I went out tonight half with my Snappy O’Shea burlesque hat on (a glitter and sequinned Ringmaster’s Topper) and half with my academic Dr Smut hat on (a Doctoral cap, with gown by Cecil Beaton) to give a talk to the lovely ladies from Lincoln WI about burlesque, body confidence and empowerment… ably assisted by the lovely Storme Chaser in full eat-them-alive burlesque mode.
Knowing that Snappy and Storme were off on a road trip tonight to Lincoln, for the first time to present – not to a room of burly fans or academics – but to give a talk, demo and question and answer session to the Lincoln WI tonight on burlesque as an empowering, feminist form. I’m not going to lie, I was unbelievably nervous….
Of course it went brilliantly – as the Lincoln W.I. were amazing ladies. There are Lots of parallels between the burly and the WI communities. I did a half hour talk about the history of burlesque as a craft, the development and state of modern scene, and how I came to run shows and perform myself and Storme talked about body confidence after children and her experience of burly for 5 -10 minutes. Then we finished the presentation by teaching any ladies who were interested were taught how to strut and do a glove tease (so if they learned nothing else – they got a new skill!). The other ladies were taught the vital art of being an appreciate burly audience – we got the whole group to do an ‘awooga!’ We even have it on film! It was brilliant!