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.

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

“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.”

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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.