Canada's fanciest fanny!

My Journey of the Duo & Trio Acts

Fire & Ice Nightmoves Grand Championships

Trio Champions

I wanted to share my back story as a duo and trio performer, but I need to go waaaaay back to my very first week of dancing. In Western Canada,. All dancers would be considered ‘showgirls’ and get paid for all of their stages, which is quite different from everywhere else in the world, where entertainers pay the club to work there. It’s called a ‘house fee’, along with mandatory tip outs to all of the staff. It was a great incentive to develop your shows and invest in costumes, as the better you became, the higher your showprice could be, and one could even move onto, ‘Feature Status.’ Each contract was Mon-Sat, with between 18-36 shows for the week, so between 3-6 shows per day. And then you would move to another club on the circuit the following week. At the time, the Vancouver area had over 50 clubs to circulate around from week to week.

During my first week ever, I was a bit frazzled as I had the last show of the night which meant I’d miss the last bus going home. Yes, baby dancer at 18 and moved from small town Alberta to the big city of Vancouver, trying to make it. No vehicle yet, just the bus and skytrain. (Imagine lugging around those hockey bags full of costumes on public transit!)
There was this beautiful, bubbly blonde that overheard me trying to swap my last show and asked what was wrong. I explained to her that I was going to miss my bus and I lived over an hour away. She asked which city I lived in. I replied, “New West,” she said, “Me, too! I can wait for you and give you a ride.” Then she asked me where I lived in New West and I said, “Knox Street.” She exclaimed, “What?!!! Me, too! Which building do you live in?” I laughed thinking there’s no way…..319 Know street. She squealed, “Omgggg! Me, too!! So you know Peter and Nancy, the landlords? Wait a minute, do you have a little baby? Now I remember seeing you in the lobby! oh wow, we live in the same building!”

I did start to remember meeting her in the lobby one day with our landlord. But she wasn’t a glamourpuss, she was in her pjs and slippers, in total civilian comfy mode, so it took a minute to recognize her. I never would’ve guessed that girl in the lobby, who looked like the girl next door could transform into such a blonde bombshell that looked like she just walked out of a Playboy Magazine. From that moment on, we were joined at the hips. We would get booked together each week and clubs loved it. Then we were asked if we wanted to compete in the World Duo Championships at Monty’s, in Victoria, BC. What’s a duo Championship? It’s a contest where 2 entertainers put together a show. Well, we were all fired up-heck ya! So, we started to think of what we had that could go together , to keep costs down and not having to buy matching costumes and settled on a dog and cat show. I had a cat costume, and she had a dog. well, it was actually a reindeer, but we could make it look like a dog LOL Reflecting back, this concept was hilarious. The agents gave us the name, ‘Jailbait,’ for obvious reasons, we were both underage at the time.

We really didn’t know what we were doing, so, we created some props, like a fire hydrant (Don’t ask) and came up with some choreography that I knew from being a dancer and then the music mix to match the theme.

When we started watching the different duos performing, we were in awe! Duos were a big deal back then and many were touring acts that had spectacular shows with their owns lighting systems and pyrotechnics. Wheels to Neil were considered the contenders and Twice As Nice also has a solid reputation for performance. We actually made it to the finals and then won Audience Favorite!! But who wouldn’t love two 18 years old blondes bouncing around a stage acting ridiculous in a sexy kinda way/!!

