Heritage : Cuban
Performance years - 1965 TO 1980
Known for her "Feather Dance Routine & Magic Act"
Legend Gina Bon Bon
Legend Di Alba
Marinka The Amazon
suffering inequality and profound discrimination giving them the legal means to fight back while
millions of them are being deported and a dozen bills were being
introduced to preserve segregations against latinos. That gives you an idea of what
atmosphere Kitten and her family were living in.
In the 1970s Kitten Natividad was told multiple times by her agents that her name was to hard to pronounce and no one would hire her because of it, Kitten was in 20s when she started burlesque and right off the bat she won the tittles "Miss Nude Universe 1970 and 1971" She appeared in Playboy, Russ Myers Movies and was featured in shows world wide.
Her hard work and fiery personality allowed her to more ahead in the business fast but that did come with some hardships back stage with racist remarks from other performers, patrons and booking agents going as far as to asking her not to perform to latin music.
Kitten still performed with her latin flavor in every stage.
She stopped dancing in her 50s but attended Miss Exotic World in 1982,
Later Performed in Tease-O-Rama and Burlesque Hall Of Fame.
Kitten now resides in California.
Latinos in Burlesque Today
Colorado Springs, Co
I'm proud to embrace my heritage and diversity. Surprise to many, I learned to speak Spanish first then English. My father and my uncle fled Cuban over 50 years ago on a raft to start their life in the United States. My mother came over as child from PR, and later on in life went into exotic dancing and cabaret work. I'm grateful for their sacrifice and liberties, I enjoy being born in the U.S.
Location: Chicago, IL
Heritage: Mexican American
Born and raised in San Antonio, TX
Vivi Valens now calls the windy city of Chicago her home. She performs with the monthly burlesque collective "Original Tease", entices audiences with the "Kiss Kiss Cabaret", and is a regular peeler at The Drifter, a speakeasy curated by Michelle L'amour.
A spicy dish leaving you hungry for more, The Tex-Mex Minx,
Location: Portland, Oregon
Ruby Rounds embodies a marriage of vintage Americana with the aesthetics of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema in her Latin-inspired classic burlesque. Using her background in performing Mexican folk dance, Baile Folklorico, Ruby weaves storytelling with dance to pay homage to the legacy of Latina performers of the mid-century.
Ruby was crowned Princess of the 2016 Heavy Rebel Weekender Music & Burlesque Festival and her cheeky take on classic burlesque won her the title “Most Comedic” at Edmonton Burlesque Festival‘s Burlesque Bunny Competition 2015.
She has graced stages in cities across the country and has showcased in the Oregon Burlesque Festival, Southern Fried Burlesque Fest, Calgary International Burlesque Festival, and ABurlyQ Sideshow and Burlesque Spectacular. Ruby is proud to be performing in The Roux: A Spicy Brown Festival, the first and only burlesque festival featuring a cast of all performers of color
The Sweetheart of the Southwest
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Heritage: Mexicana, Yaqui y Brazileira
I have been performing the art of the striptease for nearly six years but did not come life until I started traveling out of Arizona a few years back. The irony of performing in a mostly Hispanic state, is that are only a handful of "brown and out" performers representing here. Traveling allowed me to finally see people like me.
I'm not talking "skin" color but people who openly celebrate or may have struggled embracing their culture. Through burlesque and travel I rediscovered a deep appreciation for my heritage and a profound sense of belonging. I also opened my eyes to incredibly amazing non-Hispanic/Latinos who are hungry to learn and embrace our culture. It is why not only do I love performing my "Latin Acts" but also love teaching my workshops; I literally see inclusive of culture blossom before my eyes.
Befriending other Hispana & Latina performers has been a true turning point in my life and career. Sitting down with Legends Kitten Natividad and Marinka, Queen of the Amazon brought me to tears. Other than my lovely Momma, I do not have many matriarch figures in my life, so the admiration and instant connection to these powerhouse ladies that pioneered the industry for us, brought me home on so many levels. And while I fully comprehend you do not have to speak Spanish or Portuguese to be Hispanic or Brazilian (just like we aren't marked by a skin tone) my heart melts instantly when I hear my native tongues back stage, on social media or within an ear shot. So yes, I invite you to chat it up the next time we cross paths!
