When Yesi Burgess attended Fantasy shortly after arriving in the United States, she was easily able to see herself onstage as part of the Luxor’s sultry, sophisticated topless revue. The Cuban-born dancer had a firm foundation in contemporary ballet enhanced with training in salsa, tango, flamenco, and bachata, and felt her style more in step with Sin City stages than the audition grind of L.A. she had experienced.
“Fantasy was actually the first show I watched when I came to Vegas to visit,” says Burgess, who joined the show in 2008 and has been dance captain since 2018. “I was like, ‘I want to be in that show,’ before I auditioned for it. After being here and seeing a few shows, I knew without a doubt in my mind that this was the place for me and my career.”
She says she remembers her first time onstage as a Fantasy dancer as if it was today. Burgess, the featured dancer for January in the 2022: The Gold Standard edition of the show’s annual pin-up calendar, added spice to Fantasy with ballet grace and expertise in Latin steps. She was also able to buy a home, arrange to bring her parents and sister to the States, and was surrounded by a second family of cast members she easily related to.
“I’ve taken little breaks here and there, but it’s been such a blessing to me being in the show. I’ve been able to accomplish a lot because of it in my life and grow a lot because of it, and I stayed in it. I don’t want to do any other shows,” she says with a laugh.
She attributes the continuing success of the show, which celebrated its 22nd anniversary with grand celebration shows in October, in large part to creator/producer Anita Mann.
“She definitely understands us,” says Burgess of the visionary behind the legendary dancers from ’80s top-10 countdown television program Solid Gold. “She’s an incredible, remarkable woman. She paved the way,” She was the first woman to direct cameras on TV and be the boss lady. Solid Gold. I look up to her, and I’m lucky to be working so close to her now because she’s such a mentor to me. I learned a lot from her.”
As dance captain, Burgess has a lot of responsibility. New routines are added and new alternates have to learn the moves to ensure there are always eight cast members onstage each night with singer Lorena Peril, who belts out “Proud Mary” during a highlight of Burgess’s choreographic skills as demonstrated by her stage sisters.
“We have an ever-changing cast,” says Burgess, who shows her ability to teach salsa on Las Vegas Magazine’s YouTube channel (“Vegas At Home, Ep. 10—Yesi”). “We’re always training new people, and I’m in charge of teaching new cast members, new dancers, new singers, putting them in the show. I’ve gone to a lot of rehearsals, but that’s all good. That’s my favorite part of the job. I love teaching. I love teaching the show.”
Read the full article from Las Vegas Magazine here.