Burlesque star Eliza DeLite hoping for US impact

By John Hess
BBC East Midlands

image copyrightFlashes and Lashes
image captionEliza has performed in the US once before - at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas

Our American cousins are probably used to hearing "The British are coming!"

It started with King George's Red Coats, then The Beatles, followed by Colin Welland's rallying call at the 1981 Oscars, and now one of the country's rising burlesque stars is about to take on the Americans in their own back yard.

Later this month, New Orleans will host one of the most prestigious burlesque festivals in the world and Eliza DeLite, from Leicester, will be showcasing her Hollywood tribute act over there.

It will be the second visit to the US by Eliza, and they seem to be warming to her style of "new British burlesque".

"I was really honoured to be selected to perform at New Orleans out of hundreds and hundreds of acts," she said.

"I'm really incredibly lucky."

"Burlesque is pretty big all over the USA and to break into the scene there is quite difficult, but this is a chance to network and have a go at impressing the American audiences."

The routine is her interpretation of the great Ziegfeld Follies musicals of 1930s Hollywood.

It helped establish the reputation of the former Leicester De Montfort student, who was catapulted to winning the British female burlesque crown two years ago with her interpretation of Madonna's "Like a Prayer".

"It'll be really good to take this act because it has its inspiration in America," said Eliza.

"The kudos of taking part in New Orleans is a huge opportunity because not all performers ever get the chance."

Her first visit to the US was last year when she performed at Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame.

That helped establish her on the international stage.

image copyrightCharis Talbot
image captionLater this year, she will compete for the world burlesque crown

"The New Orleans festival doesn't pay your expenses so it's expensive getting there," added Eliza.

She's using a crowd funding website to help reach her £1,500 target to pay her way.

She said: "The majority of performers in New Orleans will be US based and to be one of few selected from Europe is wonderful."

New Orleans will be her springboard to competing for the world burlesque crown in London in October.

The Americans may not have welcomed the British that much in 1776, but they are warming to Eliza DeLite's style of burlesque and this modern day British invasion.

image copyrightBernie Go Go
image captionEliza will be taking her Hollywood-inspired dance to New Orleans

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