A burlesque dancer has made it through to the final rounds of a national competition celebrating talented women.
Laura-Jade Heseltine, 29, impressed online voters with her burlesque moves to secure a place in the quarterfinals of Miss Pinup UK.
Now in its fourth year, the competition searches for women with special talents to compete for the title, with the aim to inspire, empower and support them to achieve their dreams.
Laura-Jade, who is from Peterlee but now lives in London working as a regulation officer for a health care organisation, said she took up burlesque dancing as a way of developing her self-confidence and found she really enjoyed it.
“I stumbled across a class in April 2015 at London Dance Academy and instantly loved it,” she said.
“After a couple of drop-in classes there, I enrolled onto a course last September with a local school called Burlesque Baby and I then spent an hour a week over two months learning the burlesque basics and more about the growing industry.
“I officially graduated in November, taking part my first ever burlesque show in Soho and have since performed as a solo performer in five shows, including Burlesque Idol UK at the Leicester Square Hippodrome.”
Laura-Jade entered the competition back in March and had to submit photos and videos of her as stage character ‘The Scarlet Widow,’ to secure online votes to make it to the quarterfinals.
Now the star will have to perform a cat-act routine called ‘A Girl Like You’ in front of judges at a show in London on July 24- one of five quarterfinals shows in the country - in the hope of making it through to the semi finals.
The semi finals will take place on September 23 at the London Tattoo Convention London where 20 entrants will compete to be chosen as the final eight to go through to finals, also at the convention, on September 24.
Should Laura-Jade win, she will be crowned Miss Pinup UK 2016, as well as picking up prizes including shoes, clothing, and photoshoots.
Laura-Jade added: “Living up north I got bullied at school and now suffer from anxiety, so burlesque dancing was something that I wanted to do for myself to get my confidence back and inspire people who suffer from the same sort of thing.
“Entering Miss Pinup UK is very important to me, as I’m putting myself in a competitive environment and am open to rejection.
“But I need to battle my anxiety and fear of rejection as I want to be a role model to others in the same position.”
For more information visit: http://pinupuk.com/