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Meet Trailblazer Champagne Shuga Nova

Today we’d like to introduce you to Champagne Shuga Nova.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Champagne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been performing burlesque for about eight years as a featured dancer down at The Clocktower Cabaret in downtown Denver. I started dancing as a kid and later joined my dance teams throughout high school and college. In college, I really started to find a passion for vintage style and began doing pin-up photo shoots and learning vintage hair and makeup. When I found burlesque, it was the perfect combination of dance, performance, costuming and the vintage style that I absolutely adored. I began performing locally here in Denver as well as traveling around the country to shows in Kansas City, New Orleans, San Francisco and more. I started producing specialty burlesque shows at The Clocktower Cabaret about three years ago. I now produce a weekly show on Thursday night’s featuring classic vintage burlesque, neo-burlesque, variety/circus acts, and live music. My most recent production is the Naughty 90’s: A Bangin Burlesque Revue running Saturdays in April- May at The Clocktower Cabaret!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For me, finding burlesque really helped me find my confidence. I finally felt like I found a place that I can truly be myself and express myself and it is celebrated. It really is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life. I definitely have found myself in situations where a roadblock or even someone in my life is trying to pull me away from burlesque. Ultimately, I know that burlesque is right for me and really IS me so that really provides a lot of clarity in making difficult decisions. Whatever it is, if it is trying to pull me away from burlesque, it probably isn’t right for me. My advice would be to find what is important to you and stick with it no matter who or what is telling you not to. I know that sounds so easy, right? It’s not. It takes practice but it does get easier and at least, you have some sort of guiding star!

The other piece is that it is the entertainment industry. You get told “no” a lot. It is just part of the process. Don’t take that too much to heart. Keep trying to get booked or auditioning. Keep working on your craft. Ask for feedback and then take what you need from that to grow into a better performer.

Always be professional. It is easy to fall into thinking that everything is very casual as a performer but professionalism will take you far! Build every relationship and always thank those who have given you an opportunity.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I originally was very focused on classic and vintage burlesque. I have an obsession for glamour and costumes and vintage style. I’ve more recently opened up to more modern and neo-burlesque. Overall, what I’ve learned is that performing is about the energy that you bring on stage. I try to bring an energy that shares how much I love being on that stage and invites the audience to have fun with me!

Which women have inspired you in your life?
My number one answer is my mom. She’s a total badass and taught me how to be strong and persistent with my goals. Because of her, I’m not scared to try and keep trying. She’s also a creative genius and helps me concept everything from costumes to props to choreography. Anytime I’m struggling with an idea, we brainstorm and she always has a creative solution. Her handy work is literally in all my costumes. She even helped me to come up with my stage name. Mama Shuga Nova is my hero!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nathan Letteer, InstantC

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