06:02AM, Thursday 28 March 2013
Inspiration can strike in unexpected ways.
For the founder of the Windsor based burlesque group the Glitter Box Fairies it came from a pop video featuring the outrageous rock star Marilyn Manson.
It was not Manson though who captivated Charlotte Hammond - but the dancer Dita Van Teese, who appeared in the film in a huge Champagne glass.
Charlotte, 27, a features writer who lives in St Leonard's Road with two-year-old son Milo, said: "I have danced all my life. But seeing Dita in that Champagne glass turned me on to burlesque. I had never been aware of it before but I thought 'I can do that'."
For many years the word burlesque conjured up 'black and white' images of strippers in 1920s or 1930s American theatres. But in recent years it has made a comeback in the States and over here.
Charlotte's troupe is right at the forefront.
The 21st century version is about glamour, sauciness and tease - pretty welcome in the age of crude internet pornography.
Charlotte said: "Burlesque is very much a personal thing. I can teach girls the moves but it has to come from them.
"I don't necessarily want it to be perfect although everyone has to do the same dance. But one can be cutesy, another can be a real diva."
You can see her troupe at Windsor's Firestation Arts Centre this Friday performing its own cheeky version of Alice in Wonderland - guest starring Britain’s Got talent finalists the Boys of Nemesis as the playing cards.
Charlotte's troupe features performers who use names like Dollface, Carmen De Coco, Vivica Von Plenty, Lola Blue, Kinka-Belle and Angie Sparkles.
Charlotte also teaches weekly beginners and intermediate burlesque classes at The Firestation which have caught on like wildfire. It seems like every woman has their own inner burlesque queen.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.