Q&A: Olivia Nicole
Thirty-year-old dancer Olivia Nicole has amassed an impressive résumé since she came to Las Vegas from Owasso, Okla., population 36,000. For the last two years she’s performed as assistant dance captain, soloist and pole dancer in “X” Country at Harrah’s, the newest topless revue from the producers of longtime favorites “X” Burlesque and “X” Rocks. Before that, she graced the stages of production shows at Excalibur, Stratosphere, Bally’s, Tropicana and Planet Hollywood while also touring across the country and around the globe with live concert events.
What was it like when you first arrived in Las Vegas from Oklahoma seven years ago?
Honestly, I just wanted to get some experience. I didn’t know what the chances were of being able to work and find success, but I’ve been fortunate to work consistently since I got here. I was terrified when I moved here because I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know the audition game, what I should wear or how I should act.
Did you find that audition game to be highly competitive or more friendly?
I felt like people were more helpful and friendly than I anticipated. I think in L.A. and New York, the audition circuit is a lot more competitive. People here are eager to help each other out because we’re all here for the same reason. It was more of a friendly community.
You also teach fitness classes. How did you get into that?
It happened when I moved to Vegas. One of the things I was having trouble with at the start was that I wasn’t quite ready physically. I was performing well at auditions but I’d look around and see a lot of girls who were more fit. Now it’s one of my passions. I teach yoga and cycle and Pilates.
What is it that separates “X” Country from the many burlesque-style shows in Las Vegas?
I think it’s the level of athleticism and the amount of choreography we do. When our fellow dancers come to our show they’re really impressed with how much dancing we actually do. It’s easy to rest on the novelty of sex appeal but our producers and choreographers really pushed the limits to where we really get to show off our skills, and it’s great because that’s what we’ve been training for all these years. We’re not just sexy dancers, we worked hard to get where we are.
Do you have a favorite style of dance?
Anything where I get to play a character. I’ve done a lot of magic shows and different kinds of shows on the Strip and my favorites are where I get to hone in and act a little and pull from other inspirations. I like to step outside myself a little.
What happens behind the scenes at “X” Country that we’d be surprised to find out?
How much laughter there is. It’s a really silly group. We’re really good about supporting each other, but there’s also a lot of giggling. We come in and do it every day and always find a way to change it up and be silly. Backstage, we’re all being silly and laughing and then you get the characters onstage and the camaraderie. We definitely have each other’s backs, but we’re there to have a good time.
What was it like to perform with Guns N’ Roses at T-Mobile Arena?
It was incredible, absolutely one of the highlights of my career. I will never forget going in before the concert started, going up onstage to practice and riding an elevator up to the stage, and seeing all those thousands of people. I could not even fathom how I got here. But it was one of the most rewarding and exhausting performances of my life. I’m a big classic rock fan and Guns N’ Roses is one of my all-time favorite bands, so it was great to stand by their side onstage.