Arbor Heights’ Own Miss Inga Ingénue Taking Burlesque To New Heights

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by Gina Bourdage

One of the oldest forms of entertainment has seen a resurgence in recent years, flourishing in all its glory, entwined with modern influence, verve and brazen roar from its early days of backroom enticement to its current place as one of Seattle’s favorite forms of entertainment…Burlesque.

One of the neo-burlesque rising superstars is a lovely lady from our neighborhood, no other than Miss Inga Ingénue. I recently was able to speak with Miss Ingenue (which, trust me…with a jet-setting schedule like hers, is no easy task) as she welcomed me into her glittering world of the art of burlesque through how she got her start:

Q: What got you started in the performing arts?

A: The movie “Singin’ In The Rain” . . . when I was a kid, I wanted to dance like Gene Kelly and look like a show girl. I started taking dance lessons when I was three years old at a studio in White Center called Dance Workshop, run by a lovely woman named Evelyn Kier and her daughter Susan Wright, a former dance trainer for Olympic athletes. I studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance with Ms. Wright until I was 19, when I was accepted into the dance program at Oberlin College in Ohio. I studied modern dance intensively there for a year; a back injury brought me back to Seattle when I was 20. I stopped dancing altogether for a few years; until one day a friend took me to see a burlesque show at the Rendezvous in Belltown . . . I was hooked! After that, I started going to as many burlesque shows as I could find. I landed a volunteer gig as a pick-up girl at a burlesque show in Pioneer Square–I would go on stage after every act and pick up performers’ discarded costumes. Now, five years later, I perform and teach all over the country! I can’t believe that this is my life–I pinch myself every morning!

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in south Arbor Heights, right on the border between Arbor Heights and White Center.

Q: Where do get the ideas for the wide variety of acts that you perform?

A: Everywhere! Music, TV, fashion, colors, objects, people–anything I find interesting or funny will usually get incorporated into an act/costume/hairpiece at some point.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece that you like to do? Why?

A: My most recent favorite solo piece is my “Archetype Act”. I debuted at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival this last May, and I’ll be performing it again at The Blue Moon Cabaret at El Gaucho this summer. It’s a 6min long piece involving opera, techno, the Muppets, Kate Nash, and three gorgeous costumes that were hand made for me! Epic! I love performing it because I get to play three distinct female sexual archetypes in one act: innocent, vampy, and carnal. In the end . . . well, you’ll just have to see it to find out 😉 I perform my favorite group number with my troupe Dance Belt ( – we learn music video choreography and perform and teach it at The Century Ballroom in Seattle, such as Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. We recently learned the choreography to Beyonce’s “Ego” video–I’m obsessed with it! It’s SO sexy!

Q: What would you like people to know about Burlesque that they may not know already?

A: Burlesque is the art of “tease” as expressed through movement, costume, and direct relation to an audience. It’s intended, like most forms of theater, to take an audience on a journey–the nudity and rhinestones just make for a more interesting trip.

Q: Do you have a role model in the industry that you look up to?

A: I have two role models in the Burlesque world, and I’m very lucky to work with both of them regularly: Miss Indigo Blue and Waxie Moon

Q: You have been noted as having amazing costumes (, where do you get them?

A: Up until recently, I made all of my own costumes. This year I’ve been fortunate enough to have several costumes made for me by an amazing costume designer named Danial Webster (, including my spectacular new “Archetype Act” costumes.

Q: You are obviously in great shape, what is a normal workout routine for you?

A: Wow, thank you! I take kick boxing and yoga classes two to four times a week . . . depending on the week 😉

Q: What has been your favorite part of being on the Sin on Heels Tour?

A: I had a great time on the Sin On Heels tour! I wouldn’t change a thing! The best part about it was getting to work with the other fantastic artists who were booked–it was like going on a sparkly road trip with my best friends.

Q: What do you have coming up next?

A: I’m currently choreographing an entire show called “SHINE: The Burlesque Musical”! Come see it! It will play at Theatre Off Jackson July 8-11 and 15-18.

Here are some videos of Inga in action (WARNING: some Readers find these “offensive” but we disagree):

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11 Responses to “Arbor Heights’ Own Miss Inga Ingénue Taking Burlesque To New Heights”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Watched the first video………was surprised in that if the burlesque is 18+ adults, why would the B-Town Blog post it for youngsters to see? Maybe I’m an old prude, but I thought the stroking bit wasn’t appropriate for this blog.

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  2. Chris says:

    Yeah, I have to agree. My wife and I watched this video and were a bit surprised that BTB posted it. We’re no prudes–far from it. Rather, we both know many older teenagers(14-18 range) who view the BTB often. This is where we take issue with it.

    I can appreciate the artistry and performance aspect of burlesque, and its resurgence in the arts community is pretty cool, however BTB should’ve not posted this version of the video. Perhaps re-edit and try again.

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  3. napavine says:

    Scott, I watched the first video also. (about 15 times) I am going to watch it a couple more times and get back to you with my comment. Thanks BTB.

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  4. Chris says:


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  5. Could someone please point me to the *exact* inappropriate video, as well as an estimate timestamp where something risque happens, so I can review it? I have looked at all of the videos we posted again, and I still see nothing that requires any censorship (“stroking bit”? where???).

    Also, all videos are from Youtube, which also has guidelines ( that we follow. If indeed a video in question is too risque, I will remove it, but so far I can’t figure out which one it is, and where it is.

    Scott Schaefer

    • Coverofnight says:

      Come on, Scott……it’s so obvious that the stroking bit is at 1:30 into the first video and ends at 1:45 when she motions like she’s hit in the eye by “something”. Again, I felt that, for THIS blog, it wasn’t “appropriate” (as opposed to “offensive”). I agree with Chris that there are lots of younger readers of your blog and many parents might not want them viewing those actions in a burlesque video. Don’t know if you’re a parent or not, but try to look at it from a family-oriented point of view.

      Would definitely like to hear comments from others; I don’t think I’m the only one who worries about what our kids see on their local community forum.

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  6. unclewoo says:

    Cover of Night likes! Cover watches 1:30-1:45 over,and over, and over.

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  7. soccer fan says:

    I too, agree. The first YouTube video that is 3.16 long. It’s the part when she takes her glove off and stretches is out and with her other hand goes over it faster, slower until it ‘pops’ her in the face. Other than that, I thought it was fun, entertaining and not offensive. She is a very beautiful woman.

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  8. TcB says:

    Please post more pictures of blood, violence, and gore, and don’t ever post anything that has any mention of, well, I’ll spell it different to tone it down [s3x]…. This is a family site! You are offending people! What do you think this is, the internet?

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  9. Opinionated says:

    Jealousy comes out in certain people as negitive comments. Don’t be a prude over someones personal success by achieving thier dream.

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  10. Stan says:

    You really timed it cover?,,, hehehehehe, that`s too funny, I`ve seen worse for wear on
    CSI and other shows, and if anybody is concerned about a 14 -18 year old teenager seeing something like that on the internet,, well,,, I don`t have much to comment on that except,,,never mind,, oh okay,,,,take away their video games and turn off Americas next idol..
    Matter of fact, I remember seeing miss piggy do a dance like that once,,
    talk about inappropriate, whewwww, I had to cover my 2 year old grandsons eyes until Kermit came back out and saved the day! Or it might have been earnie,,*lol*

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