She just wanted to express herself.
But Rosie Bitts’s job as a music and pre-school teacher meant she had to keep a conservative image. Even in her personal life she couldn’t find a way to assert her sexuality.
“I was really looking for something where I could express myself creatively as a woman,” she said.
It wasn’t until she discovered burlesque that she was able to embrace a persona and share that side.
“It’s a really wonderful creative outlet as an artist,” said Bitts, adding she is in control of everything on stage.
What’s great about burlesque is that women of all body types are free to express themselves and feel beautiful, she said, adding that sometimes in society people are pigeonholed because they are a certain weight or age.
“In burlesque all of that is gone,” she said. “You get to create who you are. You are free. You get to choose who you come to the stage as. On the burlesque stage you can be a glamour queen.”
Performing helped her feel she had a safe place to share her sexuality. Performers can choose whatever characters they want. They can be funny and silly or wanton and racy.
“All of this is accepted,” she said.
Interacting with audience members during a performance is one of her favourite parts of the show.
“I was an actor before I did this. For me burlesque has a unique interaction. For me it feels like a dialogue between me and the audience,” said Bitts.
Rosie Bitts performs at the Queen’s Sunday (June 23) at 9 p.m. The show includes performances by Lalani Electric, Vava Zunberbust and two of Rosie Bitts’s students Dalila Delish and Chastity Twist.
“It’s got that fabulous old school cabaret feeling and burlesque,” she said.
Tickets for the show at the Queen’s are $15 and are available at the bar or by calling 250-754-6751.