After that, we were hooked. We both knew that we could create some really amazing shows like the big feature acts that we saw. So, we kept getting booked together every week, practiced and created and practiced and created. Living in the same building made it easy for us to get together after work to create our shows. We also decided that we needed a name change and came up with the name, the Natural Blonde Thrillers, a spin off from the movie, Natural Born Killers, which was huge hit at that time. We would watch dance videos after work to learn new dance moves and would watch and learn how to do cheerleader lifts. And then we started with our themes. There were 2 shows that we started creating: a cowboy theme and an army theme. There were ‘duo nights’ that you could sign up for on Thursday nights, so, we tried to book into those as often as possible. As we performed at the duo nights, clubs started to see our potential and it wasn’t too long until we were getting booked as an actual duo act. with our solo shows as well. And then the next contest, the West Coast Duo Championship, was happening. None of those bigger, established names were competing, so we really felt like we had it in the bag. Well, we ended up with 3rd place and were DEVASTATED. We were being booked and all of that hard work and ended with 3rd-WTH?! A lesson learned on being overconfident. Other entertainers who were featuring at the time took top spots and many said that they wouldn’t allow a couple of rookies to win over them. I will also add that our show was great, but it wasn’t exceptional. Though we were booked as a duo, we would be in a co-feature spot but still hadn’t solidified THE feature spot. And back then, you had to pay your dues! It usually would be a few years before an entertainer moved up to feature status. It was impressive to be a co-feature in your first year of dancing.

Well, that only fueled our Fire. We started to create an army show and really thought about every detail. We decided to start off with our voices singing an army song, that we pre recorded at a studio and then went into performing a skit. We sang that classic army song as we marched on stage and had pyrotechnics going off. I was the Sargeant, and she was the cadet. After a few, “Left Right Lefts, I’d say, “Accompany halt!” She falls into me acting like a Clusty army brat. I then would say, ” Accompany Halt! Attention! Are you playing games with me girl? Get down on your knees and give me 20….LICKS! 1, 2…3….oooh make it 50!” We thought it was funny, sexy and different. Everything was unfolding, song by song. We went with old classic army tv shows theme songs for the intro, F-Troop and Hogan’s Heros, keeping it recognizable and playful, then moved into, ‘We Will Rock You,’ by Queen and that’s when shit got real! Choreography to each beat! The cheerleading lifts to each beat. ‘War, What Is It Good For’ Followed by, ‘Love Is a Battlefield,’ where I become a doctor who needs to revive my fallen cadet with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and a full physical *wink wink* We ended the show with song, ‘Toy Soldiers’ and got all messy with a water show. We felt it in our bones that THIS was the one. This is a winner. Next up: the Ultimate Duo Championships!

This one was going to be a tough one. Some of the biggest features were pairing up to go for gold. The two that we considered our biggest rivals were Shannon Tate and Elizabeth Arden. They both had many contest titles, like, Miss Nude BC, one of the biggest titles you could win at that time and they were favored. “Who do these two rookies think they are……” that was a common statement amongst many, throughout the contest. Back when I started dancing, there was a pecking order and being a rookie, you were supposed to be seen, not heard. Those experienced dancers could be vicious. But I came out of northern Alberta oil country, we were like Vikings, so, I had a chip on my shoulder, something to prove and wasn’t intimidated by that BS. We didn’t let any of it bother us. We kept our eye on the prize. We had so much fun creating this show that we didn’t care. I guess we’ll just show them who we KNOW we are.
Well, we made the final! At the end of our show we had a standing ovation and a double encore!! As they were calling the 2nd Runners up, we were so nervous but nope, not us, which means, we still have a chance! Then they announced the 1st Runners up, I could feel my heart beating in my throat…”Be Seeing You Twice, Shannon Tate and Elizabeth Arden,” omggg.. did we just win?!!! And the 1st place winners for the Ultimate Duo Championships are. . the Natural Blonde Thrillers!” What??!!! We did it?!!! This is where I learned, be so good they can’t ignore you. Do a show so spectacular, you can’t not win. If you don’t win, it’s too obvious that it was rigged and then the contest devalues itself. Because honestly, I believe, those 2 top features were supposed to win.

That was one of my happiest moments on stage! Kind of in shock but also, owning it and feeling like it was so earned. The Natural Blonde Thrillers went on to win every duo competition after that across Canada, 2-3 times over. Our winning streak was unbeatable. There was even one contest at the Caddy Shack, the West Coast Duo Championship, where some funny business happened during our show. We went on last and during our 3rd song, the music stopped The dj came over and said that the speakers blew and our show was over, to get off the stage. Fuck that! The show must go on! The dj came to the stage once more and yelled, “Your shows over!” And I said, “No it’s not! Hey everyone, we want you to sing for the next 5 mins, Heyyyyyy we want some psssssY”!! And the audience started laughing and singing, “Heeeyyyyy, we want some pussy!!”

