#BurlesqueAPeel – Why a burlesque world record can help raise mental health awareness !!! Special Edition.

The Burlesque Herald caught up with Sapphira’s Showgirls who are attempting to break a world record Burlesque Glove Peel. Sapphira’s Showgirls are not shy of setting records which include Record Setter World Record Holder 2017 – Most Balloons Popped on a Burlesque Costume, Record Setter World Record Holder 2016 Fastest Burlesque Glove Peel Relay.  The Burlesque Herald learns more…..

On Saturday the 13th of May, the directors of the Ibiza Burlesque Festival and burlesque dance school, Sapphira’s Showgirls, are hosting a World Record Attempt for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The group last year set the Recordsetter World Record for Fastest Burlesque Glove Peel Relay with 32 people in 21.02 seconds with participants converging in London from across the UK, from Manchester, Bristol, Newport even the Isle of Wight and this year they hope to not only beat that result but turn attention to charity raising funds for Sane, a mental health charity group and as well the Butterfly Conservation charity.

The festival’s founder, Sapphira, is behind the initiative as it was her own experience overcoming bipolar through burlesque that galvanised her to start an entertainment business to use the artform to reach more people.

Since I have started speaking publicly about my experience with bipolar someone from the audience always shares their own heartbreaking story. We need to support charities like beyondblue and Sane, they are on the front line supporting families as well as educating in schools. My business adopted butterflies as a symbol of transformation and we also want to support these delicate creatures which are declining drastically. All people need to do is join us and peel a glove or donate online. It’s easy!’

The songwriter has found an unlikely alliance in Maxim, vocalist of UK band The Prodigy who launched his Lepidoptera range in 2011.

Renowned for her tribute to business idol Sir Richard Branson titled My Heart Belongs To Branson the fundraiser is facilitated by the Virgin Money Giving platform.

Other high profile personalities supporting the fundraiser include workplace revolutionary and successful IT Entrepreneur turned philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley has donated items.

Maskerade, a English headdress designer who has adorned showgirls, runways and models is donating a glorious butterfly headdress crown.


#BurlesqueApeel2016 @ The Clapham Grand – Photo by Geoff Pugh


We spoke to 3 participants taking part, Shande Laabra, Lucy Jay and Zsa Zsa Allure.

Why have your enrolled in the upcoming Glove Peel World Record?

Shande Laabra:


Shande Laabra.

To take part in a world record attempt is on my bucket list and the chance to do it and raise money for charity was too good an opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to take part?!

Lucy Jay:

I first got into burlesque to challenge myself by taking myself outside of my comfort zone, so continuing with challenging myself I have decided to enrol for this event. Plus this is a fantastic opportunity to take part in a World Record.

Zsa Zsa Allure: I am thrilled to be part of this event

What inspires you about burlesque?

Shande Laabra:

What inspires me about burlesque is the freedom to be the hidden me. I can be sassy, cheeky and do the things my every day person can’t. I can have the blue hair, shake my laalaas and people say wow not wtf!  It’s also the fact everyone can be who they want to be and no-one can or will judge. It’s about freedom and feeling great about ourselves and encouraging others to do the same.

Lucy Jay:


Lucy Jay.

The creativity and confidence that it brings.

Zsa Zsa Allure:


Zsa Zsa Allure.

Burlesque is so inspiring because of its inclusive attitude ….the burlesque community is so supportive to everyone regardless of their individuality.

It has helped me with body confidence issues and helped me embrace who I am

Why are you supporting Mental Health Awareness week including charities Sane and Butterfly Conservation?

Shande Laabra:

In my day job I have to deal with subjects that remain silent like abuse. Mental health is the same. You never know when it will hit you. A lot of people, myself included, suffer high functioning anxiety.  You suffer in silence until you reach the final limit. People shouldn’t feel they need to suffer in silence, awareness needs to be raised to stop that. If I can do something small to help then I am happy to. A lot of people like to hide in plain sight, my own is to sit in a field and watch the wildlife. There is nothing better than to watch a caterpillar or butterfly – it’s a tenuous link between the charities but it works for me.

Lucy Jay

As mental health is very common and an important topic which can affect anyone, in different ways for many different reasons. Not many receive treatment or even talk about the topic so helping to raise awareness is important to show that there is help out there, and that no one suffers alone.

Also mental health is important to me as it’s a topic close to my heart as I suffer from depression and anxiety, and I know many others who do too.

Zsa Zsa Allure

I suffer from depression and anxiety. When my anxiety is bad it is socially crippling, I have nearly quit burlesque several times when I’m at my worst!

So I am doing this event to reach out and make new burly friends and help raise awareness for all mental health issues. It sounds like a fun event and a great way to send positivity out into an increasingly negative world!

#Burlesquepeel takes place on – 

Sat 13th May – 12pm – 3pm

Juju’s Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury St, London, E1 6QR

For more details –  www.sapphirashowgirls.com/burlesqueapeel’

Cost £10.10. Registration or Donation (Participate or spectate!). 


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