For the last eight years Arloe Scott has had an interesting hobby — burlesque dancing.
In 2007 when Scott moved to Regina from Ottawa she was looking for a new hobby. Since she was 11 she had performed in the theatre and now wanted to try something different.
Her sister, Anna Scott aka V.V. Shimmy, had an interesting job herself — she ran a business called The Bottoms Up Burlesque Club. The club was an umbrella business that had various burlesque troops operating underneath it and would teach people the art of burlesque.
Scott decided to try it and quickly fell in love with it.
“I love being onstage, which comes from my theatre background and being the centre of attention in that moment and the rush that you get,” Scott said.
Scott’s enthusiasm paid off when she was crowned best burlesque dancer in the Prairie Dog’s 2015 Best of Regina.
Thirty-six year-old Scott works for the City of Regina as an analyst in the bylaw enforcement branch to pay the bills. On the weekends she works one day a week as a clerk at an adult boutique called Industrial Luv, which she calls her “fun” job.
In her spare time Scott is a member of the Prairie Pinups burlesque group, which is part of the Queen City Cabaret — a collective that includes two burlesque groups, and a juggler.
Scott said burlesque is all about the art of the tease. “So there is sometimes stripping involved with that but not always.”
The Prairie Pinups is focused on retro burlesque with wartime era styling and music from that time frame.
Scott’s theatrical background means she likes to centre her routines more on a storyline than a dance.
“I like to have little surprises in my routines, things that the audience won't expect and I tend to gravitate towards things that have little jokes and what not,” Scott said.
In the burlesque world Scott operates under the name Trixie Applejaxxx. At the time that she picked her stage name she was working as a cook and wanted a food related name.
“For some reason applejack — I had bright red hair at the time. So for some reason that stuck out to me,” Scott said.
Scott said Trixie is a classic cute burlesque name. The triple x’s on her name were added after people kept on pronouncing her original stage name, Trixie Applejack, wrong. So she decided to go with the flow and added some extra x’s at the end.
Scott’s costumes, if it’s a stripping show, include some “adorable” panties, with ruffles and beads. Then there is a waist cincher that goes right under the bust, and a bra goes overtop with pasties on the breasts.
“I love the costumes and stuff. The corsets and the feathers and the ruffles and the sequins, and everything about the costumes is there to make the parts of your body that you're maybe not comfortable with look as sexy as possible,” Scott said.
Burlesque shows in Saskatchewan don’t usually include stripping because of the liquor laws. Nudity is not allowed in venues where liquor is served. In 2014, for a brief period, these laws were changed to allow partial nudity; but then a year ago it was repealed.
Scott said that this makes it harder for her burlesque group to book shows.
“Basically we're a community dance group is what we are,” Scott said.
Last year Scott spoke up in protest about the province’s decision to change the laws. She spoke in front of Regina city council about the bylaws that it had enacted in response to the provincial laws.
“I spoke in front of city council just to explain sort of our position or what not and how these laws are affecting arts groups and not just strip clubs,” she said. “There needed to be a better solution.”
She was impressed when they said that they would revisit the idea and think about it.
But for now Scott’s Prairie Pinups, will have to settle for having only about three to four shows a year. On April 30 they have a Moulin Rouge inspired show at the Artesian the Bottoms Up Burlesque Group, and then on May 13 they have another show at the Artesian called Friday Night Freak Show with the Queen City Cabaret.
In the future Scott plans to continue to do burlesque — well for at least as long as she lives in Regina.