Wednesday, 3 November 2010

WI Ladies learn to Bump and Grind with the London Academy of Burlesque

When I booked Jo to appear at our W.I. meeting it was with slight trepidation. We are a fledgling group, still very much finding our personality, and I wondered what our members would make of a Burlesque teacher, albeit a legend within her field. It seemed a million miles away from Jam and Jerusalem.
I needn't have worried - when she walked through the door she was greeted with huge applause and I knew then it was going to be a great night. For many of the women at the meeting, they knew nothing of her, yet she was greeted with such rapture. Why? Because Jo has what many people aspire to and some mistakenly think they have; she has charisma and old fashioned star quality - in bucketloads.

Jo could talk about anything and have her audience transfixed. She is a natural comic and has that rare ability to find humour in some of life's most difficult situations. But the strongest message that comes across when you hear Jo speak is that she loves people, especially womankind, and she loves life. Her passionate belief in women is infectious and for that short time in her gaze you really start to believe that you are the strong, beautiful, sexy and confident creature that she makes you feel. 

I looked around the room in amusement. Women who had barely uttered a word throughout our previous meetings were laughing out loud as they 'bumped' and gyrated with the rest, not a trace of self consciousness evident.
Through Jo, Finchley W.I. had discovered its personality - we all wanted to have fun, to rediscover our self belief lost through years of motherhood and corporate life, and to support each other without passing judgement.
The downside to booking Jo? She's a tough act to follow!

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