Say hello to Fifi Galore: she is 22 years old, 5ft 6 and is making a name for herself in the world of modelling. Not just that she works as a burlesque and cabaret dancer and has also started doing some work as a ring girl. Hailing from Newcastle, she is a lovely girl who is working hard to achieve success.
Fans of UK MMA might not have seen much of Fifi but i’m sure we will see more of her around the cage in the months too come. So how did she first get involved with being a ring girl and join the great world of Mixed Martial Arts?
“I’m quite new to being a ring girl. I’ve only done two shows so far but I’ve got two more lined up which will hopefully be as good as the last two! I got into being a ring girl by Helena, she wanted to get into modelling and I said if try help her out with some shoots and I saw that she trained and fought MMA through some of her pictures and she ended up asking me to be a ring girl with her! I love working with new people so I’m always up for doing new things and working at new shows!”
Her friend Helena(Donkin) works closely with Eiko and this lead Fifi to work at Eiko 4 this past weekend. The event took place in Newcastle and was a huge success for everybody who was involved. Especially Fifi who really loved her time at the event.
“Eiko was so much fun, everyone was so nice and professional and it was amazing to watch the fights and walk the fighters on, I can’t wait till next time!”
Being a ring girl is more than just standing around with a board and smiling at the crowd. All the ring girls work hard and take every moment as serious as possible. Fifi really enjoys her time as a ring girl and you can tell her passion for it comes through. Having people like her involved in the sport is so refreshing. So what is it like to work as a ring girl and a do they watch the fights like the fans and understand the passion they have?
“Oh wow! It is so much fun, unless you’ve done it, you have no idea! You really get involved and take it seriously. If you look happy then people feel happy. They don’t want to see you walking around looking miserable or what would be the point of them looking at you. It’s the difference between watching a happy, quirky lady or watching a board flash what round is coming up next. It’s all about the atmosphere! A typical night, well it’s always different or so I would imagine only doing a few shows so far! You get to meet all the fighters before hand and exchange a few smiles or words as they’re getting ready and in the zone. Oh I can see why the fans come, you get completely lost in the fight, watching every minute and you end up cheering just as much as the crowd and it’s always nice to see how serious the competitors take their fight an how professional they all are”.
Just like the fighters who enter the world of MMA or anyone for that fact, they all want to hit the big time and that is the UFC. It is like the holy grail for anyone connected with the sport and for ring girls it is something to aim for as well. With more and more UFC shows around the world, more opportunities look to be opening up and Fifi see’s this as something she would love to.
“Wow to be involved with the UFC would actually be amazing! I don’t think I could control my excitement if I ever got asked to be a part of it. Everyone knows about it and everyone watches it! If you know anything about MMA you have heard about the UFC!”
I wouldn’t count against her making it there one day.
Like every person involved with the sport, we all have to start somewhere. We all read or see something, watch the sport and are instantly hooked. So how did Fifi’s journey into the world of MMA begin and does she train in the sport?
“I was first introduced to MMA when I was young as a few of my friends and parents of friends used to train it and then id watched a few fights on tv. It’s so exciting. I’ve never trained MMA but since I’ve been a ring girl it is something I am considering more and more, it’s a great work out and a great way to stay in shape. How ever since I have a few other jobs I don’t think I would ever get in the ring and have a real fight as I wouldn’t want to injure myself as it may effect other work”
Everyone loves to watch the sport and she is no different as there is one fighter she would love to see fight, but also she likes to see the local talent progress as we all do.
“I haven’t met Phil de fries but I would love to see him fight live or even be a ring for one of his fights. I love watching up and coming fighters and watch them progress so it’s always lots of fun”.
Away from ring girling Fifi has many other talents and one of those is in the world of modelling. A journey which is still only new to her but something you can tell she will be successful with as she has natural good looks and seems to have taken to it like Chael Sonnen to wrestling. Her style is alternative but is something which has helped her on her journey and follow in the footsteps of the people she has looked up to:
“I’ve done modelling for maybe a year and a half now and it all came about because an old friends sister, Josephine Birkett, was a mua (make up artist) and wanted some vintage make up shots for her portfolio and thought I would be perfect since my style at the time was vintage and rockabilly. She got in touch with a local photographer Chris Harrison of Grime and Glamour and asked If he would like to collaborate. Luckily for us he did and after that its all thanks to social networking and other photographers seeing photos and wanting to work with me, so I guess I’ve had a lot of luck:)!
When I was growing up I actually wanted to be a power ranger or Doris day I loved her in Calamity Jane, I’ve always loved vintage fashion and burlesque and I guess I’ve always idolized Dita Von Tease, she is an amazing burlesque and fetish performer as well as a model”.
