About Ada

A trained burlesque and samba dancer from San Francisco via Chicago, I am currently based in Northern California (San Francisco / San Jose) and will travel anywhere to perform and teach. My specialty is a body-awareness burlesque workshop called Body Revel, which celebrates femininity and encourages participants to enjoy loving, moving, and being present in their bodies. The workshops include learning simple (seriously, simple) choreography, some fun playing dress-up, and time for reflection/journaling on the experience. (Note: There is no nudity in Body Revel workshops.) These workshops are great not just for birthdays and bachelorettes, but organizations and higher-education departments related to gender studies, dance, body positivity and empowerment.

I am also a professional writer and am developing a solo theatre project, Normal Girls, about my own body image issues and path into burlesque and how it has shaped my outlook. Touching on the universal themes of awkward adolescence and body image, it’s a powerful piece that speaks to a wide audience.

I have studied dance since the age of 10, and first learned samba from Mestre Marisa of Gingarte Capoeira in Chicago in 2005. Dance drifted into the professional arena with my first samba show in 2008. In addition to practicing ballet, tap, jazz and other dance forms growing up, I’ve trained samba throughout the United States and Brazil, including in Salvador, Itacaré, and Ilhéus. I’ve also had training in both African dance and forró, a Brazilian partner dance from the northeast of the country. I have also trained capoeira throughout the U.S. and in various areas in Brazil, including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador,Itacaré, Ilhéus, and in the state of Santa Catarina.

I began burlesque training in 2009 with Michelle L’Amour at Studio L’Amour, and continued with Kellita of Hot Pink Feathers. I’ve performed capoeira and samba through Cordão De Ouro Chicago and Gingarte Capoeira, and samba, burlesque, showgirl and other dances as an apprentice company member of Hot Pink Feathers. Additionally, I have performed burlesque solos for Hubba Hubba RevueRed Hots Burlesque,Vaudezilla‘s Broadzilla, Kiss Kiss Cabaret, Frisky!, Womanopoloy, the SF Pride Parade, the SF Carnaval Parade, Burlesque ‘n’ Brass and more.

I love writing and am a co-founder and former performer in the popular monthly reading series RUI: Reading Under the Influence in Chicago. I’ve also performed my writing as part of the 2nd Story series, at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as part of the Quiet Lightning series in SF, and elsewhere. I’m a writer by trade, but love performing my writing for a live audience.

I write and edit lots of things, including web content, press releases, and more. I also teach writing professionally. I’m particularly fond of writing and editing for the business side of a performer’s life; I don’t have an “official” page up about this, but will respond to inquiries about these services via the email address below.

Contact me at: ada@adalavender.com


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