Allison Dunbar Smokeshow /smōk/SHō by a girl who is both smoking hot and entertaining – someone so hot that you basically see the smoke coming off them

We were thrilled to have a bikini session with the INCREDIBLE Allison Dunbar. Allison is an actress currently appearing in her burlesque show ‘Smokeshow’. We talked to her about her show, her vision of femininity and why she loves Farrah Fawcett ;)

“We created the Smokeshow burlesque show because:
) we are all dancers who love to dance
B) because we believe every woman has all these different sides to herself- and we dance to embody them all.”

“Most burlesque shows have a theme, i.e. they do rock n roll burlesque. However, the numbers in our show vary widely. I create all of the numbers with one of the other dancers Jodie Mendoza.  Jodie comes from the dancer background (ex Laker girl too woot woot!) while I am an actress. So we begin each number with a story.”

Allison Dunbar bikini photo session Boudoir Photography Viceroy Riviera Maya

Allison Dunbar, creating of the “Smokeshow Burlesque performance” and amazing bikini model

“For instance, I had recently hit a milestone birthday and I just felt, crummy and old.  When I looked in the mirror, I just saw an aging mess. I brought a song to Jodie and I was talking to her about the story I wanted to tell….. (the song is Talk Show Host by Radiohead – if you don’t know it – check it out – you’re welcome!)”

“We started collaborating and we came up with a number with just the 2 of us, on each side of a mirror. I am looking at myself, Jodie is my reflection.”

“It’s a dance – but it’s really a story about getting comfortable with who you see in the mirror – and learning to know that it’s a bad ass woman looking back at you.”

Allison Dunbar backstage del sol photography Boudoir Photography Viceroy Riviera Maya

Backstage fun with Allison and Sol

“That’s one of our most popular numbers – and women flock to our shows to see it. But then we also have numbers where we are total badasses – just powerhouse chicks who don’t take shit – because sometimes THAT’S how we feel!”

Some of our numbers are more funny or silly, we play ‘dumb dumb girls who go to clubs and drink too much and make fools of themselves. We are all those women at times, right?  So that’s what we play!  

“I think that’s why women love our shows so much. We are really talking to them, rather than trying to “do sexy dances”  that excite men.  It’s for us. It’s for the ladies. It’s to make them feel alive and on fire!”

“That takes me to our shoot.  I decided to try and channel Farrah Fawcett because she is a beauty icon to me.  I loved her free spirit,  that always seemed to emanate out of her photos to me!”

“Mexico is one of my very favorite places – I just feel wild and free when I am there – so I thought Farrah was the perfect inspiration.  Iconic looks in the perfect sexy setting – the Mayan Riviera”

“The first time I came down to the Riviera Maya was 2004.  I was going through a divorce, super fun.  I needed to escape for a while, so I sold my engagement ring and went down to the Belmond Maroma for a month!  I had the time of my life!  That beautiful beach and jungle setting – it brought me back to life!  While I was there, I felt the old me coming back.  I knew I was strong and I would come back in full force- and I did.”

“So I guess I always feel like a goddess when I am there. That’s what I hoped to capture – and man it was even better than I hoped!!  like 1 million percent better!!!!”

“I also feel more and more comfortable in my skin the older I get – such a perk of the 40s. I actually love doing shoots more now than I did in my 20s. 

Allison Dunbar Smokeshow burlesque dancer bikini swimwear shoot Viceroy Riviera Maya Playa del Carmen Mexico

This is one of our fave photos of Allison, Sol created movement by using a slow shutter speed to capture the splash

“Confidence is something you really earn with years as a woman.  It’s a spectacular thing to know you are gaining wisdom and compassion.  That will make everyone more beautiful I think.” 

“I also think I accept myself a lot more than I used to?  I used to hide my goofy side more. Like I thought “I’m a woman I’m supposed to act like a lady” and now I know it’s not only ok, but it’s great that I am also a total clown.  If you look at my instagram, you will see many photos of me looking like such a jackass – and I love that!  I embrace all sides of me.  And they are all the real me. 

“I’m an idiot.  I’m a clown.  I’m a goddess. I’m an actress.  I’m a dog lover.”

Beautiful sunset light Allison Dunbar Boudoir Photography Viceroy Riviera Maya

Golden hour Magic

“My experience with all of you ladies of Del Sol was pure heaven!!! I loved your energy. The day was honestly like I was hanging out with girlfriends – and we just happened to capture some of the most stunning photos ever while we were hanging!”

“I felt like we were all just playing. Collaborating and giggling and trying stuff, and not really caring if it didn’t work. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much through a shoot.  Definitely kindred spirits, that’s pretty awesome. Sure beats being posed by a man into his version of sexy.”

Allison Dunbar Smokeshow burlesque dancer bikini swimwear shoot Viceroy Riviera Maya Playa del Carmen Mexico

Just casually lounging on the dock…

“This felt like true feminine power – the whole experience was fluid and intuitive!  Honestly, I can’t say enough about it.  I had the greatest time.  I can’t wait to come back and have a drink with you all! 

“I loved the Viceroy because well, firstly, it’s breathtaking.  I mean, come on!  It looks like a fairy tale! When you live in LA, you’re pretty spoiled in terms of weather/location, but I’m telling you LA gets trumped by Mexico and the Viceroy!  (Honestly, every resort I’ve stayed in down there has been extraordinary.) I couldn’t believe our suite led right out to the beach.”

“The PEOPLE are just so incredibly warm and nice to talk to.  I had so many great conversations. Learned a little bit of Spanish. Talking about it makes me want to come back!”

HUGE thank you to Allison for sharing her thoughts with us You can follow Allison Dunbar on her instagram and find out more about Smokeshow on Howler.tvinstagram and Facebook

Principal Photographer: Sol
Assistant Photographers: Polly

See our most recent shoot with Allison Dunbar here.