© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dayton's RUDE troupe will present A Hip Hop Burlesque


Imagine drinking your morning coffee, checking out your social media, and then stumbling across videos of a group of beautiful people performing innovative dance routines. And then realizing that these talented folks live and operate in Dayton…our town.

The coffee drinking subject in the above paragraph was me a few weeks ago. The people that almost made me spill my coffee on my Chromebook keyboard were the women of RUDE, a knockout burlesque dance troupe. I wanted to know more about this dance team, so I reached out to RUDE’s founder/creator, Davida Lattimore. She told me everything about her troupe; its origins, its present, and its bright future plans.

Greg Simms Jr. (GS): What exactly is RUDE?

Davida Lattimore (DL): Respectfully Utilizing Dance and Entertainment, RUDE Burlesque, is the Midwest Black-Women-owned Burlesque and Variety show. The performers are skilled in various styles of dance and have theatrical backgrounds. Each night they bring the art of dance, interactive cinema, humor, and a lot of sexiness in each production.

GS: Why was RUDE created, and when?

DL: I have a strong love and appreciation for dance and entertainment. I always knew growing up I would have a career in this field. I was inspired by the movie Burlesque, as it touched on everything I grew up doing, theater, dance, and music. It started out as a hobby, which led to me connecting with others who have a love for the arts who were brought on as performers and some contributed to the choreography. The more I dug into the form of art I discovered if I worked hard enough this could be a career for me and others and I was motivated to keep going. The journey was started in 2013.

GS: I'm not familiar with the presence of Black or burlesque squads of color. Is RUDE one of many, or the few (Local and nationwide)? 

DL: Based on my research and others, we are the only Black burlesque group in the Midwest.

GS: I saw your YouTube page, and your routines/videos are fantastic. How long does it take to create the routines? To create the concepts and film the videos?  

DL: First and foremost, Thank you so much. I'm glad people are visiting our YouTube page and I should be more consistent with posting content. I am inspired by music and movies and absolutely LOVE thinking outside the box and running wild with a theme. For our larger productions, It takes me between 3-4 months to put a show together. Everything from the costumes, props, the perfect music, choreography, decor for the venue if needed, etc. Most times I've already thought about what I want to do so that time frame is on putting all the pieces together.

GS: How often does RUDE perform in the Miami Valley? Or nationally? 

DL: The goal is to be booked and busy and have gigs on the calendar at least 8 times a month. Outside of the four productions we put on a year in the Miami Valley, on average we accept and perform about 25-30 different gigs a year. A lot of our gigs come out of the Cincinnati and Kentucky areas.

GS: What is the importance of having an all Black burlesque squad to you? 

DL: For me, it's important to display a group of Black women who encourage and support each other. What we've built at RUDE Burlesque is a sisterhood. We all have different backgrounds, and different struggles, and successes. Coming together the two times a week we rehearse is like a breath of fresh air. We listen to each other, we share ideas in our individual businesses, (we have several entrepreneurs), we are accountability partners, and we WORK to make sure our productions are on point.

GS: If someone was interested in becoming a dancer for RUDE, how would they go about doing so? 

DL: We host auditions every two years, and sooner as needed. If interested I highly recommend one follow us on IG (Instagram) and subscribe to our website to receive newsletters which typically list all that we have coming up.

GS: What are the future events and plans for RUDE in 2023 and beyond? 

DL: Our focus this year was to get our foot in the door with at least two casinos to start. We're working to perform at casinos all over. We can still benefit from being a household name in Dayton, Ohio, or Ohio as a whole. When people catch our performances people always say " I didn't know we had this in Dayton, Ohio." We actually opened up for the first time at the Ohio Burlesque Festival in Cleveland and all they kept saying is " You guys are out of Dayton!" People couldn't believe it. I also want us to branch out into the wedding scene. What I mean by that is market our business to be the preferred entertainment for bachelorette parties. There are many things we've started and can do a lot better at marketing ourselves.

RUDE will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop by performing A Hip Hop Burlesque on Saturday, October 14 at Studio 40 in Dayton. Ticket and more information are available here.

Greg Simms Jr. is a veteran content creator and cultural expert who's worked for numerous digital publications over the years. He's a resident of Greene County, but he's always aware of social-cultural events happening all over the Miami Valley. To contact Greg, email him at: grgsmmsjr@gmail.com