We noticed a lot of discussion on various forums about disabilities and health problems that various performers and models have, and often completely undetected or known of by those around them.
We let it be known that we were interested in speaking to anyone that would like to talk about their disabilities (or disaburlyties as we like to call them) and the response was amazing. The stories we read were so honest and uplifting – we have dedicated a large portion of this issue to these brave women and we hope you enjoy and take comfort from their stories…
This is Adelina’s story…
I have had M.E for 9 years now and during that time my illness has gone from almost 100% better to not being able to get out of bed. I had a severe relapse two years ago and had to leave University and move home, but for a while now my illness has been at a steady, albeit quite poor, level. Before I became ill, I was a dancer and I still missed the performance aspect of being on stage.
I had been to a few Burlesque nights and absolutely loved everything about them and so I decided to start taking Burlesque classes a few months ago; it seemed the perfect way to use my dance skills again and have some fun! Since completing the classes, I have felt more confident and positive about everything in my life; it’s almost like Burlesque has given me a feeling of control over my body again after so many years of having it constantly poked, prodded, scanned and tested to try and find out what is causing my M.E.
I have my debut show coming up in December and I have even started a part time job now. I know my illness will be an issue in regards to the amount of shows I can do and also how energetic my routines are, and as M.E isn’t a visible disability, I know it can be hard to understand because I don’t look ill. However, I have found the Burlesque community in general to be so accepting and open minded that I haven’t even considered the fact it may be a problem to anyone other than myself. After a bad couple of years, burlesque has helped me gain the confidence to start getting my life back together.
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.