Girl Power: Bliss Dance grooves to a different beat in Las Vegas

Remember how everyone got excited about the new girl in school? The moment she walked into the room, she captured everyone’s attention with her beauty, style and ease. Fast forward years later: Vegas has a new woman on the Strip and this beauty is here to stay.

If  you’ve heard anything about The Park, the outdoor dining and entertainment district connecting Monte Carlo, New York – New York and the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, then you know it’s going to be awesome. From the real trees and restaurants to energizing bar scene, you can easily spend the entire evening here. Something you can’t ignore is the beautiful 40-foot-tall steel woman, Bliss Dance.


Now that’s a real woman of steel. Bliss Dance stands 40 feet tall. She clearly doesn’t need a pair of stilettos. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.

Weighing an astounding 7,500 pounds, Bliss Dance is made of stainless steel mesh with a steel interior structure. She is the focal point of The Park. Whether you’re here for happy hour or passing through to catch a show at the arena, we guarantee you’re going to snap a few photos. Get to know the new gal in town — she’s more than just a pretty piece.

Artist Marco Cochrane got the inspiration for this piece at his first Burning Man festival experience in 2007. “I was blown away what people were doing,” he said. “It got me thinking scale-wise, I could go much larger.”

Bliss Dance took one year to complete and another six months for a full refurbishment. Cochrane had a team of welders help construct metal sections out of hand-cut steel rod. The lighting team installed a whopping total of — wait for it —  3,000 LED lights.We’re way excited to see this glow at night.  “It accentuates that internal structure,” said Cochrane. “It’s really beautiful when it’s lit from the inside.”

Bliss Dance debuted in 2010 at Burning Man, then stood on The Great Lawn at San Francisco’s Treasure Island from 2011 – 2015. Now she’s a Vegas girl… but not in the way you’d expect.

“There’s a lot of assumption that women are objects here, much more than most places,” he explained. “It’s strong all over the world, but right here it’s blatant.

“[But] it may be in the most effective place it can be,” he continued. “If our culture can recognize that even if she’s standing naked in front of you, you can still see her as a person. It’s really the only way to do it. It’s easier if you’re not sexualizing it — just see her as a person.”

Cochrane said the world is missing an appreciation and respect for feminine energy — power that results when women are free and safe. Bliss Dance expresses all of that. According to the artist, she’s a woman whose joy, energy, power, purpose and humanity transcend her physicality. This is a symbol of what a woman looks like when she’s completely free from harm.


“This is it,” he said. “It’s putting out the energy you want to have in the world.”

Bliss Dance is part of a three-part series called The Bliss Project. Cochrane’s goal is to convey an emotional level of the humanity of women; to inspire viewers to take a role in ending violence and letting women be heard. “I spent my life trying to solve the effect sexual assault has on the world. I think the world is really looking at it now.”

Are you curious about the particular pose? So were we. Cochrane said this is the exact pose his model wanted and he went with it. “In the beginning she was just moving through this dance,” he said. “The way I work is collaborative with the model — they choose their own poses. This is what she wanted to do.”(See? Even in the art piece’s earliest stage represented a woman’s freedom!)

“[Bliss Dance] is a great addition,” added Joyen Vakil, MGM Resort International’s senior vice president of design and development. “She anchors the arena, The Park, New York – New York and Monte Carlo. She is the heart of the site.”

Shine, Bliss Dance. Shine. Read more about upcoming changes at Monte Carlo, including The Park and the T-Mobile Arena. The Park opens April 4.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.