To Not Enjoy Them Would be Immoral: Sin Sisters

 “Burlesque is all about freedom of expression,” muses Ella-Mae Sin of the Ottawa burlesque troupe Sin Sisters. “It's more of an intelligent form of art now rather than a straight striptease so it's something that both men and women can enjoy. Also, boobs are classic.”

Sin Sisters have been tassel-twirling across the Ottawa scene for about two years. Like most good ideas, Ella-Mae reveals that the impetus for the troupe came from a couple of the ladies chatting and planning, and then another coming along when nothing was getting done. “Maggie-Sue and I were talking about burlesque and how there were no burlesque troupes in Ottawa. She even came up with the name at that point. We never really did anything about it other than talk though. Fast forward about half a year. Maggie-Sue was talking with Headmistress Holly and a few other girls about it and decided to really get things started. Still, not much happened with it. Finally Headmistress Holly decided to kick everyones butt into gear and just went ahead and booked a show, forcing everyone to just go for it.”

Go for it they did and now the troupe is a fantastic collection of entertainers performing burlesque, go-go and variety acts. Here’s what they all do (in their own collective words):

  • Headmistress Holly Sin—Best boss ever! She keeps us motivated and in line. She does a little bit (or rather a lot) of just about everything to do with the troupe. She makes costumes and merch, choreographs numbers, organizes everything and just generally runs the show. Also she's got the best boobs. She likes to perform humorous acts, the kind that have fun with sexuality. The idea is to make people take sexuality a little less seriously.
  • Scare-ah Lynn Sin—The face! She's a fan favorite who's classic with a scary edge. Tall, dark, mysterious, and leggy! She likes to perform group acts because of the big WOW factor.
  • Ella-Mae Sin—The maid! Tiny, innocent, cuter than cute. Shy but packs a punch! Adorable, like you want to put her in your pocket. She likes to perform group acts and anything that has a bit of a story or theme to it, especially if it is humorous.
  • Maggie-Sue Sin—Tassel girl! Playful kitten who oozes sex appeal. Outrageous nudist! Not surprisingly she’s into tassel spinning and funny performances.
  • Faith McSin—Irish wonder! Creative, saucy, gorgeous redhead whose voice you could listen to for hours! She likes performances that are fantasy/fairytale based. Or something with social commentary.
  • Poi Sin—Firecracker! Talented, incredible, sexy mistress of poi who can also renovate your house. She is, not surprisingly into Poi spinning.
  • Starla Sin—Pink darling! Classy, cute little thing. Vanilla on the outside. Sassy spitfire on the inside. She prefers musical and dancing acts because it validates one as a musician, showing off ones’ talent over ones’ body.
  • Nix Sin—Sultry sweetheart! Enthusiastic with a rockin' bod. Delectable badass with big beautiful eyes. She’s very enthusiastic and enjoys all kinds of acts. 

And the fellows:

  • Sinic—Poi boy! Mancandy with a devilish spin! Delicious stud with gorgeous abs. He likes variety acts.
  • Christopher "Bomb" Sin—Stand up slave! "Terribly" funny emcee with old-timey charm. Mustachioed ringmaster who owes Cardinal $20. He’s into variety and comedy acts.
  • Cardinal Sin—More modern emcee! Teddybear sweet, but franks red hot saucy. He likes to perform comedy.

“We think that burlesque is becoming popular because the world is ready for it again,” the troupe suggests, when asked why modern burlesque has made such a strong comeback. “People are less close-minded about sex and women of this generation are just generally ready, willing and able to show off our sexuality without shame.” This attitude shift can have a personal influence as well. While none of the troupe members are looking to go into more explicit sex work, some would consider other forms of adult entertaining, such as bachelor/bachelorette parties, nude/semi-nude modeling, Nyotaimori, tasteful stripping, burlesque workshops, and acting in risque films(not porn). “Doing burlesque gradually makes one a lot more comfortable with sex and sexuality in general so it's easier to take that next step into something else.”

That comfort can also stretch into personal lives. It isn't a major factor for the troupe members, but Ella Mae explains that some of the members do feel that burlesque does have some influence on their lives away from the stage. "Doing this makes one feel more empowered, sexy and comfortable with our sexuality. It's quite the rush to come off stage knowing that half the audience is thinking about you in a sexual way. It's way easier to do more risque things in the bedroom when one has just done a striptease for hundreds of people."

Ready to get naughty with the Sin Sisters? Catch them Saturday January 22 at Clocktower Pub (575 Bank Street) as part of Psychobilly, Burlesque and Rock or Saturday February 13 at Rainbow Bistro for their Second Annual Valentine's Va-Va Voom Show.