This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Athena Patacsil, who is host of a new podcast, “Showgirl’s Life,” featuring interviews with showgirls sharing stories of their former glamour days, from the 1950’s through the 1990’s. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Athena talks about her own journey from ballet dancer to principal dancer in Donn Arden’s Jubilee; why she decided to live and work in Las Vegas; how she finds former showgirls to talk about their craft and careers; and the importance of the showgirl as a symbol and part of the legacy of Las Vegas.
Athena left her home town of Aurora, Colorado and traveled across the globe to Moscow, Russia to study with the Bolshoi Ballet at the age of 16. A contract with Nevada Ballet Theatre took her to Las Vegas and then on to the stage of the Jubilee Theatre, Bally’s Las Vegas where she high-kicked her way from the back row of the chorus to principal dancer in just a few short years.
She retired from the stage and transitioned into the visual arts working as a graphic designer. She also pursued her design career working in-house marketing departments, freelance and boutique design studios as designer turned art director before starting her own production company, Gazealous Productions in 2016.