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Burlesque Classes Free of Charge to Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors

Burlesque Performances For and By Breast Cancer Survivors

On October 27, 2012, NYSB will be bringing a multimedia presentation to the legendary 92nd Street Y!

The New York School of Burlesque/The Bishop of Burlesque Present
Pink Light Burlesque
Burlesque By and For Breast Cancer Survivors.
October 27, 8 pm
More information below
Burlesque comes to the Upper East Side!
Prevention. Awareness. Showgirls. On Saturday, October 27 at 8:00pm, The Pink Light Burlesque Program comes to the Upper East Side with a unique tassel-twirling presentation celebrating the lives of woman who have experienced breast cancer. The program, founded by the New York School of Burlesque, provides classes free of charge to patients and survivors, was launched in 2011 in memory of Jennie Lee, the founder of The Burlesque Hall of Fame, who passed away from breast cancer in 1990. This glamourous and touching evening will feature live demonstrations, video, storytelling, and performances.
"Burlesque celebrates the human drive to amuse, provoke, charm, and seduce," says Jo Weldon, headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque and author of The Burlesque Handbook. "The Pink Light Burlesque project invites survivors to take classes to experience the joyous and body-loving fun so many burlesque students embrace."
"[The Pink Light Program gave me a] sense that at 57, after mastectomy and reconstruction, my body is not asexual," said Mary, a student in the program in spring 2012. It helped remind her, she said, "that I can rejoin and rejoice through the movement of every day life."
Pink Light kicks off a series of semi-monthly nights of performance and group instruction in the art of burlesque at the 92nd Street Y, presented by the 92nd Street Y, The New York School of Burlesque, and The Bishop of Burlesque.
Video of Pink Light Burlesque can be seen on!.aspx (For Tickets and More Information)

The entire proceeds of the show will go to 92Y and organizations chosen by participants as well as the operation of Pink Light Burlesque.

If you would like to participate, sponsor, donate, or volunteer to help, please email

Pink Light Burlesque celebrates the lives of women who have experienced breast cancer, providing classes free of charge to patients and survivors.

Pink Light Performers:
Jennifer Burke
Jenny Lidice Saldana
Sofia Quitero

Producer : David Bishop
Known internationally as The Bishop of Burlesque, David was named No. 35 in 21st Century Burlesque Magazine's Burlesque Top 50 of 2011. He has been stage managing professionally since 1997 and stage managing burlesque since 1999. He is the resident stage manager for Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, New York Burlesque Festival, Best of the Midwest Burlesk Festival, Southern Fried Burlesque Festival, New Orleans Burlesque Festival, and Great Southern Exposure Festival. He has also stage managed the Toronto Burlesque Festival, Show Me! Burlesque Festival, Colorado Burlesque Festival, BurlyCon, and many many other shows and events across North America.

Producer : Jo Weldon
Jo is the Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque and author of The Burlesque Handbook (HarperCollins/ItBooks), the first book ever published on how to perform burlesque. She is a recipient of the coveted Burlesque Hall of Fame award for Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Burlesque. She has been interviewed for or mentioned in countless major press articles, films, documentaries, news items, and television shows. Internationally renowned as burlesque personality Jo Boobs, she's rounded her heels on stages from Coney Island to Sydney Harbour. Garo Sparo named her one of the Top Ten Badass Burlesque Babes, and she was recently voted one of the Top 3 Burlesque Performers in the World. She's taught thousands of women (and men!) to twirl tassels, and has conducted performance workshops producing some of the most respected new performers in burlesque. She recently taught burlesque to disabled performers at DaDaFest in Liverpool. She's the winner of such exotic titles as Best Bump N Grinder, Best Teacher and Mentor, and Biggest Cougar in Burlesque! She has worked with performers from Leonard Cohen to Spinal Tap, and has been featured on television shows from CBS Sunday Morning to Gossip Girl. She's taken it off in the grimiest strip clubs and at the most esteemed venues, including being the first burlesquer to ever strip down at The New York Public Library, and has performed and headlined at dozens of festivals all over the world, including The Vancouver Burlesque Festival, the Toronto Burlesque Festival, and the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. She is Co-Director of Education at The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Co-Curator of Burlycon, and conducts the Master Class in Burlesque at Coney Island USA.

Venue : 92 Y (Uptown)
92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life.Through the breadth and depth of 92Y's extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Ys New York City venues annually, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives.

Fancy Feathers has supplied the pink tribute fans for Jo Weldon's Pink Light number, inspired by the love and friendship she has shared with women who've experienced breast cancer, will debut at the show. Jo is designing this number to be performed at breast cancer fundraisers and benefits, and whenever she performs it professionally a portion of her fee will go to a breast cancer not-for-profit of her host's choice.

Pink Light History

December 4th 2011 was our first-ever showcase, featuring students and instructors of this program.

Above: Gala Darling's coverage of this event.

Pink Light Burlesque is currently looking for a non-profit arts organization under which to umbrella. We are NOT looking for a breast cancer organization, as our worldwide program will necessitate cooperating with more than one. Please contact us if you can help.

We will be running classes again in early 2012. If you are interested in helping, taking classes, or performing, please let us know at

We want to give these students the benefit of working with our resources. As one of the longest-running burlesque schools in the world, we have benefited hugely from the international burlesque community, and we want to share that network with people who are experiencing the challenges of cancer treatment and recovery.

We would like to thank Duane Park, home of some of the fiercest classic burlesque, live jazz music, and fabulous food and drink, for sponsoring our studio rentals for November and December.
Check them out!

We would like to thank Night Owls, The Champagne Riot, and the family and friends of Diane Naegel for supporting us with a cash donation. You're making this show much more sparkly!

These classes are held in honor of Jennie Lee.
Above, a performance by Jennie Lee, Founder of The Burlesque Hall of Fame, who passed away of breast cancer in 1990.

Neo-burlesque is widely acknowledged as an art form dedicated to embracing a diverse range of beauty. The School of Burlesque has a decade of experience working with women who feel discomfort in their bodies, helping students to see the bodies they formerly resented, disliked, or desperately wanted to control as instruments of pleasure and agency. We are well accustomed to dealing with difficulties around bodily appearance. Students consistently report that taking classes at the school vastly improves their overall outlook and quality of life. We have seen hundreds of women gain confidence, well-being, and hope through movement and performance programs, many finding these benefits in classes alone, without ever going on to perform onstage. We believe that these classes will offer similar benefits to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and feel betrayed by or disassociated from their bodies because of treatment or perception of their condition. We also believe that women who remain relatively comfortable and confident in their bodies during and after breast cancer treatment can be a positive influence on those who have a more difficult time, so we would like to build a community around this fun-loving sexy activity in which different attitudes can influence each other. We know from experience that when one woman accomplishes an entertaining move in a burlesque class, all the other students cheer and applaud. That kind of clear positive reaction and palpable support will build a sense of self-esteem in those missing it, and enhance it in those who already have it.

We are not yet a nonprofit, but we gratefully accept donations for specific documentable purposes. For instance, Duane Park has donated funds to pay for our studio rental.

Jo Boobs Weldon
Sizzle Dizzle
Bird of Paradise
Lefty Lucy
Gal Friday

Duane Park, NYC

Want to be a sponsor? Email for details.

Jo Weldon teaching at Teaseorama.

NYSB on CBS Sunday Morning

Jo Weldon performing at The New York Public Library for Gypsy Rose Lee's 100 Birthday celebration.