Thursday, June 19, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Even if she wasn’t stripping for a burlesque show, platinum blonde bombshell Sabina Kelley would still bring high-speed traffic to a stop. The “Best Ink” judge from Oxygen is about to step into Claire Sinclair’s high heels and bustier as a guest star in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere.
Rehearsals are well underway for the July 24 guest gig, but Sabina and Claire say that the former is already primed for the experience. “I haven’t done it to the live band yet, but we have everything down for the routines ready to roll right now if necessary,” Sabina told me.
I joined Sabina and Claire for one of their rehearsals, and Sabina, a former “Jubilee!” topless beauty and a mother of three(!), moved in perfect synchronicity with Claire. It was as if the twosome had become one with a shadow.
“I’m not worried about this one little bit,” said Sabina, who proudly displays her heavily tattooed body from her fingertips right up to her shoulders. She revealed that she’ll go topless — but with pasties — right from the new opening number that’s being choreographed for her entrance.
“It’s what the fans will want to see, so why shortchange them and keep them waiting?” she laughed. “We’ll start the show with what they came to see.”
Her tattoos are riveting to the eye and majestic in their positioning. Across her knuckles, the tattooed letters spell out H-A-U-S-W-I-F-E . She pulls up her mane of hair to show me the very first one she ever had done at the back of her neck and assures me that there’s room on her beautiful body for more if she wanted.
But for now, at least, she’s reached her maximum. She has sleeves on both arms and tats on her back, on both tops of her feet and her knuckles — and vows nothing on her chest, breasts and stomach.
The 36-year-old beauty said: “Here I am again stripping down to pasties and a G-string 15 years after I last danced topless. You might think I’d be a little old or rusty, but it’s like riding a bicycle. Everything came back instantly.”
You can see from her graceful and athletic onstage moves that she’s in great shape. “The body is looking and feeling great,” she affirms. “I’m proud of what I’ve got and what I’m going to show. This is classy and great dancing, nothing raunchy to be ashamed of here.”
Claire agreed: “We couldn’t have chosen a better beauty to stand in while I’m away in San Diego for Comic-Con. She’ll do really well, and I’m amazed how quickly and confident she is in getting everything down perfectly. The audiences are going to love her as the first heavily tattooed girl on the Strip in a burlesque show.”
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue of Donoghue Photography for his photo gallery and to Las Vegas Sun photographer L.E. Baskow, who also was at the rehearsal.
Sabina hopes that her TV fans and followers from rockabilly and pinup modeling shows across the country will love her even more in her new theatrical role on the Strip.
“My body is still trained well for dancing,” she added. “The rehearsals have me all fired up. I’m enjoying every minute of them, and the bug has bitten me — it makes me want to start dancing again full time.
“This is my foot in the door breaking down some doors because of being heavily tattooed. In the past, there’s been resistance to tattooed dancers. Now maybe with this, it’s all about to change.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.