|Dem Damn Dames:Theatrical neo-burlesque. Tifa |Tiddlywinks Tittlywinks describes her troupe as "children of the low arts. We like it raw and homemade, and everything is 100 percent original."
Check out our slide show of the burlesque festival.
In November 2010, my colleague Pete Vonder Haar asked the question "Why Doesn't Houston Have a Burlesque Troupe?"
Three-plus years later, the burlesque scene in Houston is booming, and boasts at least five unique troupes plus a handful of solo artists, according to Tifa Tittlywinks, member of one of Houston's oldest troupes, Dem Damn Dames.
At the time of Vonder Haar's story, the Dames were actually in the process of forming. Tittlywinks, who grew up in Indiana and moved to Houston for work in 2008, had been a student of dance her whole life. It was here that she met Tricia Licious, who asked her if she wanted to help start a burlesque troupe in Houston.
"We didn't audition girls or anything. We just asked people, 'Hey, do you want to dance?'"
The Dames performed their first show in fall 2010.
Since then, the Dames' line-up has changed. Licious and another founding member, Kiki Maroon, now mainly perform solo, and Tittlywinks is the Mistress of the fairly small troupe. Tiddlywinks said that organic growth is part of what makes Houston's scene special.
"We were a bit rocky and rough around the edges," she said. "But I didn't have to be cast, I didn't have to rub shoulders. I got to be me. The beauty of that is it's pretty much how any solid scene starts."
That's not to say the current Houston burlesque scene isn't without its divisions.More »