Cleaner, dance teacher by day, burlesque dancer by night

Cherry Boomb describes herself in many ways, and “boring” or “run-of-the-mill” definitely have no place in that description.

Self-proclaimed “diva mum” to1-year-old son Logan Arthur Hay, and burlesque dancer Alesha Hunt, aka Cherry Boomb, likes getting a reaction out of people through her art.

“Logan gets to watch me transform from being super-boring, everyday cleaner mum with no makeup to diva mum.

“I don’t like to be boring, and I have a super-chilled amazing partner, and the best 1-year-old. I still have time for a life.”

Hunt made headlines when she appeared at 2020’s Art Deco Festival’s vintage car parade in a risqué body-painted costume as “Spirit of Napier”.

“I made Art Deco week Instagram-worthy.”

Two years on the 35-year-old has has gone and done it again. Except this time she did it around Marine Pde, with a partner in crime.

On Sunday afternoon, and during Art Deco week, Hunt roped her friend Rachel Thomas (aka Billie Jean) into making a splash.

“I wanted to make myself present in Art Deco weekend, and being painted is more my thing. I don’t like the Art Deco dresses,” she said.

“So I roped in my friend Billie Jean and we create magic when we work together.”

The two got body-painted by Cherie Meerlo creations and decided to flaunt it around Marine Pde.

“The painting itself took just under three hours because there was two of us. There weren’t many people around” … and those who did spot the duo did a double take.

“It’s art. Any reaction is a good reaction.”

Hunt got into body-painting in her early 20s and thefirst time she got body-painted was with her mother.

“Mum was turning 50 and she decided to get her top half body-painted with butterflies, and I got body-painted as Poison Ivy.

“It started off being a mother-daughter thing and then I branched out and started including body paint in my burlesque performances.”

Hunt, who is Miss Burlesque New Zealand 2015, said body paint in burlesque worked for her because she could never figure out the costumes she wanted to wear.

“Burlesque costumes are really expensive, so it also made financial sense. I was saving hundreds of dollars.

“And I could make any costume I imagined, come to life.”

Hunt, who has been a regular performer at Paisley Stage, Napier, will be performing a one-woman burlesque show at the venue in March.

“If Covid doesn’t spoil it, I will be performing at Paisley Stage. It’ll, sadly, not involve body paint but that’s because there are a whole lot of costumes, quick changes and lots of routine.

“Tickets are limited to 50 and it’s a chance for people to get to know Cherry Boomb inside and out.”

Hunt’s stage name of Cherry Boomb was, she said, “a mistake because of my inability to spell”.

“I’d gone to watch ‘The Runaways’ movie and I had a few drinkies. I went back home and immediately changed my name on Facebook to ‘Cherry Boomb’, without realising the spelling mistake.”

The name stuck, and the rest as they say, is history.

For anyone hoping to catch Cherry Boomb in action, if Covid doesn’t hamper plans, she will be performing at Paisley Stage on March 25.

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