Location: New Orleans, LA
Heritage: Puerto Rican, African American and Cherokee
I've been performing for almost 5 years now and finally coming into myself. Burlesque has helped me to discover myself and who I am. My father is Puerto Rican but never spoke much about his family heritage; when his family came over and moved to Texas, they made a decision to move on from whatever was going on. This included not really telling me a lot about my heritage or teaching me the language.
Now that I have a family of my own, I've wanted to be able to know more about my father's side of the family so my children will know. Burlesque has helped me meet so many wonderful people and meeting other Latin brothers and sisters have helped me push myself more and more. Not only has this helped me be able to incorporate more of my heritage into my acts....but to discover myself as a performer and person.
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Heritage: Chicana, half Mexican.
Perla Foxxx is from Albuquerque NM,
Co producer of Dirty Deeds burlesque, Perla has been dancing and producing since 2013, She's fiery but cuddly and has a flithy mouth for such a tiny woman, her 5" feet tall size has nothing on her large personality because she is everyones favorite cochina.
The Sultry Syren of Burlesque
Location: San Fransisco/Brooklyn
Heritage: Mexico City
I've been a burlesque performer since 1997, from San Francisco's Mission District- the latin headquarters of SF.
I lived in NYC for 13 years
Location: New Jersey
Heritage : Ecuadorian
Nerdy, and Latina Spice. A Central Jersey burlesque performer specializing in nerdlesque and neo-classic burlesque styles. A mainstay member of the White Elephant Burlesque Society, the Noir Dames, and Cosplay Burlesque, she's been performing for over 6 years.
Name: Perlita Picante (La Hot Perlita)
Location: Olympia, Washington
Origin: Mixed race from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The first time I came to the USA was through an exchange student program in 1993. I was 16 years old when I arrived into Seattle, WA. My host family took me on a short road trip and we happened to drive through Olympia – it was then that I had made the decision of making this town my permanent home. Fast forward several years, I met the man who would become my husband and moved to Olympia in 2005. I discovered Burlesque after a few years of training with a local Belly Dance troupe. I had already been fascinated by Las Gatitas de Porcel, Iris and Lourdes Chacon since I was a kid -but seeing the Academy of Burlesques recital made me fall madly in love with this art and I have ran with it eversince; Perlita thus made her debut on November of 2010.
In late 2011 I co-founded Rock Candy Burlesque in Olympia with 5 other local performers, and
perform regularly in our local scene. However, it was not until I attended the POC Caucus at Burlycon
in 2015, that I realized just how important it is to honor your roots and your heritage. With that
realization came the commitment to at least add one element of my culture, upbringing, and personality whether it is in the form of movement, music, or costuming to each one of my acts. I feel that it is a reflection of who I am as an artist and as an individual, and that through my art I can show my audiencethe beautiful cultural diversity that is available to them, in their own backyard.
Name: Broody Valentino
Location: New York, NY
As a Cuban performer I always bring the soul and the passion of my culture with me when I step onto the stage. Even if I am performing to a song that is not particularly Latin, the spirit of my people shines through.
I am greatly influenced by the style, glamour, and the blending of Afro-Cuban Jazz, and the Nightclub sound that was prevalent during the “Golden Age” of the Cuban nightlife scene of the 1930’s and 40’s. With my more classic acts,
I evoke the memories of those long lost days of bandleaders and extravagant musical numbers.
I also enjoy challenging the concept of machismo, which is such a big part of growing up in a Cuban home. I believe it is the reason why I find so few Cuban men in the Boylesque scene. Pushing the boundaries of how a good Cuban man is supposed to act is something that is extremely important to me. The spirit of my Cuban Heritage is something I can never escape, nor would I ever want to! As the great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who fell madly in love with my country and culture, said “If I get lost, look for me in Cuba.”
