modern burlesque


Eden & the swan
Chicago Plus Size Burlesque Group

Attention to Chicago Area Body Positive Babes!

Molotowcocktease and I are starting up a plus size burlesque performance group in Chicago and we are looking for members! (Please read through even if you are not femme, plus size OR a performer yourself— we may still need you!)

As someone who’s been interested in the realm of theatrical performance since forever, I have always enjoyed being on the stage. However, there can be a lot of erasure of fat bodies in the theatrical arena, especially fat bodies depicted as desirable and the focus of attention. So naturally I was overjoyed when Molotowcocktease and I met for the first time (and became best buds) and she brought the idea up to me. She and I are going into the venture as partners and we want to hit the ground running! We want to show Chicago that fat women and femme-identified people can be sexy, sensual, talented and fierce, and inspire others like us.

We are looking for an array of people to join us! As of right now, this is a voluntary endeavor, thus any and all parts of participation for the time being are likely to be a donation— we just hope you’re inspired enough to want to be apart of this! The following list is one of many kinds of folks we’ll need.


We want plus sized (size 14+) women and femme-identified folks that are ready to get sexy and outrageous on the stage! While it would be super cool if you had it, absolutely no formal dance training is required. I myself (iridessence) don’t have any official dance training, but I’ve always been able to quickly pick up a style and get down. Striptease is likely going to happen, as what we’re doing is modern burlesque. If you don’t feel confident enough to be a solo performer, don’t worry! We’ll have plenty of group numbers, but we hope you’ll gain the courage to perform solo one day. Unless we can fund raise, the cost of your costume will be on you, but the people involved so far are a very thrifty group and we can always look for affordable options together as well as possibly lend clothes. We will interview you and may require an audition.

Kittens/Stage Help:

If you’re not a dancer/don’t have time for rehearsal, not yet ready for opening night, uncomfortable with striptease and/or not plus size, this could be ideal for you. Basically kittens help with collecting the tossed clothing items or with prop setup between numbers if need be. You’ll have to dress up a little for this because it’s not all behind the scenes, but it’s your opportunity to wear that corset or lingerie you’ve been thinking about without having to peel it off! Kittens might also double as ushers and greeters and people helping with last minutes stuff backstage.

Makeup Artists:

You don’t need an official license or some huge kit to help out, just a means to demonstrate your skill for the purpose of what we need and sanitary values! We don’t expect you to have makeup in every color; there are certain things you can ask of performers and other things we hope you can provide on your own. If we have a program, you can expect to be credited in it as well as thanked in closing remarks.


Can you put together a great outfit for a number? Are you good at figuring out themes for costumes as related to musical content? Do you design/sew/bedazzle/fancify clothing? Are you good at finding fashion bargains? We can use your help! Finding good-looking clothing for fat people is hard enough as it is, but sexy/cheeky stage costumes that can be easily stripped out of for a reasonable price can be even tougher. If you are designing a costume for a performer, you won’t be expected to pay for all of the materials for it, that will be through the performer or a group fundraising effort. If we have a program, you can expect to be credited in it as well as thanked in closing remarks.

Publicity, Advertising, Design, Street team, etc.:

If you can design professional looking art, logos, advertisements, flyers, programs, web stuff (like site design, mailing lists, etc. for the future), do lighting or A/V work, connect us to other important relevant art professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.) and you are passionate about our work and purpose, we would appreciate your help! Depending on what you do, if we have a program, you can expect to be credited in it as well as thanked in closing remarks.

Other talent:

If there’s another talent you have or another way you think you can help, run it by us, we’re very open minded.

And if you just want to be kept in the loop about performances, just let us know.

For some general, quick questions, you can send me an ask or submit something longer. For official business such as expressing interest in participating, please email us at and we’ll try to get back to you promptly.  Please spread the word by reblogging or telling a friend and we hope to hear from you soon!