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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Student Burlesque dancer's licence to thrill

Sofire RosaBy day she's Stephanie Lynch, a hard-working student...but after dark she gets sultry. That's when Stephanie becomes Sofire Rosa - professional belly dancer and burlesque performer.

The 22-year-old has been belly dancing for seven years and a professional for the last three.

She is also president and founder of Sheffield University's belly dance society, teaches weekly classes and regularly dances at events around the city, including a spicy routine at the Shiraz restaurant on Abbeydale Road.

Stephanie, originally from Liverpool but now living in Walkley, explained that she sort of fell into burlesque.

"I went along to an event with a friend and loved it, so thought why not give it a go."

And the girl has brains as well as beauty - she's presently studying biomedical sciences at the University of Sheffield and intends to go on to study for a diploma in paramedic studies at Hallam when she graduates.

Away from her studies, she's now a regular on the burlesque scene and has performed to admiring audiences around the country.

Now she's coupling that experience with her business acumen to put on Sheffield Univeristy's first ever burlesque evening on March 7, when she and two other local acts will perform in the Raynor Lounge.

"The tickets aren't officially on sale at the Students' Union box office yet," said Stephanie. "But half have gone already, so it should be a great night."

The routine will see her strip down to her lingerie and tantalising tassels - and no one will enjoy it more than her boyfriend.

"He loves my routine," she said. "So much so he's bringing all his mates along to see me."

Stephanie, who intends to raffle off her lingerie after the show, said she doesn't find performing embarrassing.

"When I'm on stage I adopt my alter-ego. I'm not Stephanie the shy student but Sofire Rosa."

But what do her mum and dad think of their daughter's talent?

"Everything is done tastefully and my mum thinks it's brilliant. But I haven't told my dad yet."
By Nick Ward

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