Cherry OnTop -
Cherry is the VBC's co-founder and proud stage-mom to many of Vancouver's coolest performers. She has been performing as a burlesque artist in Vancouver since 2003 and is one of the founders of Sweet Soul Burlesque, the acclaimed West Coast troupe.
Cherry has been featured performing on Showtime’s "The L Word" and has appeared on Fashion TV, CITY TV, and MTV. She has also graced the cover of Vancouver’s Georgia Straight entertainment magazine and was honoured to be chosen to compete for "Best Debut" at the 2010 Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas and "Best Duo" along with Lola Frost in 2012 and most recently "Queen of Burlesque" in 2018.
As one of the original co-producers of The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival and co-owner of the former underground palace DollHouse Studios, Cherry OnTop is extremely excited about her current project - The Vancouver Burlesque Co - and happy to be working with one of her favourite performers in the world, Lola Frost.
Watch out for Cherry around the city at local shows and stay tuned for her next big production LUST that will be hitting the Rio theatre January 2019.
Image: Tom Gould Photography
Lola Frost -
As Vancouver’s Rock’N’Roll Flapper, Lola Frost is best known for combining her anachronistic styles of vintage and modern – a true 1920’s starlet with a kiss of Ramones grit. Her pieces are a sensorial experience to behold; an elegant blend of dance, theater and fervent striptease. “She has incredible stage presence, plus a visceral physicality that demands to be watched and admired” – Tigger!
Performer, teacher and mentor, Lola is co-director of the Vancouver Burlesque Centre and integral member of Sweet Soul Burlesque. She has been internationally recognized at Teaseo-Ramma and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, where she was awarded “Sexy, Sultry, Sizzlin’ Striptease” (2009) and “Most Dazzling Dancer” (2013). She has, with great honor, competed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in the categories of Best Debut (2010), Best Duo (2012 & 2013), Best Troupe (2010), and in 2013 won 2nd runner up in the category of reigning Queen of Burlesque – Miss Exotic World.
A published and noted writer she has been featured on the 21st Century Burlesque Magazine site and in the Berlesker: Handcrafted Literary Journal along with keeping her own blog with a steadily growing following. She is proud to be a RED Burlesque Lipstick signature shade girl and to have been voted #22 in the top 50 of Burlesque by Burlesque Magazine in 2012.
Image: Madison Hurley
Ariel Helvetica -
Assistant Director, Instructor
Ariel Helvetica has been stamping her unique font all over the Vancouver Burlesque scene since her October 2011 solo debut. A born and raised dancer, Ariel spent 5 years abroad, wowing audiences in France as a professional Can-Can/Showgirl, and then criss-crossing the globe and criss-crossing her long legs as a professional high-kicker on cruise ships, visiting 45 countries along the way.
Growing up and training to be a “serious” dancer, Ms. Helvetica’s natural talent and drive took her far into the realm of traditional dance and ballet. But her love of performing, musicals, show tunes and, above all else, dancing to the beat of her own drum, hinted she would eventually leave those constricting toe shoes behind for bigger - and higher - kicks. Sure enough, Ariel’s raw sense of creativity and passion soon pulled her towards the hot red lights of burlesque, where she finally gave in to temptation, biting the apple of this delightful art form.
Ariel has shimmied and twirled her way around the globe, having performed at some of the top burlesque shows in Europe, Canada and the U.S.A. With many notable performances under her G-String, her most recent performance highlight was strip-teasing for her peers and fans at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in the Best Debut category. While touring, Ariel has had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of students her style of burlesque and brings her expertise back to her home studio, the Vancouver Burlesque Centre.
Ruthe Ordare -
Head of Community Outreach, Instructor
Ruthe Ordare is the brazen bombshell of Vancouver, BC Canada - serving up hips, thighs and bedroom eyes since 2011. She is a performer of mixed heritage from the Mohawk Nation and is a founding member of the all-Aboriginal troupe Virago Nation. Dubbed the Canadian Meringue for being light on her feet and twice as sweet, Ruthe serves up classic glamour with a contemporary pulse!
In her international travels, Ruthe has been awarded “Best Solo” at the Texas Burlesque Festival and “Best Duo” at the Oregon Burlesque Festival. She has performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Movers, Shakers & Innovators Showcase in 2015 & 2017 and the Tournament of Tease in 2013.
When not on stage, Ruthe can be found at the Vancouver Burlesque Co. where she is a resident instructor. She has also acted as the Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival for 2018 and 2019.
Chastity Twist -
Sizzling Showgirl and Dashing Drag King, she's all for exquisite raunch, grace and comedy that ranges from sly to OMG. Chastity Twist is the Education Coordinator for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival Association and is a regular in the Vancouver burlesque scene, frequently performing with the Geekenders. She was first introduced to burlesque in 2012 through Rosie Bitts’ “Learn to Love Your Jiggly Bitts” classes in Victoria, B.C. Chastity has toured Vancouver Island, performed in New York, the 2015 Edmonton Burlesque Festival, the 2015 Calgary International Burlesque Festival and the 2016 Vancouver International Burlesque Festival (VIBF). Her choreography appeared in VIBF 2017. While on the Moonage Kingdom production team, she choreographed and co-produced several Sailor Moon shows and the music video “Hello Sailors” that went internationally viral. As a member of the award winning Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society, Chastity Twist helped take home the 2016 Burlesque Hall of Fame's "Most Comedic" and "Best Large Group" awards. Chastity holds certificates in Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet and works with her students in a way that is kind, encouraging and fun loving, focusing on technique, stage presence and being unabashedly sexy.
Image: Greg McKinnon
Cleo Victory -
Cleo Victory is a dance and burlesque artist whose sparkly firecracker personality and sultry smooth moves have been seen on stages all over Vancouver. A passionate movement storyteller, she loves creating work that pushes boundaries and combines artistic disciplines. Her signature style blends contemporary dance technique, sensuality and just a touch of silliness. She is also a feisty go-go girl, a co-founder of Paper Heart Burlesque and a full time dance educator with students of all ages. Cleo's students enjoy her classes largely because of her innovative choreography, quirky demeanour and ultra sexy music choices. She could not be more grateful and excited to be a part of the VBC instructor team!
Harla LaVand -
An intoxicating blend of saffron and sensuality, Harla is a powerful performer and passionate teacher. On stage, Harla will make you quiver with her unique blend of hip-hop, lyrical, and classical Iranian dance. In class, she will make you feel safe, confident, and help you grow. Harla is dedicated about sharing her love of dance, art, and fitness!
She is a CFES Certified Fitness instructor, and graduate from York University Toronto, Ont. where she designed for MainStage Productions, Artistic Directed their playwriting Theatre Festival, as well as writing/directing/performing original works. An artist through to the core, Harla balances her life as a showgirl with her life as a visual artist alongside her team at Square One Collective.
Harla's greatest goal is to teach the powerful magic that is LOVING & MOVING our bodies to as many people as possible! Burlesque has allowed Harla to combine her theatrical skills with her love of dance, fitness, and right proper drrrty bump n' grind; her passion is unparalleled and you do not want to miss it when she pours it all over the stage.
Image: Alex Larente