PHOTO/Brad Bynum

Nicole Rose is a dancer and creative director with the Bohemian Burlesque dance troupe, a group she’s been affiliated with since 2009. The troupe is performing a night of fantasy and science fiction themed dances called Nerdlesque at Studio on 4th, 432 E. Fourth St., on April 8 and 9. Doors open at 7 p.m., and shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance available at The Melting Pot World Emporium, 1049 S. Virginia St. or $20 at the door. For more information, visit

Let’s start with the background of Bohemian Burlesque.

Bohemian Burlesque has been around for about 10 years. … It was created in 2006 by Chelsea Stone.

How did you get involved?

I went to a show. Just like everybody else who we find comes to shows in extreme costumes—they’re going to join us. You dress for the job you want. My sister and I dressed up. I hadn’t been on stage for a while, and I just wanted to express myself in that way again. When you’re a professional dancer or you’re in theater, you’re doing somebody else’s work. Burlesque is a very different cat.

Because you’re doing your own choreography?

You’re doing everything. With Nerdlesque, we’re adopting popular characters and stories and putting our own spin on it. … Strippers and other people in the sex industry—if you’re a sex worker, you’re getting paid to fulfill somebody else’s fantasy, but as a burlesque dancer, you’re showing and creating your own fantasies. So, there’s a lot of ownership in that expression. … My goal is that I want to get up there and I want to make people laugh and be entertained and forget about everything that’s going on outside.

What’s Nerdlesque?

Well, we thought it would be funny to do a Nerdlesque show. It’s a bit cheeky. We were saying, nerdy stuff and sexy things! Or nerdy things and sexy stuff! Just a tongue-in-cheek thing.

What’s your role?

The last couple of years, I’ve taken on the role of MC. … I’m co-MC-ing with my show husband, Michael Polanski.

Are you also dancing?

I’m doing two acts and the finale number. … People in Reno are like, Nerdlesque? Wow! You guys are geniuses for thinking of that. Nobody’s ever done anything like that! I heard about Nerdlesque shows in, like, 2007 up in Seattle, which is kind of a mecca for burlesque. They’re doing very specific shows now—like He-Man and She-Ra and X-Men, just X-Men themed. So it’s kind of this blanket. We’re going to have a broad amount of things. There’s going to be something for everybody. If you don’t get every single reference or character, you can at least appreciate the aesthetic and what the performer is putting into the act.

What are some of the acts?

We have a girl who’s a pretty big Trekkie and she’s coming up against people who are like, no, Star Wars is better! So there’s going to be Star Wars-Star Trek duel. I’m going into fandom a little bit. I’m going to do a My Little Pony act. At one of our cast parties, we watched—I can’t remember the name of it—but it’s a porno and they all have ponytails. We were excited, so it’s a little bit of that. Plus, I love finding things from my childhood that I can just obliterate. … And there’s another where one of our longtime members, Sharon [Ruff], is doing a scorned Pluto, because Pluto was really upset about getting kicked out of the league of planets.

What makes a good burlesque performance?

Being passionate about what you’re doing, engaging with the audience. What makes a good performance? You want a connection with the audience, you want to be interested in the subject material, and how it’s presented. And in burlesque, there’s a bonus, because sometimes you get titties at the end.