Where did your sexy go?

You used to have a spark, a certain vitality that you’re missing these days. You’re wanting more fun and passion in your life. This can’t be all there is to it, is it?

You Feel

  • Invisible
  • Insecure and embarrassed
  • Like the bag lady from Labyrinth when you go out, because you don’t have time to look better
  • Like something’s missing from your day to day, but can’t quite put your finger on it
  • Like you want more glam in your life, but can’t figure out how to add it in

You think...

  • You have an expiration date
  • You can’t be more glam because your partner is insecure and prefers you without makeup
  • You don’t know how to add glam into your life because it’s so extra/inappropriate/unnecessary
  • Being glamorous is expensive and really only for celebrities and movie stars
  • Moms aren’t supposed to be sexy and glamourous

Meet the woman behind all the feathers & sparkles:

Hey! I’m Athena!

I’m a former Las Vegas Showgirl who inspires women to add more glamour to their daily lives. I help them feel sexy, confident, and feminine so that they can have more fun.

How does one become a Las Vegas Showgirl?

I wanted nothing more than to become a Prima Ballerina in a National company.

I had followed a dream that I trained my whole life for. After years of blood (literally,) sweat, and tears, I finally made it to professional dancer status with a real ballet company. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected. 

I was miserable. I had this romantic idea of what it was to be like in a ballet company as a corps de ballet member. And it was definitely nothing like that. 

Several weeks of rehearsals, up to 40 hours each week, to prepare for a handful of measly performances. Weekly weight notices to “lose five pounds,” and daily self-loathing of that ugly duckling in the mirror. Add to that the drama of being the first-born, leaving home to run off to Las Vegas of all places to join a ballet company. Dumb boy stuff, you know — the typical first years as a young adult who has just moved away from home, navigating life, career and love without a compass. Or at least a poor model of what life “should” be like. 

I spent nearly three miserable seasons with the company. They would throw me a soloist understudy spot, every once in a while. But I had greater dreams. I wanted to be in the spotlight. Whatever it took.

It wasn’t until my husband at the time went off to perform in Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana that something shifted. And then I got my chance to audition for the largest Showgirl spectacle in Las Vegas — Donn Arden’s Jubilee!

I was hired on the spot. 

I became a world-famous Bluebell dancer, and was introduced to an incredible world of glamour and sparkles. I was wearing costumes every night that cost thousands of dollars, designed by Bob Mackie and Pete Menefee. Really, I was living a dream. I had transformed from an ugly duckling who despised her body, full of womanly curves and sensuality, unsuitable to be a ballet dancer to a graceful glamazon who loved her body and embodied her sensual inner goddess every night.

I spent the next four years, eyes on the spotlight, until one day, I got my own principal dancer contract. I had made it. I was finally one of the lead dancers in the largest show ever produced in Las Vegas.

And then one day,  I was done.

Las Vegas Showgirl ephemera Bally's Jubilee! Storyteller Showcase

I had achieved a life-long dream of being in the spotlight. I had a seat in the Principal dressing room, I had a wonderful partnership with my beautiful dance partner and I had the admiration of the chorus girls as I took to the stage, shining in that spotlight, night after night. 

But it didn’t feel how I thought it would.

Honestly, I don’t know how I expected to feel. Champagne and roses in my dressing room every night? Stage door Johnnies trying to lure me out of the theater with jewels and furs? Nope. None of that ever happened. 

It was just a regular job. Not much changed. I had traded chorus life for a different dressing room and bigger and sparklier costumes. Sadly, it wasn’t really what I thought I wanted. The desire was deeper than that, and came back to haunt me later in life.

Good thing I had a backup plan

One day, I decided to leave the show. There was a strong resolve within me, and a knowing that I cannot explain. I didn’t take it lightly, and nearly fell down when I gave my notice 3 months before the 6-month contract was up. Luckily I had my graphic design degree and a new career already set up for me. It was time to hang up my dancing shoes.

Now with husband number 2, we started our family. Over the course of 3 years, we relocated from Las Vegas to Hawaii with baby number 1, then relocated to Denver, Colorado and had baby number 2. We decided to stay and grow roots. 

But just 5 years into living this new dream, sans sparkles and glamour, I began to feel empty. Something wasn’t right. Even though life looked good on paper, something huge was looming over me.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just kept pasting the smile on my face every day and going through the motions. I was phoning it in: being supermom and making sure the girls had everything they needed to thrive, working full time and over-functioning to the point of having my children dropped off at my workplace to complete extra work assignments after hours, people-pleasing to no end because I didn’t know any other way to operate as a woman.

One day, it all started to crumble

First the marriage, then the career. The life I had built started to give way to something better and more beautiful. Though I didn’t know that at the time.

Almost 10 years after I met the father of my children, I decided to call it quits. It took quite a bit of therapy, yoga, meditation, soul searching, and coaching to even get to that point. I couldn’t even allow myself to want something different. It was all so perfect! Except that I was miserable. 

Turns out, I was living somebody else’s dream.

And I realized that I was the only one that could change me and the trajectory of my life. It took a lot of doing, courage, and discomfort, but I managed to take my life apart piece by piece and then re-assemble it into the life of MY dreams.

The day that I saw my very first burlesque show and decided that I was going to get back up on that stage was pivotal. It had been nearly 10 years since I had donned my massive Showgirl eyelashes and ruby red lips. But I did it. I took a workshop and was entranced by the feathers and sparkles yet again.

I found the spotlight again — this time, on my terms

Through burlesque, I spent five years pouring my heart out on the stage again. But this time, I had more sexual prowess and creative control over what I wore and what I danced. I was the ultimate creator in my life. I was finally fully self-expressing in the way that I wanted, with the costumes and choreography that I loved most. 

I had become the Showgirl again. 

The transformation was easier this time around. The hardest part was giving myself permission to want what I want. It was easy to do that back when I was 18, had my whole life ahead of me, and could go wherever I wished. 

Now I had two babies to look after.. 

What kind of mother volunteers in classrooms by day and then high kicks and seduces audiences by night? 

This mamma. 

Showgirl's Life | Volcano costume designed by Athena Patacsil

But it wasn’t really about the spotlight…

The biggest lesson I learned as I made my way through the muck after my second divorce was that I had lost myself when I created my family. I realized that I had put myself and my desires on the back burner because “moms aren’t sexy — they don’t do things like that.”  These thoughts went through my head daily before I made the decision to live my life for myself instead of my children. The realization that someday they would leave the nest and I wouldn’t know who I was terrified me. I had to do something about that. And so burlesque was my way out and through. The chance to fully self-express onstage, and design and construct ten spectacular showgirl costumes and jewelry sets, just because I wanted to own them was unheard of in my family. But I did it. Consequently, I now display three full costumes and 6 hats on mannequins in my office. It’s ridiculous, but I wouldn’t have it any other way…

I see the old me in so many women.
Today,  I’m dedicated to being the lighthouse for women to find that light inside themselves again.

Showgirls Manifesto

I want women to know their power.

I want women to feel powerful and sexy.

I want women to live from a place of power, pleasure, and play.

I want women to know how powerful they are.

I want women to create their own version of sexy, powerful, and glamorous.

I want women to know that they get to choose how to be and act in this world.

I want women to have the courage to ask for what they want.

I want women to be more feminine and tuned into their inner goddess.

I want to help women redefine sexy on their own terms.

Ready to dive deeper into a
sparkly and glamorous world?

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