Dita Von Teese (b. 1972) is an erotic dancer, model, designer, singer, writer and actor. She is best-known as one of the stars of Neo-Burlesque dancing. Trained in ballet, she began performing striptease in 1992. Her look is retro: a throwback to 1940’s glamor, though with a hint of the fetish culture. (She designs her own costumes). Her dance routines are imaginative: lounging in a giant martini glass, riding astride a giant carousel horse, displaying herself wearing nothing but $5 million worth of diamonds, etc. In 2006 she was the first guest star to perform at Paris’s Crazy Horse revue. Von Teese’s modeling has included both magazines and the catwalk. (Her first fame came about through a 2002 Playboy cover and pictorial). She has modeled for top designers like Gaulthier, Jacob, Vuitton and Valli. Von Teese has written two books: Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese and Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Beauty. In the past Von Teese has performed in soft-core, fetish films, like Romancing Sara, Matter of Trust, Pin Ups 2 and Decadence, and in recent years in mainstream movies such as The Death of Salvador Dali and Saint Francis as well as in television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and America’s Next Top Model. Her videos include work with Green Day, Royal Crown Revue, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Marilyn Manson. In 2015 Von Teese released a self-titled album. She has also been active with the animal rights movement and in the fight against AIDS.
Dita Von Teese is a delight: sexy, entertaining, creative. Still performing at the age of 45, she notes that her idol Gypsy Rose Lee had a long career because she changed her act based on her age. “So who knows?” she says, smiling. “If you’d asked me when I was 21 what I was going to be doing now, I would have said, ‘There’s no way I’ll be doing a feather-fan dance with hardly any clothes on….! That’s so old!’”