When Danielle Colby went square-dancing on "American Pickers", she was trying to make a sale. But if you really know Danielle, you know her real passion is no 'do-si-do'. It's knowing her alter ego, Dannie Diesel.
"That was a name that my dad's friend gave to me when I was three or four years old," she explains. "I think I always identify with Dannie, because it has always been there."
Dannie Diesel and her burlesque troupe headlined a show on May 5th at the Adler Theater in Davenport. Burlesque is a sensual performance art celebrating the female body.
"Burlesque changed everything about my life, much like "American Pickers" changed everything about my life," she said.
Of course, the two shows are very different, for a different audience. At the same time, they are equal parts of the person Danielle has come to be.
"The reality is that I am who I am, and I was this person before 'American Pickers' and that is why they have embraced me and why people identify with me," Danielle explained.
Danielle, no doubt, has a look all her own, starting with her tattoos. As many as 30 of them color her body.
"My favorites are the ones my children did," she said, pointing at her hands. Her son drew a circle on her left hand, while her daughter drew a heart on her right hand. Danielle wears her art on her skin, as much as the clothes she designs and sells at her new shop called Four Miles from Memphis. The money she makes there goes to pay for her father's medical bills. He was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after she started filming "American Pickers".
"When I started making more money, things started to even out," she explains.
Between the show, the shop, and burlesque, Danielle keeps a tight grip on her schedule, but says she owes her success to the ladies she dances alongside. It's a journey of empowerment for the entire group.
"I really truly love and embrace who I am now," Danielle said. "I think the people who watch 'American Pickers' identify with that portion of who I am, and they accept the Dannie Diesel portion."
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