It has been a while since I danced my socks off especially to the nostalgic beat of hit songs such as Madonna’s Express Yourself. The latter, I did indeed and so proudly at an event hosted by Jo Manoukian, owner of Jo’s Dance, and Darcey Burcell from Strictly Come Dancing in support of Women for Women UK #SheInspiresMe Dance campaign. What a better way to entertain guests, than at the historical Cafe De Paris on Wednesday 25th January – a spacious venue that accommodated the activities throughout the evening rather perfectly. To kickstart the event, cocktails and canapés were served during a light-hearted reception. I, finally, got to meet the Women for Women UK team including Jenny Rose, Emma Thomson, and Brita Fernandez Schmidt. Such women are an inspiration and a reminder of the immense support network surrounding women survivors of war who are deprived of their own free will.
Before the much-anticipated dance session and surprise dance-off, Brita shared her experience of Congo with guests, in the form of a welcome speech, which was so vivid and rich in expression that I felt like I was in Congo face to face with a helpless woman in need of support. This part of the evening was indeed the ‘calm before the storm’ until an instructor from Jo’s Dance had everyone dancing to a number of dance routines which consisted of butt-shaking, twerking, waving our hands and legs energetically in the air, and doing the electric slide so it seemed. The atmosphere was full of energy from which everyone was highly charged. This would have to be one of the most enjoyable fundraising events I have been to, and more exciting than a gala dinner which Jo did not want to do (as per our telephone interview before the event) in support of the #SheInspiresMe campaign. There was a raffle on the night also and an opportunity to sign up to Women for Women International’s 12-month program. Lastly, I felt elevated after attending #SheInspiresMe Dance. I lost my stepfather just before Christmas so the desire to engage in dance has not been on my mind. Nonetheless, this event really did inspire me to dance having uplifted my party spirit in addition to making me feel happier in myself through such a difficult time.
Read : THE EMERALDS & IVY BALL
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