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“I wish that people knew how much love and care burlesque performers put into their art,” says Gin Minsky, a tap and burlesque performer based in New York City. That means hours upon hours hunched over to sew rhinestones on a costume, or time spent scouring vintage stores for the right look.
“I look to the past for a lot of my inspiration,” she says, “particularly because my aesthetic is ’20s, ’30s — old Hollywood, Ziegfeld Follies, movie musicals, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell.”
Burlesque may ultimately be about removing garments, but the clothing is crucial to the performance, a real “element of the story.” Determining your aesthetic and controlling how the layers move and peel back is key for a burlesque performer.
“We’re not necessarily sexualizing ourselves,” says Minsky. “We’re in control of our bodies.”