NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Her official title is “alien of extraordinary ability.”

Brooklyn-based Canadian burlesque performer Bettina May has one very unique distinction: she’s the first in her field to earn a ‘genius’ green card for her remarkable talent for pin-up and burlesque.

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She had to jump through hoops to get her green card – and she did it because she proved she had a rare talent for burlesque. She may be the first person the government has ever considered a “genius” in her field.

She admits it wasn’t easy to convince all folks that burlesque was, in fact, an admirable art form.

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“It was a bit of a hurdle just because it wasn’t on the list of boxes to check,” she said. “The majority of the audiences that are at my shows, are men and women, a lot of couples, so it’s equal between men and women. It’s very positive and tasteful and elegant.”

She hit The Couch Thursday morning to talk about the experience. For more information on Bettina, burlesque and her pin-up classes, visit her website.

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