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Archive for November, 2023

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 are considered ‘showgirls’ and get paid for all of their stages. 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 to 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, so it took a minute to recognize her. 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 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 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 music..

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 lights and pyro. Wheels to Neil were considered the contenders and Twice As Nice also has a good name. 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. We also decided that we needed a name change and came up with the name, the Natural Blonde Thrillers, a spin off from, the Natural Born Killers movie, which was huge hit at that time. We would watch dance videos after work to learn new dance moves, we 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 a duo act. And then the West Coast Duo Championships were happening. None of the bigger, established names were competing, so, we really felt like we had it in the bag. We ended up with 3rd place and were DEVASTATED. Lesson #1, never be 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. 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.

Well, that only fueled our Fire. We started to create an army show that started off with our voice overs and performing a skit. We sang a 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 be a Clusty army brat. I then would say, ” 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!” the crown starts cheering! Everything was unfolding, song by song. We went with classic tv shows themes, F-Troop and Hogan’s Heros, keeping it playful but then moved into, ‘We Will Rock You,’ by Queen and that’s when shit got real! Choreography to each beat! Then went with, Love Is a Battlefield, where I become a doctor who needs to revive her and ended with Toy Soldiers. We felt it in our bones that THIS was the one. 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 rivals were Shannon Tate and Elizabeth Arden. They both had many contest titles, like, MissNude 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 throughout the contest. We didn’t let any of it bother us. 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 and ended with a standing ovation and a double encore!! As they were calling up 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 ans Elizabeth Arden,” omggg.. did we just win?!!! And the 1st place winners for the Ultimate Duo Championships are. . the Natural Blonde Thrillers!” 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 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!!

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!!!

SO….here I am, many years later and it has come full circle; I’ve just won the Nightmoves Duo/Trio Grand Championships!! Who would’ve thought that this is where I’d be and what I’d be doing….still playing with life. Passion in action! Next blog will be how I created the resurgence of the duo act and brought acro to the stripper stage!