Meet the All-BIPOC Collective Changing the Vancouver Burlesque Scene

“The events of 2020—especially existing as a Black woman and an immigrant on stolen territories—made connecting and performing with fellow BIPOC performers more of a priority for me,” shares burlesque artist Androsia Wilde. “When you’re in lockdown, you have no choice but to sit down and reprioritize.”

Wilde is originally from the Bahamas, and has been performing burlesque on stages across Vancouver for seven years. So as she set out to form a collective of BIPOC burlesque artists, she knew who to call—the community was already there. “We had all worked together in various capacities in the past,” she says. The new group, called Diasporic Dynasty, even includes some members of the all-Indigenous Burlesque group Virago Nation. Wilde says that Virago Nation provides both inspiration and support for Dynasty: “They act as our burlesque aunties, in a way!”

At a Diasporic Dynasty show, audiences can expect a celebratory (and sexy, of course) medley of performance. “My personal dance experience comes from my years as a martial artist, and doing ballet and jazz and African-inspired dance,” says Wilde, “so I don’t move the same way as another member of the Dynasty who might take inspiration from pow-wow, or hip hop.” Scattered backgrounds make for dynamic performances, and this group proves that.

Coming up is the online Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, where Diasporic Dynasty will be performing in the “Anti-Showcase.” It’s an anti-showcase because it’s free from the restraints of live performance—something that opens up a lot of possibility with burlesque. In live shows, there’s rules about how performers remove their clothing, and housekeeping to keep in mind (“Sometimes whoever is renting the space doesn’t want to clean up glitter for the rest of their lives, and honestly, valid,” laughs Wilde).

In the comfort of your own home, anything goes. “Some of the things that you want to do in your mind’s eye, you can’t do with the physicality of being on stage,” explains Wilde, “and at home, you can do that epic glitter dump if you want to.” She describes online performance like curating the perfect burlesque music video. 

You can also catch Wilde and fellow Diasporic Dynasty performer Roxy Reverie giving a T.I.T. Talk (to teach, inspire, and transcend) on the birth of their collective. They’ll be sharing the story of their debut performance in October 2020 that was 90 percent staffed, produced and performed by BIPOC artists. The pair want to stress that representation matters backstage, too. “My intention is to show that there are BIPOC people in our community who are trained in lighting and sound, and can do your stage production or stage management,” says Wilde. “You can diversify behind the scenes as well as on stage and still create a mind-blowing experience.”

The Vancouver International Burlesque Fest begins on April 13. The T.I.T. Talks are on April 30, and the Anti-Showcase is on May 1. More info at