Nanaimo's Naughty & Spice burlesque troupe is having its fourth annual fundraiser to raise cash so the group can attend the educational burlesque conference BurlyCon in Seattle, WA.
BurlyCon or Bust is a variety show that takes place at the Cambie at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 and again on Sept. 20.
There will be vendor tables, a raffle and a live band as well as burlesque performances from Naughty & Spice and other local dancers.
Naughty & Spice troupe leader Roxee Lee said her and the other girls in the group - there are currently seven total - go to BurlyCon to take workshops, go to peer reviews and get feedback on their performances.
"There's nowhere else in the world we could have that kind of experience, where all these seasoned veterans tell us what they think of our routines," she said.
"The convention itself has been growing substantially each year."
Lee said Naughty & Nice is a "labour of love," with costumes being expensive and performances bringing in little money. "It's not the sort of thing people do because they want money, it's the sort of thing people do because they really, really love it," she said.
"It wouldn't be reasonable to ask everybody to pay to go (to BurlyCon). We just can't afford that."
Lee said she is especially excited for BurlyCon or Bust because her troupe has had all summer to practice. It will feature first-time performers as well as veteran performers with polished up old routines.
While she wouldn't give too many details, Lee said the performances will feature everything from a mermaid routine set to 50's music to an obscuregeek culture themed routine.
"A lot of people look at burlesque and think it's like the movie and we just get up and we sing and that's not true at all," she said. "Some people think we're like strippers and we take all our clothes off and that's not really true either."
Lee said her dancers do serious routines, funny routines, lip syncing and, yes, some actual singing, but the heart of what they do is entertain people.
And as for awkward moments, there have been a few.
"Sometimes you have those fun, awkward experiences where a boss or a coworker or a sibling shows up to a show not realizing you're in it," she said."We've had a few of those moments."
Advance tickets to BurlyCon or Bust are $15 per show or $20 for both and are available at the Cambie.
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