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Irish burlesque dancer Claire hoping to shimmy off with top prize Down Under

A BRAY woman has landed a spot in the final of Miss Burlesque Australia.

Dancer Claire Tobin (30) has been awarded the first wild card entry into the competition's grand finals next month in Sydney.

Claire, who is know to the burlesque world as Azaria Starfire, moved from her native Bray to Adelaide in September 2011.

She wowed crowds with her sultry performances on the Miss Burlesque Adelaide 2012 -- where she bagged second place and qualified in January for the state heats for Miss Burlesque Australia.

This week she was announced as a wild card to represent South Australia on April 21 in the finals.

The entire Irish burlesque scene is rallying around Claire, who has taken to the stage in the UK as well as Hollywood, as she competes in Sydney.


Claire's former dance partner, Tom O'Donnell, told the Herald: "Everyone here is rooting for her. She is, without a doubt, one of our top performers and she's very imaginative, hilarious and magical. She never fails to impress her audience.

"She's always creating stunning new props and ridiculous ways to have viewers in stitches of laughter -- I have total faith that she'll sweep the board over there."

Dublin make-up artist and close friend Emma Farrell added: "She's really popular in the scene here and she's exceptionally good, so they'll love her over there. She'd definitely be known for her more unusual shows and acts -- it's normally about showing off sexy bodies, but Claire's not afraid to cross boundaries at all and do something different."

Claire was chosen by producers based on her interpretation of 'Classic' burlesque and a unique comedy routine as a daredevil granny doing stunts with a Zimmer frame.

"I think she has the best shot at winning, the fact that she's so nice has helped hugely," said Emma.

Fans will know the brunette as the driving force behind cabaret troupe LoveCats, who hosted a farewell show in city hotspot the Button Factory last year before Claire' s move.

"With two Irish competitors in The Burlesque World Games this year and the profile of burlesque rising, people are gaining a better understanding of what the art form really is," Claire said.