Iconic local dancer, pinup girl and businesswoman Vivienne Starr has added another feather boa in her cap with the recent opening of Townsville’s first burlesque club VaVoom Room Bar.
Nestled in the heart of the Townsville CBD on Flinders Street, the new nightspot is inspired by the 1940s Las Vegas era offering patrons a live burlesque dance scene paired with cocktails and chilled vibes.
Vivienne says opening the bar last December had been a huge step forward in expanding her professional portfolio.
“I am excited, terrified, nervous and overjoyed of growing my own business especially after a global pandemic,” she says.
“I am still trying to find my feet and rhythm but one thing I am really looking forward to is networking and engaging with other incredible female entrepreneurs and businesswomen in Townsville and North Queensland.”
Starting her career as a dancer, actress and model in her 20s, Vivienne, also known as Libby Henderson, has travelled the globe competing in competitions and performing for the world.
Vivienne’s obsession with burlesque dancing inspired her to open dance and fitness studio VaVoom Room in 2015, also located on Flinders Street.
From the opening of VaVoom Room spawned a community of local women who were eager to share their love of cabaret and burlesque with a Townsville audience.
Vivienne says the live dance shows on Saturday nights at the bar were empowering women to embrace their bodies.
“VaVoom Room Bar is actually the only dedicated burlesque club and bar left open in Australia so it is something we are very pretty proud of,” she says.
“We teach women how to love the skin they are in, regardless of their shape, size or weight and we show women that their power and beauty comes from within.”
The mother-of-two says the idea to open VaVoom Room Bar started around 18 months ago.
“We have been doing similar style (burlesque) shows at various venues around North Queensland for several years and we saw an increase in demand and interest,” she says.
“So, we put some feelers out for a venue around town and once we had a few pieces of the puzzle together, we couldn’t find any more reasons not to do it, so we just jumped in.”
With opening a new business venture comes the hurdles of new responsibilities with Vivienne saying she was looking forward to developing her professional skills.
“I am learning the importance of time management and competing priorities while juggling a full-time day job in senior management paired with an increasingly successful dance school and now burlesque bar,” she says.
“Thankfully, I have the most incredible partner in life and business who keeps me as organised as possible and the ship sailing.”
Although the stars in Vivienne’s eyes will never dim, she is looking forward to concentrating on growing the following of her two businesses for the foreseeable future.
“I want to show North Queensland that right here in Townsville, you can get the best burlesque and vaudeville fix around whether that’s through joining our dance classes, heading in for Friday night drinks, attending our Sultry Saturday burlesque show or waiting for our brand-new poker nights starting July,” she says.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think my hobby and my passion would turn into this and I can honestly say burlesque and VaVoom Room have changed my life and I don’t have one single regret.”