Dakota Ferriero may be the busiest performer in town. Her collaborative roster includes Enrique Iglesias, Prince and Maroon 5. She was the headliner burlesque performer for the launch of Victoria’s Secret at Lanoro Lingerie in Europe, featured as a celebrity panelist on Oxygen’s Top 25 Power Couples, hosted by Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott. Appeared on the VH1’s Rock of Love 2 and Carson Daly’s Show.
And that brings us to Dakota newest project. Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly & VH1 Rock Honors have collaborated with the Equinox Gym for her burlesque workout class “Burlesque Body”.
It’s Saturday afternoon and eight beautiful women are sweating through a Burlesque routine. Music starts. Heavy beat. In-sync, the women strut forward. Gyrate, swivel, reach, stress. It’s over too soon. But you want more. They want more. She makes the workout fun and sexy. This is the allure of Dakota.
The Woman Behind the Moves
Dakota Ferreiro (aka Miss Dakota) looks young and happy; with a confidence you don’t see often. She controls the room with unwavering authority, yet is delicate. Her self-described dorky smile and giggle endear her to you within a rapid heartbeat. With energy in her eyes and excitement in every move she makes, each dance routine ends with contagious smiles and high-fives.
When asked about Burlesque’s origins, she lights up to explain: “It started in the 1860’s, London. The Victorian period. Burlesque was using comedy and musicality in performance. The imitation of style comes from the poorer people making fun of the Victorian women who were dressing in corsets, hats and gloves. What better way to make fun of them, but to take it off. That evolved into the art of the tease and seduction”.
Dakota is a classically trained dancer. For four years she was the lead performer at Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles venues.
She recalls: “Ivan [Kane] who owned Forty Deuce is a modern day Minsky. [ed. note: she refers to the Minsky brothers, owners of a famous New York cabaret in the late 1800s] People knew what to expect when they walked in. The dance, the element of comedy, the theatrics of it all. That’s where I excel, so I tried to bring in my own element as well. When I perform I still use the live band. I stop, I do the strip tease, I connect and play with the audience”.
Dakota continues, her smile growing with every word, “That’s the beauty of burlesque, everybody can create their own character and it’s the beauty of being different from everybody else. I’m gonna show you moves, but make it your own”.
“Watching You Makes Me Want to be a Better Woman"…
states many of her female fans. Dakota became a teacher after she returned from the Las Vegas tour. Most nights women from the audience would approach her, admiring both her amazing dance moves and her physique. They wanted to know how they could do what she was doing – and that was the beginning.
“Doing burlesque definitely makes you more confident, it’s having ownership of my womanhood. I teach this as a workout, but it’s a confidence booster as well. At some point, they [the students] start to get that,” Dakota reveals.
She insists that the dancing isn’t about just being sexy, countering, “What’s sexy to me may not be sexy to you. As a woman, sure you’re using your curves. But how you use it, each woman is different. You can teach them movements to make them comfortable with themselves. But you can’t teach them to be sexy”.
Back to Dance Floor
A woman in pink is having trouble with a move. Dakota echoes the sentiment: “Listen to the music, don’t just follow my movements. Everybody’s body moves differently”. They start again. This time the pink woman nails the move. They both smile; you can feel their satisfaction.
The women have varied backgrounds and modesty levels. Some prance around during breaks, not wanting to stop the fun. Others are demure and come alive only with the music. Dakota cheers them on shouting: “With attitude”, “Be playful”, “Rock on”!
Dakota explains later, “The whole thing about burlesque is listening to the music and finding that piece that moves you. Some people thrive on the kick of the drum, some feel the bass line, some flow with the melody of the sax.”
Her Next Dance Steps
Currently, when not teaching, she travels the world performing event-sized solo shows. Most recently she just returned from rave reviews in Poland. As a dancer and choreographer, she’s worked alongside Enrique Iglesias, Gypsy Kings, Prince, George Michael, Maroon 5, and Marco Antonio Solis.
On television, she has appeared on several shows including: Bravo’s docu-drama “Forty Deuce”, Maxim TV’s “The Girlie Show”, Oprah, Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Carson Daly’s “30 Seconds in LA”.
Next up, she’s developing a competition-based reality show centering on Burlesque dancing.
For more information on Miss Dakota, please visit: http://www.burlesquebody.com
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Written by Joe Wehinger