Bristol boxers are set to prove a real pair of knock outs as burlesque dancers
THE gloves are off – these two female boxers are taking a step out of the ring to give burlesque dancing a go to raise money for their club.
Candice Revill, 25, and Sharon Dimery, 23, are raising money for Barton Hill Amateur Boxing Club, where they both train.
On Friday they will be swapping their punch bags for glamorous costumes for one night only as they take on burlesque alter egos.
The idea came from burlesque performer and event organiser Rio Wild, who held several burlesque nights last year to raise money for the club after being impressed by what they did.
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Rio, 36, of St George, said: "I was introduced to Tom Foley, the chairman, about two years ago when I moved to Bristol from London and I really admired his love and energy for the boxing club.
"I attended a boxing event towards the end of 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed myself, the kids from the club were fantastic and you could see that they love being a part of it all.
"They are taught great discipline among other values and have a place to go with other like-minded people. I was so taken with the club that I wanted to help raise funds for them."
Rio has already raised more than £1,500 for the club, and she came up with the idea of holding a special night where some of the club's female members were trained to be burlesque performers themselves.
"Originally we had a large number who wanted to perform, however as realisation struck and a number pulled out, we have been left with a fabulously talented two," she said.
"These three ladies have received training from Lou Leigh Blue, one of Bristol's top class burlesque performers and full support from her and myself.
"There are a number of elements involved in performing including building your on-stage persona, music, routine, costume and props to name a few."
Local beauty salon Guy Fawkes Hair and Beauty has been helping out with beauty treatments as the women have been transformed into their burlesque personas.
"Both ladies have a dance capability of some sort and took to the first training session like ducks to water, they are now currently putting their routines together," she said.
"It does help that they're incredibly fit. I have been in constant contact with them to check their progress and how they are feeling. It is quite daunting to them at the moment, which is why I think it's important to take time to make sure they are totally confident in what they are doing.
"The beauty of burlesque is that it is personal choice and preference as to how much of your costume you remove and what style you use. You can make it comical, sexy, dramatic, theatrical or any other genre, it really is open to your personal interpretation. Lou Leigh Blue and I have total faith in them and know just from their initial training session that we've got some future burlesque performers in the making."
Budding burlesque performer Candice, who lives in St George, works in admin and sales but also teaches children street dance.
She started boxing a couple of years ago at the club, where her dad Tom is a volunteer coach.
"I use it as a way to keep fit," she said. "I don't want to fight and get battered but it is good fun doing boxing for training.
"I was at an event recently when I got talking to Rio and she was asking if I would be interested in having a go at burlesque, and I was. It all went from there.
"It is pretty nerve wracking thinking about getting up there and doing this in front of everyone – my boyfriend, parents and sister are probably coming along with some of my friends.
"I've never done anything like this before but I've got my routine and outfit sorted so I've just got to keep practising. And it's all to raise money for the club so I just need to keep thinking that."
The event is taking place at the Barton Hill Settlement on Friday, April 20, at 7pm.
Tickets cost £8 and all proceeds will go to the boxing club. There will also be performances from other Bristol burlesque dancers – Lou Leigh Blue, Lady Lolly Rouge, Daphne Dangerpants, Bambi Beretta and Ally Katte.
Tickets are available from Pins N Needles Tattoo shop in Lawrence Hill and Bristol Ticket Shop on 0870 4444 400.
More burlesque events can be found at www.tattoosbristol.co.uk/ burlesque.