I met Jo Weldon more than ten years ago; I think Priscilla Alexander introduced us. The last time I saw Jo was at the Miss Exotic World contest in Las Vegas last year and all I got to do was give her a hug because she was hurrying to a judges’ meeting while I was waiting on line. Other highlights of our relationship include eating tuna-melt sandwiches while discussing threesomes and watching Betty Dodson’s Viva La Vulva!.
If you live in New York, you’ve got the opportunity to attend Jo’s School of Burlesque and learn, among other things:
- the sexy shimmy
- the tantalizing glove peel
- the devastating bump n grind
- the dazzling tassel-twirl
Burlesque has never stopped being popular, but for some reason commentators are always saying it’s ‘new’ or ‘under revival’. I often think that the ‘newness’ story is about our being able to know more about everything now that we’ve got the internet, youtube, facebook and so on. Anyway, here’s a CBS report from last year about Jo’s school:
Another ever-contentious element of talks about burlesque involve whether doing it is sex work or not; whether burlesque dancers and strippers are sex workers; whether there is a hierarchy in which some kinds of dance are lower and more sexual (lap dancing is named) while others are more artistic. Jo always says she loves them all.
By the way, when I left the Exotic World contest I was hoarse from cheering so much.