PHOTOS: Big is sexy says Doncaster burly-esque beauty
Meet Britain’s biggest burly-esque dancer from South Yorkshire - a top erotic stage performer despite being 14 stone and a size 16.
Curvy Charlene Taylor, aged 26, from Doncaster, once shied away from the limelight and thought sexy dancing was only for ‘skinny girls’.
But after joining a dance class for fun Charlene, whose stage name is Chazabelle Royale, discovered a natural flair for saucy dancing - and is now a paid burlesque performer.
Charlene is the current Miss Burlesque UK and is flying the flag for larger girls as she cavorts on stage in a G-string and a feather boa.
She said: “At first I felt nervous about donning racy lingerie to dance in front of strangers, but as my confidence grew I couldn’t wait to get up on stage.
“After every performance people would come up to me and tell me how refreshing it was to see a big girl dancing and how talented I was.
“For most of my adult life I believed being sexy meant being a size 10, but now I know that’s not the case and I want other women to know they can do whatever they want - despite their size or shape.”
Charlene took the plunge into burlesque after spotting an advert for dance classes in her local paper in March 2013.
Her confidence was at rock bottom after a bad relationship and she was persuaded to have a go by family and friends.
She said: “I was a bag of nerves when I walked into the first class but the other girls made me feel at ease even though they had much better figures than me.”
As the weeks rolled by, her confidence rocketed and soon she was shimmying around in next to nothing and feeling like top US performer Dita Von Teese.
Charlene, a single mum to son Callum, two, says her size 16 body and 14 stone weight have helped her to stand out.
“Although people think that dancers have to look a certain way, I soon forgot that I was a big girl on stage,” she said.
“When members of the audience started commenting about how great I looked, it continued to boost my confidence.”
In October 2013 Charlene beat off competition from 50 other dancers to the title of Miss Burlesque 2013. And the smooth mover is hoping to retain her crown later this year.
* As well as making her mark in the Burlesque world Charlene is also pursuing a singing career.
The talented young mum who sang live for the first time at her daughter’s funeral is hoping to turn tragedy to triumph by making it big in the music world.
Charlene only performed professionally for the first time in February this year at the funeral for her severely disabled daughter Summer, who died from bronchial pneumonia at just three and a half years old.
But since the tragedy in February, she has thrown herself into pursuing a full-time singing career and has already recorded a string of cover versions and music videos in a bid to hit the big time.