From Big to Burlesque: One NH Diva’s Journey to Self-Acceptance

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lowell, MA – February 11th @ 9pm:

At first glance, you may not know that Nashua, NH resident Diva Taunia used to be morbidly obese. After spending most of her adult life topping the scales at 311 lbs, she made the decision in March of 2008 to have gastric bypass surgery. She’s since lost over 160 lbs, and has found a new calling: Burlesque. Her new Burlesque Troupe, “The Diva Taunia Dolls,” unveils their first-ever performance at Gemstones Nightclub in Lowell on February 11th. This show, titled “Valentine Vixens,” will feature singing, dancing, burlesque, comedy, and plenty of audience interaction.

“I’ve always loved the art of Burlesque and Cabaret, and always wanted to be a dancer. As someone who hates to exercise, Burlesque dancing has become my daily fitness routine, and I’m maintaining my weight loss AND I finally feel empowered, sexy, and in control of my body,” says Diva Taunia, “I actually LOVE to move my body now!”

As a 20 yr veteran of the New England music scene, Diva Taunia is not new to the stage. She is a college-educated musician, teaches voice, and has been a professional jazz and studio singer for over twenty years. But wearing practically nothing and dancing around onstage? Burlesque is something she’s never done before, and she loves a good challenge.

“I was approached about doing a Valentine’s performance back in the fall, and I knew it was a “now or never” situation for to try Burlesque. I suggested the show idea and they absolutely loved it and gave me the green light. The booking agent, Joe Graham, and Gemstones nightclub have been incredibly supportive of the show right from the start. And quite frankly, this may very well be the bravest thing I’ve ever done,” she laughs.

After getting the go-ahead, she began the search for cast members by auditioning and contacting women in her own network. “From the beginning, I wanted to make sure there was a role for everyone: either mingling in the audience as a character actor, to singing and dancing onstage, or working behind the scenes. I was amazed by how many women jumped at the chance to be part of this show, and every day I get emails from women who really want to be part of what we’re doing. The show is very audience-interactive, and all of the cast members are really excited to be involved in a show that’s part-fantasy, part-cabaret, and part-self-celebration.”

While the show definitely has the more “risqué” traditional Burlesque, the focus and feature is on the musicality and strength of the women; showcasing strong song and dance numbers. The cast features women of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, and ages and celebrates the beauty and sex appeal of all women.

Tickets are on sale now at a special advanced purchase price of at Tickets can be purchased at the door, but audience members are encouraged to purchase advanced tickets online at a discounted rate as sales are doing very well and the show is expected to sell out.

For more information please visit http://www.divatauniadolls.comor contact


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