Along side this she has been given opportunities to star in music videos and taken on a few acting roles. It’s definitely something which she can learn from and develop in and she hopefully will go further with it in the future. The acting is something which Fifi would like to take on further and it all adds up to working while having a hell of a lot of fun.
“Yeah I love all the acting work and music videos it’s something I have only done a few times but wow it was so much fun! I love doing the music videos as it has always been something different and I got to hang out with a great group of people and listen to their music whilst having a laugh. Not really something you can complain about is it?:). The acting and TV work is always amazing because again it is always something I have wanted to do and it’s always so exciting. It’s never the same thing different day scenario, you get to meet new people and do different things/ voice your opinion and lots of people get to see it. I really don’t make it sound as fun as it is but I guess it’s different for everyone, hopefully I will get lots more fun and crazy work like this because it honestly is amazing!”
With all of this going on you wouldn’t think there would be more strings to the bow of Fifi, but there is. Her main job is as a Burlesque and cabaret dancer for Etrois. It all began with a chance encounter with the founder of Etrois and it has lead her to be doing something which she enjoys.
“Yes I also dance and It all started when I worked in Newlook clothing store. My good friend and owner/founder of Etrois came into the store for a general browse and saw me running around like a maniac. She said he really liked my style and asked if I’d be interested in working for her company. I had never been so excited and four years later, I’m still dancing and shaking my shimmy!”
In such a short space of time Fifi’s personal CV is building and she is involved in so many areas. She is in a position many would love to get to. So what advice does she have for anybody wanting to become a model and/or a ring girl?
“I don’t know what advice I could give to some one wanting to become a ring girl as I was really lucky and the job found me so I think the best option would be to search for a few companies and get some auditions lined up and just keep trying . For modelling the best advice I could give would be to get a portfolio made and approach some modelling agencies”.
A very unique part to Fifi is her tattoo’s. Body art can split many people but when people get tattoo’s they normally have a special meaning behind them. You have the tattoo for life and can signify so much about you. Fifi has a lot of amazing artwork, but what do they mean, are her favourites and has she ever found it hard to get a job with having the tattoo’s?
“Tattoo time (laughs), everyone always asks. All my tattoos have some special meaning to me and I always think about them for ages before I get them done, after all they will be on me for ever, no going back. At the moment I have 18 and I’m currently in the process of starting my sleeves which I’m so excited about although my parents aren’t but my tattoos aren’t for them they’re for me and surprisingly they’re covered up most of the time. My favourites, hmmm, maybe the one on my left boob as it has a secret meaning between me and my dad but he wasn’t very happy when he found out. I guess you can see why I chose to get it on my boob (laughs). I have to have all my tattoos covered up for my main job but I get away with my nose ring so I can’t really complain but it is a nightmare in the summer having to wear long sleeves and trousers but my main job doesn’t know about all of my other jobs so I don’t really go into too much detail with that. I think because all of my tattoo are in places where they can be covered and hidden it isn’t really a problem for me however people who have their hands and necks tattooed will find it more difficult, which I find ridiculous as having tattoos doesn’t effect your ability to do a job or task”.
In the world today there is only so much time to chill out and relax. Which helps us to think about the future as well. So with such a hectic schedule of modelling, dancing, ring girling and working how does Fifi like to relax and what personal aims does she have for the future?
“(laughs) Relaxing is not something I do very often. I get bored easily so I always like to be doing something. When I do have free time I like to see friends, family and the boyfriend and chill out being hilarious, hula hooping or going to see local bands/performers and watching films. Honestly for the future I hope to be modelling and performing a lot more and I’m currently learning some new tricks of the trade so hopefully everyone will get to see and enjoy that soon too”.
After reading and hearing about Fifi I thought with all the work she puts in with all her jobs she must be some kind of superhero to keep it going or maybe that’s just me? However if she was a superhero, who would she be?
“Arghhhh no don’t ask me what super hero i would be, that’s the worst question you could ask. Superheroes are mint but I love X-men even more and If I had to be one that’s even harder because they’re all so cool. Damn it, I don’t know! Maybe Mystique before she went to the bad side, she’s blue, she can turn into any one she wants its so cool but then wolverine has amazing has amazing side burns and is total bad-ass (still can’t believe I just said bad-ass but it’s true)!”
With all her superhero attributes and great work ethic Fifi Galore is someone who is going places. She has her head switched on and is looking to become the best she can be with everything she is involved with. Remember her name and maybe one day we will see her as Mystique while walking the octagon in the UFC. That might be a long shot but don’t be surprised to see her name pop up for years to come.
Photo Credits: Helena Donkin, Fifi Galore, MarkP and Marnie Elizabeth Photography