Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Danielle Colby-Cushman

Danielle Colby-Cushman (born December 3, 1975) is an American burlesque dancer, fashion designer, and reality television personality.She is best known for co-starring on the History Channel reality television show American Pickers with Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. Colby-Cushman was born in Davenport, Iowa. She was brought up into what she called "a very loving but strict household" of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She has stated that her interest in burlesque dancing started at around 10 to 12 years old. By 2004, she was married and had two children. Colby had owned and participated in a female roller derby team, the Big Mouth Mickies, for three years, until injuries forced her to give up the sport. She decided she wanted to do burlesque when, while living in Chicago with her family, she attended a burlesque performance starring comedienne Margaret Cho and legendary dancer Satan's Angel. Colby-Cushman characterized the event as "amazing", saying in part, "Growing up in a strict household, I think I went into that evening thinking that burlesque was taboo and wrong and bad. But what I realized after I left that event was how absolutely liberating it was, to be in a room with women on stage who were ranging from a size zero to a size of, easily, 28 - all different types of women, with all different strengths." When she moved back with her family to Iowa, settling in the Quad Cities area, she became determined to make her desire a reality. She created her own professional burlesque troupe, Burlesque Le'Moustache. The troupe features nine performers, including Colby-Cushman herself, who dances under the stage name of Dannie Diesel. It tours nightclubs and other various venues in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Unknown to some of the show's fans, Colby-Cushman had been a close friend of Mike Wolfe for ten years before the concept of the show had even been developed.

Once the show was sold to the History Channel, Wolfe asked Colby-Cushman to work at the office of the antique shop, called Antique Archaeology, because he "wanted someone that did not look like they would work in any antique shop because I wanted our show to be looked at in a different way. I wanted people to look at antiques like they’re fun, they’re rad, they’re killer, they’re awesome. I wanted people to know that they didn’t have to have a blue blazer and ten cats to be an antique dealer."

American Pickers premiered on the History Channel on January 18, 2010. As of September 8, 2010, it was the #1 new non-fiction series of 2010 among total viewers and adults 25-54 Colby-Cushman owns and operates 4 Miles 2 Memphis, a clothing boutique in LeClaire, Iowa. The boutique features retro and antique-inspired apparel. Colby-Cushman designs and creates much of the clothing herself

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