Nia Nebula, a Bulgarian-born Canadian dancer now residing in the US, is getting the international recognition she deserves from ED Magazine.
Nebula, who has officially been featuring in the US only a year, has already made a name for herself as a flexible, funny and spirited entertainer. For someone who looks so comfortable wearing as little clothing as possible, it’s hard to believe that this sunshiny personality with a dirty sense of humor began her career in the Great White North. In her first booking ever, Nebula shares that for two weeks, in Kitimat, BC, just south of Alaska, entertainers had to chop firewood and build their own fire inside the club to keep warm nightly.
While there’s plenty to love about her home country, according to Nebula, nothing beats the freedom and the weather of the southern United States where she says she’s permanently settled, in the sunshine state of Florida.
ED Magazine spoke with Nebula, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com, about her international career history, her love of jazz and her first on-stage acceptance at the ED Awards as ED’s 2023 International Entertainer of the Year. And don’t miss Nebula’s personalized Spotify playlist courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com!
ED: What was it like for you to win the ED’s International Entertainer of the Year Award at EXPO this year? What was your initial reaction to winning?
NEBULA: Honestly, it was super unexpected. It’s my first time being called on stage for the ED Awards. As someone who has immigrated from two different countries, I’m super proud to be able to represent the international award.
ED: When and where did you start dancing in Canada, and how long of a process was it for you to go from dancing in Canada to featuring in the US?
NEBULA: I started dancing in November of 2014. My first booking was two weeks in Kitimat, BC, just south of Alaska where we had to chop firewood and build our own fire inside the club to keep warm nightly. Prior to coming into the US, I was already featuring in Canada, had toured Europe in 2017 and Australia in 2020. My first feature booking in the US was in August 2022 at Kandy’s Adult Playground in Waterford, PA.
ED: What are some of the biggest differences between Canadian clubs and US clubs, in your personal experience?
NEBULA: Western, Central & Northern Canada all have paid stage entertainers who tour week-to-week and cover slotted 18-minute stage performances. We do have a handful of freelancers on the floor, but they don’t get access to the stage, and stages aren’t run back-to-back — they’re pre-scheduled shows with time slots. I feel like that’s partially why I’m doing well with my feature career — I’ve had a chance to assemble shows and have toured with people from all different walks of life.
The part of the US house dance system I love is the no-scheduling, which provides for the ability to come and go as you please without an obligation to finish week-long contracts.
ED: Where do you live now — the US or Canada?
NEBULA: I’ve permanently settled in the US in sunny Florida.
ED: What are your favorite aspects of Canadian culture, and conversely, what do you like most about the US?
NEBULA: I love how diverse Canada is, but I can’t give up my sunshine and island weather at the bottom end of the continental US.
ED: As you continue to elevate your career as a feature entertainer, how would you describe your entertainer “persona”? If a club books Nia Nebula, what should they look forward to?
NEBULA: They get to look forward to a super outgoing bubbly persona full of bratty humour and butthole jokes.
ED: Since this interview is being done in conjunction with StripJointsMusic, we have to ask a few music-related questions. What are some of your favorite artists or songs to dance to? And when you’re at home, not dancing or at the club, what are your favorite bands/artists to listen to?
NEBULA: I just turn on the ‘Recommended for you’ shuffle mode. There’s about 30 songs on my work playlist and most of them don’t have anything to do with each other. I like being able to skip through different genres and find that I can usually appeal to a broader audience that way.
ED: If you could see any band/musician in concert, from any time in history, who would it be and why?
NEBULA: It would be amazing to see Frank Sinatra live! I’ve always been a huge fan of the big band jazz era!