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Meet Caitlin Litzinger of Dirty Little Secrets Burlsque

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caitlin Litzinger.

Caitlin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
13 years ago, I opened a dance studio in Orange County that revolved around women’s fitness. It consisted of pole dance, burlesque, and various classes to help women develop into stronger and healthier human beings. One of the girls in a class in passing said “hey, you guys should start a burlesque troupe,” and there it was.

I grew up dancing my entire life, and I knew that this was something I had to do. We held auditions and took the first 12 dancers. The scariest thing was that burlesque wasn’t exactly mainstream in the mid-2000’s. There were only a handful of shows and none that operated in a show troupe for like mine. We worked really hard to find venues to book our show.

Many had a hard time understanding what we were doing and seeing the diversity in body types was not always popular. After a few years of performing at local venues such as The Whisky A Go Go, Key Club, Viper Room, The Pike Bar in Long Beach, and The Cellar (Now Harvelles Long Beach), we finally developed a niche. The only place you could see our dancers, was in OUR shows.

Everywhere else in LA I could go see any other type of show and they basically just rotated the same dancers, but by providing plenty of dance opportunities and a sense of community and training, my now 25 dancers had no reason to book in other shows. We decided as a unit that we would commit to putting on the best shows we possibly could!

Fast forward to finishing our 2018 season, and we have completed full production shows of Potter Parodies (A Harry Potter theme show), Game Of Thrones Burlesque, A Marvel theme burlesque show, a full 420 theme show, a Twisted Christmas theme show, A full Netflix theme show, and a dozen others.

We have 26 full-time men and women and six part-time dancers. We design and make all of the costumes, five of our choreographers teach all the routines, and compete in all types of amazing burlesque festivals as well as having multiple shows a month. Most recently, we brought back the title of Best Group from the Arizona Burlesque Festival!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely NOT been a smooth road. We have had venues cancel shows on us last minute causing us to look like the bad guy, we have had other show producers tell us we can’t use certain themes because they already use them, we have had dancers bail on shows and most recently one gal walked off with $3000 worth of costumes and refused to return them.

There has even been a decent amount of bullying within the burlesque community, and I think because we don’t book outside dancers, we are a prime target for those who just don’t understand our format.

We have always kept very calm and collected throughout. We make sure to offer free tickets to our shows to all other LA burlesque performers/producers in the industry because while we don’t book their dancers for shows, we still feel an immense amount of community with them as performers and want to be friends.

Recently we have also had a few different reality show companies approach us to film, and that has never panned out and wasted a lot of our time. Networks love us, but just don’t know if we are too risqué or what they should d with us.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dirty Little Secrets Burlsque story. Tell us more about the business.
Our business is show business. More specifically we provide burlesque entertainment for venues and private events.

We produce large scale theme shows with a large, Vegas-sized cast of performers. Everything we do is internal such as Costumes, music arrangements, choreography, etc.

We are a full, one-stop entertainment shop providing comedy, burlesque, belly dancing, and storytelling.

What sets us apart from other shows is our large cast!! We have at least 25 people (not counting crew members) that work on every show.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I would say that luck has played no part in this. Literally, everything has grown from hard work. We have been turned down so many time for shows at venues, so we worked harder and then a year later we got it. Nothing came easy in the last 12 years; it has absolutely been blood, sweat, and tears.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tuffy McFuklebee, John Travis, Will Chiang, Allen Freeman

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