Rodda scoops burlesque

CLASS ACT: Kerry Rodda, also known as MisRed, is New Zealand’s reigning burlesque champion.
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
CLASS ACT: Kerry Rodda, also known as MisRed, is New Zealand’s reigning burlesque champion.

The classic bump and grind and tassel twirl have seen a Manawatu dancer shimmy home as the reigning queen of New Zealand burlesque.

Kerry Rodda, who owns Palmerston North's Red Delicious Burlesque Academy, was crowned Miss Burlesque New Zealand in a national competition in Auckland on Saturday night.

Mrs Rodda, who performs under the name MisRed, was one of seven dancers to compete for the title.

Miss Burlesque New Zealand 2013
Picture Finish Limited/Adam Baines
Miss Burlesque New Zealand 2013

Having come second runner-up in the same competition last year, Mrs Rodda said she changed her routine dramatically for this year's event.

Known for her neo-burlesque style, which she describes as theatrical, sarcastic and heavily storylined, she wanted to show the audience she was capable of a more classical style, set to pre-1960s music.

Or, as she puts it, prove that "bump and grind could rock it".

Her routine was a tribute to burlesque legend Sherry Britton and the classic panel skirt and mesh bra.

Battling the lingering effects of a cold, Mrs Rodda said she came off stage feeling good about her performance, despite having a small hiccup with her skirt - not that she let it show. This year she went in with a different attitude, and was more confident and relaxed, having competed before.

She didn't really expect to win, as a dancer performing a classic routine hadn't won the top prize in the past.

Her prize included a $450 photo shoot, and a rather large, heavy crown. And bragging rights, of course.

As the winner, she is unable to compete in next year's competition, but will be there to hand over the crown.

Her sights are set now on performing at festivals in St Louis, United States, and in Australia later this year.

The Manawatu Standard