The Burlesque superstar Roxi DLite sits down with Antidote and gets personal. The sultry Miss Exotic World 2010 from Windsor Ontario doesn’t hold back when it comes to her thoughts on stripping , where you can take her to eat, Jazz and her current relationship status. Who would of thought Windsor was home to one the most vivacious woman in the world![media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjb4fJ57zX0″ width=”690″ height=”380″]
What attracted you to the craft?
What first attracted me to burlesque was the freedom to express myself through music and dance and costume. I always wanted to be on stage as a child but never made it into any school plays so I thought it was such a long shot. I went to college for graphic design and started dancing in clubs to pay my tuition. It was then I realized I had a hidden talent—stripping. So I became a feature performer quite quickly, and through that I found burlesque. I’ve been hooked ever since. Now I’m traveling the world, signing movie contracts and pretty much living on stage. I love what I do and feel so blessed.
How many years have you been at it, what training did you have prior to this? I started as a feature in 2002 and then got into burlesque in 2004. I was in gymnastics as a kid and then trained with a performer from Cirque du Soleil for my aerial training.
What can you tell our readers about the history of it here in Canada?
Burlesque has a very rich history in Canada, particularly in my hometown of Windsor, ON. The heyday of burlesque coincided with prohibition in the U.S. Most of the liquor was made in Windsor because it’s a border town. All of the Americans would come to Windsor to get their drink on so it was only natural that nightclubs would follow. Even Al Capone came to Windsor for booze! Just up the street from where I live is the old Elmwood Casino. It was the top nightclub in Canada and over the years played host to all the jazz greats like Duke Ellington and the Rat Pack. It also had the top dancing girls around. Ironically, the Elmwood is now a recovery centre for alcoholics. Burlesque has long and storied history in Canada and I’m proud to be at the forefront of its revival.
When people here “Burlesque” their first thoughts are what?
I guess it all depends on the person. Most people have never heard of it. Some people automatically associate it with Moulin Rouge while others just think it’s a fancy name for stripping. It’s hard to really explain what burlesque is to a person who’s afraid of the word “striptease”. Sometimes people shut down as soon as they hear striptease. It’s really such a layered art form so I like to just hand them a business card and tell them to come to my show.
Does the name Russ Meyer or Dixie Evans mean anything to you? Who are some integral people you’ve met along the way?
Dixie Evans is definitely an integral person I’ve met. I haven’t gotten the chance to really get to know her but I’ve met her and that alone is a huge deal to me. Without Dixie Evans there would not be a Burlesque Hall of Fame, which really is the backbone of the burlesque revival if you ask me.
I’ve met lots of really amazing people who have greatly influenced my career like the girls from Skin Tight Outta Sight in Toronto. It’s founding members, Tanya Cheex and Sauci Calla Horra, have really been there for me and gave me great opportunities to perform for real burlesque audiences when I was first starting out. Now they run the best burlesque festival in Canada, the Toronto Burlesque Festival.
Big Fannie Annie is another fundamental person I’ve met. She’s a burlesque legend who is well known all over the world for her larger-than-life stage presence with a body and wit to match. I met Annie my very first year at the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Vegas. She and I speak on Skype very often and she’s really become a great friend. She’s great for advice because she’s so brutally honest. I adore her.
Have you been to “Le Scandal at the West Bank cafe, or the Slipper room in NYC? Where is your favorite place you preformed?
Oh, the infamous Slipper Room. That place is going to go down in history. What a crazy place that was. I’m happy to say I’ve performed there…twice…drunk. And I didn’t know I was going to be performing there that night, but hey, that’s part of its charm. I just spent some time in Key West with the Slipper Room’s owner James Habacker and his lovely wife Camille. James is currently in the works of opening a new Slipper Room located up stairs from its current location in Manhattan, New York. It’s going to be even better than it was and the burlesque community is really excited for it’s reveal. I know I sure am.
My favourite place to perform, I’m not too sure, I’ve been so many great places, but I guess I’d have to say my favourite place would be where I consider home, Theatre Bizarre. Theatre Bizarre is located in the ghetto of Detroit, created by John Dunivant and Ken Poirier, they’re mad I tell ya. This place is like nothing you’ve ever seen before; it’s a massive outdoor theatre that consists of several stages and sideshow attractions. This past year we’ve had some problems and it was shut down the day before the big show so we moved the show to an indoor location downtown Detroit. Ken and John are still trying to figure out how to save Theatre Bizarre and I have no doubt in my mind they will. It’s just too amazing to be over.
What are your thoughts on strippers at your everyday strip club and that industry?
There are so many ways to answer this question and it seems to be a hot topic for some. Being a feature performer in clubs and a burlesque professional I have a lot of experience in both fields. They’re are a lot of similarities but they’re are also a lot of things that make them very different and not all performers can handle or would necessarily enjoy both jobs.
I feel that the strip club industry has really gone south. I feel in a lot of ways the industry (agents, club owners and clients) takes advantage of many women because they can, and it’s really changed things for the worst. Men tend to run the strip club industry where as women run the burlesque world and in that respect the two industries couldn’t be any more different. One of my major concerns with the strip club industry is that I think the touching in clubs has ruined the business for good. Customers always want to get more for their money and some girls give it to them so they can make more money. But that lowers the standard and makes it tougher for girls who do not want people touching them. There are very few places left in Canada to work where the girls don’t have to be touched, and that’s a terrible shame.
My thought on “strippers” or modern day exotic dancers is a generally positive one. I’ve met some great girls with really good heads on their shoulders that have families and invest their money. They’re mothers and students and treat stripping as a career, not an excuse to party on the job. I’ve made many lasting friendships with these women. I’ve also met women who are the opposite and set a bad example for the others. To be honest, I’ve met way more professional, good girls, than not. What most people forget is that it’s all an act. When you see an actress in a love scene, you know she’s acting and not turning a trick. The same applies to strippers.
However, I must say that I wish the art of tease would come back into some of the dancers’ stage performances. I feel the art of performing for an audience has been lost. A lot of dancers dislike stage-time and don’t interact with the audience. They walk from pole to pole, forget to strut and never take their time removing clothing. A striptease should revolve around the dancer being engaging and there should also be an emphasis on the word strip, as well as tease. Both are words I think modern day “strippers” overlook.
Finish this statement “What I’ve learned is……”
Making time for myself is very important. I’ve started to overwork myself and burning out is not fun. There are also so many fun events and bookings that I would love to do but I can’t be two places at once. Balance is key.
Who is Roxi Dlite? What do we not know about her?
Who am I? Well…. when I’m not traveling the world teasing for masses of strangers, I’m a photographer, a graphic designer and the girl next door, who likes to have fun and can most likely drink you under the table.
Are you single? ( our readers want to know, including me!)
Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not, it all depends on who’s asking me and more importantly if they have a fist full of cash.
Your favorite 3 films…
2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
3. American Beauty
I’m a foodie. I love great food and I love to cook. I love French food, Cuban food and would kill for ahi tuna. I also have a major sweet tooth and really love chocolate ice cream.
Favorite type of music?
I love music. I’m really a huge music fan, always have been. I obviously love classic jazz (not the modern jazz that sounds like elevator music, but the good stuff). Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and Les Baxter are some of my favourite jazz masters. I am a big fan of Goldfrapp. I’ve always loved grooving out to some wicked house music. Progressive house, tribal house and a bit of Chicago house. I’m a classics girl; some of my favourite DJ’s are John Digweed, Sasha, Luke Fair, Lawler, and Dubfire. Now I want to go dancing.