Burlesque isn’t generally associated with seriousness. It has a fun, playful quality to it, which is probably the big reason why it seems odd for a group of such performers to be putting on a show for something so serious as the Military Family Resource Centre.
The Edmonton Garrison-based centre helps the loved ones of troops with programs and services ranging from health clinics and daycares to support during deployment and emergency situations. Being a soldier is tough; being the family of a soldier can be just as difficult.
Samantha Moore, organizer and burlesque performer, knows all too well the stresses of army family life. The 21-year-old Paul Kane graduate’s father is in the military and, like so many others, has to be away a lot.
“He’s in Egypt right now. He’s been there for the last year and he’s finally coming home and then he’s right off to Ottawa.”
The nature of her dad’s job means that Moore has seen her fair share of days and weeks during which she has had no contact with him. She does not enjoy not knowing what he’s up to. The St. Albert-based make-up artist laid out plainly what it’s like.
“It’s hard. My dad’s been in the army my whole life. You don’t hear from the people over there right away when something happens. All you hear is the news. It’s kind of scary. We Skype my dad every day.”
Having all of that first-hand knowledge about the army family’s life has given her the incentive to use her own talents to help the centre to help others during their own stresses and struggles.
“I know that they’re helping as many families as they can. The more funds that they have, the more they can help.”
Everybody needs a break and a chance to enjoy themselves, and that’s exactly what her shows are all about — just being happy to be alive. Friday’s performance will feature a drag queen, a fire dancer and, of course, Moore and several of her friends from the Lascivious Burlesque troupe.
“It’s so much fun. Burlesque is all about loving your body so everyone is crazy confident and everybody is always boosting each other. I wish it was my full-time job.”
She ended by encouraging people even further by stating that the $15 ticket gets the buyer a VIP card for free entrance to the Empire Ballroom for the rest of the year and is also pre-loaded with $20.
Burlesque for the Troops
Benefit Performance for the Military Family Resource Centre
Friday, July 2 at 10 p.m.
Empire Ballroom at West Edmonton Mall
Performances by Lascivious Burlesque, Amber La Bella, Morrah Vamann and Terez the Belly Dancer
Tickets: $15. Call 780-966-8289
Visit www.mfrcedmonton.com for more information.