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Heritage: Guatemalan, Mexican, Cuban and Portuguese
I started performing in 2013 and feel like I have really found myself- which is hard for most people in their mid 20's to say. I was born and raised in the heart of Chicago and moved to Milwaukee in 2009 for college but decided to stay after graduation. Being Latinx can be hard sometimes, especially when Latinx individuals are typically erased from conversations about race, police brutality and cultural appropriation- and
although Milwaukee is the most segregated city in the US, it is a wonderful and beautiful city that needs this scene. It needs the all inclusive love that knows no race, color, size, or gender. Honestly, if it wasn't for moving here and meeting the people I have met I might have never started performing. The sense of community here is really alive and being able to bring that community even closer together through expressing my body and heritage on stage makes me feel truly beautiful. The amount of praise I have received from audience members, people who are just starting out and very seasoned performers alike fills me with such an incredible amount of joy that I am getting emotional as I type this. When I was growing up as the chunky brown girl I never thought I would be the center of attention on stage let alone getting naked on one. It might be kind of cheesy to say- but I am really fucking proud of myself.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Heritage: Cuban American
Also known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, Tito Bonito has hosted shows, taught burlesque classes, and performed in shows and festivals across the country and internationally. In four years of living in LA, Tito has been named one of LA Weekly's People of 2016, one of Time Out LA's Top Burlesque Performers in LA, and received numerous awards and recognition. In 2013, he created a YouTube web docuseries called "Cuban Missile Series," which chronicles his burlesque life and travels since his move to Los Angeles. In 2015, he taught his Vogue 101 workshop at BurlyCon in Seattle. Currently, Tito hosts and performs around Los Angeles at venues such as Townhouse in Venice, VIP Nightclub in Riverside, and The Globe Theatre in Downtown LA.
Location: Toronto, Canada
The exotic, erotic and hypnotic Lorelei, performs old school Bump and Grind with an energetic dose of rock and roll.
Lorelei started performing in 2013 with the Shimmy Dolls, Chile’s first Burlesque Troupe. After moving to Toronto, she was Semifinalist in the Miss Pinup Canada Pageant 2014. In 2015 she won Master of Tassels at Burlypicks Toronto and was Semifinalist for World Burlesque Games.
Ms. B LaRose, Glittering Goddess with the Heart of Gold. A dynamic performer that enjoys to wear her heart on her sleeve. Whether creating vulnerable moments, creating excitement, to catching you with a smile, or bringing you into a fantasy that you didn't realize you wanted until you saw it on stage. I enjoy performing. But most of all I enjoy exchanging positivity and excitement for what we love to do with the audience and the performers around us.
About this time last year, I never thought that the woman I have become would ever come to exist. Burlesque saved my life. This art allows me to be my full capable confident self one hundred percent, judgement free. Which has helped me shape this muggle life into beautiful chaos. Performing came to fruition during my most vulnerable times in coming out as a queer, brown woman. I used this an outlet to be proud to have a sexuality and love for everyone that is so wholesome and true to myself. I drew up courage from the people in my life that have helped me be comfortable in my own skin and sexuality.
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Everything I am owe to my mom, Irene Varela, and my dearly departed Grandpa Zeke.
Burlesque performer, producer, and instructor, Viva Valezz! has been turning on the Midwest since 2007. Her credits include being voted 2010 “Columbus, Ohio's Favorite Burlesque Performer” by Outlook magazine, taking home a “Golden Pasties” award from the 2010 New York Burlesque Festival where she has performed several years, and her dance troupe, the Velvet Hearts!, has been the only burlesque troupe ever nominated for the “Best of Columbus” in the Best Dance Company category. Her Velvet Hearts! are the only all-queer identified burlesque troupe in the state of Ohio and in Pittsburgh. Her proudest accomplishment is her work as the founder and producer of the FIERCE! International Queer Burlesque Festival - the ONLY queer / LGBT burlesque festival in the world - now going into its fifth year.
The adelita is my favorite memory of Mexico i have, I admired those women along with the elegance of El Baile Folklorico dancers with the energy they give on stage. I feel my goal is to represent the idols of my youth in with great energy and costumes. I often have to tell people am from Mexico born and raise at times is hard to not be considered Latin but i have found more and more as i grow older my color does not define my heritage.
I love being Mexicana and i like to tell people how amazing our food and traditions are thru burlesque.
Every year i know that i have really inspired other Hispanic performers to tell their stories. Producer and Creator of The International Ohio Burlesque Festival, 13 year producer of Le Femme Mystique Burlesque in Cleveland, Ohio - 14 Year veteran performer and owner of The Cleveland Burlesque Academy.