Then they started pounding on the tables and chanting that for the next 5 mins so we could finish our show. We ended with a standing ovation and….we took first place!! There was another duo act that agent wanted to promote at that time and….Industry people may have been sick of us winning everything, that’s why I think that happened with our show. They weren’t expecting us to continue on, which won over the audience even more. For that performance, we were bikers, dressed in all black pvc, helmets on and did choreography with handlebars that had a big headlight on them. We made it look like we were driving around the stage. It was hot!

After that, my agent, Randy, said we should consider adding a trio partner. He kept booking us with another cute, blondie, Indica and we all got along, so, posed the question, can we do this? Do we want to do this? Why not?!!! So, we incorporated, Indica into our shows, taught her our routines and went on to win the World Trio Championships at Monty’s, the place where it all began.

SO….here I am, many years later and it has come full circle; I’ve just won the Nightmoves Duo/Trio Grand Championships with my current partners, Justice and Hayla Faye, together we are, ‘Fire & Ice.’!!

During Covid was when my idea to bring back the duo act emerged. At the time, I was mentoring a newcomer and during one of our sessions, I asked her if I could pick her up and throw her around. She was excited and said to go for it! So, I did some of those old cheerleading lifts I knew, and we nailed it. Then the thought came to mind…I hadn’t seen any duos in well over a decade, why not bring something different to this era, back to the stage BUT with upgrades in skill, like acro?!! I had seen some videos of people doing acro and found it to be a beautiful flow that demonstrates strength, balance, connection and flow. Having 2 women performing this on stage would be amazing! and just by a serendipitous moment, that man I saw in those acro videos happened to be at the gas station at the same time as my then partner and she asked him if he’d teach us acro…of course he would! And I was right about the demand for something new! Club owners and audiences loooooved it! I was able to sell the idea of my duo act and solidify a tour during the least likely of times, during the pandemic. It brought lightness to a time of uncertainty and frustration. It really did save my heart and soul. With the pandemic, I lost 3 years of what would have been my best tour and bookings to date with extremely lucrative contracts in the U.S., Australia and Canada. I wasn’t even sure if we would have an industry, let alone, features, after the pandemic, because the entertainment industry was hit so hard. I lost a lot at that time.

But the acro community in St. Pete saved my soul. This also never would’ve happened if I wasn’t forced to stop touring, so there were blessings inside of such a dark time. I would never have met all of those amazing people, created meaningful friendships and created shows that went on to shift the industry. With the success of my duo, other duos started to emerge. I then asked a contest promoter about putting together a duo contest and they went for it! The first ever, DUO COMPETITION, in the US! We competed and walked away with a deserved, 3rd place. Because we were the only touring duo act and had been together so long, we were seen as a contender. But our show fell flat. We buckled under the pressure and didn’t earn that first-place prize. The other duos killed it! They actually made me so happy and proud for bringing their ‘A’ game and making a great effort to put on an awesome show. They were outstanding and for most of them, it was their first time on stage together! It was amazing to watch these high caliber women come together to create something so exciting and inspirational. The contest promoter said that was the best contest they’ve held. That for the first time, people were glued to their seats, whereas at other awards shows, the feature shows were like an intermission where people would get up and start talking to each other, use the bathroom, get drinks, etc. Though we didn’t win, I still felt like a champion with what I was able to create.

Then for the following year, I posed the question, “How about a duo-TRIO competition?!!” They replied, “Can you find that many entertainers?” “ABSOLUTELY!! I will!!” I giggled with excitement.

And so here we are, the Nightmoves Duo/Trio Competition 2023! I just revel in this resurgence of the Duo -Trios that I was able to ignite and breathe life back into.

Who would’ve thought that this is where I’d be and what I’d be doing….still playing on stage. Passion in action! Upcoming blog will be the story on how I created the resurgence of the duo and trios.

Photos of Fire & Ice Trio Champions followed by the Natural Blonde Thrillers

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