We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivy St. Valentease and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ivy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I don’t think I ever started even thinking about taking risks until around 22, 23. I grew up in a really small, really conservative town where you were put in a box and expected to stay there, you were excepted to look and act a certain way. Needless to say, I didn’t really fit in–I never did. I’d gotten tattoos and piercings and colored my hair a bunch, but I feel like my first real risk was when I cut all my hair off in 2016. I feel like it was the starting point in a long journey of self-disovery. I started allowing myself to follow new impulses and goals–going to cosmetology school, traveling a lot more, pursuing fitness, shaving my head. It wasn’t until I moved to Colorado that I started to fully blossom. A large part of that came from discovering burlesque and pole classes at Tease Studio in RiNo. I can have a hard time making friends and get anxious in new situations, so going to a brand new place to do something “risqué” that I’ve never done, in a city that’d still brand new to me, was a huge leap of faith in myself. I didn’t know if I’d be any good or if I’d be laughed at. I didn’t know if I had the right “look”. I didn’t know if I’d have the ability. As soon as I got on that hardwood floor (or pole or chair) though, it didn’t matter; it made me feel so good that the fear of another’s opinion melted away. Had I second guessed myself, or believed any of my self doubt, this whole new world of self-love and self-discovery and burlesque glamor would have remained a hazy dream.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What’s most exciting to me is the opportunity to be performing so early into my burlesque career. Of course, it’s a slow start, but to have anything booked at the beginning is a blessing. That, and I’m pretty proud that all of my pieces are choreographed by me and all of my costume pieces are customized by me. I don’t necessarily have specialties in those areas, but I’m happy it’s something I ended up being able to do well!

Really the hardest part is getting booked. Producers tend to post casting calls a few months in advance, so I’m still learning how to navigate the burlesque world schedule to maximize the amount of shows I can land. It’s easy to get discouraged at the beginning, but I try to stay inspired via other burlesque performers. The best thing you can do is send out applications and audition videos anyway, and keep believing in your path.

Here’s what I want the world (or even one person) to know: I had a really hard time growing up and have a lot of trauma from my childhood, and the best thing you can do is find something productive in which to channel all that negative energy. Allow yourself space to feel and grow, and always get help if you need help. Don’t allow yourself to stay small, and don’t forget that pitri f yourself first doesn’t necessarily make you selfish.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man, I’m still discovering Denver myself! I’d definitely have to take them to all my favorite vegan food joints, like Watercourse and Blue Sake Grill. Of course we would have to sign up for a couple dance classes. Assuming it would be accessible, I would love to take them to Glenwood Springs! The drive alone is worth it!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tease Studio! I would have never been able to pursue my dream of becoming a dancing performer without the space and people. And of course my fiancée, who had encouraged me the whole way.

Instagram: ivystvalentease

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UClZm-dpCc2ZHfraOqYVIymw

Image Credits
@sarahshootsboudoir (Instagram)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.