at the start of the 1950’s. She become a famous American dancer after her performance as Marilyn Monroe. She died on 13th August 2013.
Blaze Starr was also one of the famous American burlesque dancers and strippers. She was born on 10th April 1932. Due to her performances on stage, she earned a nickname called “The hottest blaze in Burlesque”. Hollywood also made a movie on her named “Blaze”. She was also famous due to her affair with Earl Long, who was the Louisiana Governor at that time. She died on 15th June 2015.