Strip teas

Strip teas

A Women’s Institute in Cambridge has swapped quilting and cake decorating for burlesque dancing.

Members of the group will be taught how to twirl a feather boa at next week’s meeting, but leader Jo Beal has assured the women that they will not have to take their clothes off.

Described as ‘a new modern WI in the heart of Cambridge’, Cam City WI’s members range in age from those in their twenties to those in their sixties.

The group meets once a month and has covered topics from family trees to lady plumbing.

Group leader Jo Beal today told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that the idea to try burlesque dancing was put forward by a member of the group.

Women's Institute - strip teas - credit SWNSShe said: “Someone asked if we could do this, so that’s what we’re doing. In Cambridge there’s always been a bit of a cabare or variety act scene and quite a few of us have been to events like that in the past, so it didn’t seem quite as left-field as you might have thought.

“We have a two hour meeting on the first Wednesday of each month and we always do something different, so this month it’s burlesque.

“Our members will come to our venue, we’ll have tea and cake and we’ll have a bit of a talk about the culture of burlesque and how it works and then we’ll have a feather boa lesson.

“We deliberately chose something where you don’t have to remove any clothes.”

The workshop will be run by Cambridge burlesque and cabaret artist Coeur de Plume.

Posting on the group’s Facebook page, Jo signed off her message from her burlesque stage name ‘Sherry Banana’.

The name is supposedly created from ‘your pet’s first name and the last thing you ate’.

By Katie Strick