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Lessons from a Burlesque Dancer. Monday July 24, 2017

Meetings and more meetings. Not always fun. But often necessary. How delightful, then, to attend an excellent business networking meeting and discover that one of the guest speakers was sharing lessons for business from Burlesque.

There was much laughter that morning at The Boardroom Network in Bournemouth, and rightly so. Three 'volunteers' were roped in to modelling what Abi was teaching us. Her message was around the impact we can have when we enter the room. Shoulders hunched just doesn't give the right message!

In case you're about to switch off, thinking to yourself, "Lex, I don't do networking – or even attend meetings," Abi's message was about how to have more joie de vivre – more joy in every moment... and, perhaps, in every movement!

Over years of coaching, I've become convinced that our physical 'position' affects our mental 'position'. I'm also convinced that the two are inextricably connected. Change the body, change the mind; change the mind, change the body! (Hey, high heels make a difference, don't they?)

I was, therefore, very open to Abi's insights. There were three top tips:

1 Posture. Stand tall – chin up, shoulders relaxed – open posture makes you look confident and approachable (and I'd argue it makes you feel that way too!) I can feel a Val Doonican song coming on... "Walk tall, walk straight, and look the World right in the eye..."

2 Eye Contact. A difficult balance between connection and seduction (well, if you decide to do Burlesque!) Eyes-wide-open gives a message of innocence and honesty! This is one of the reasons I am uncomfortable with people who won't take their sunglasses off.

But the real reason I wanted to write this blog was because of Abi's third and final tip...

3 The Shimmy! This is a moving of the shoulders - not up and down (it's not 'shrugging') but rather forwards and backwards. This was hilarious (as you can check out in the video link) and I'm pretty sure I will never do it, but her point was compelling: never let a day go by without having a shimmy! It'll make you laugh, it'll make anybody who see you doing it laugh, and business as well as life can get a whole lot better with a shimmy.

Now, since I'm becoming to know some of you better over the years, I can guess now who's going to have a go at doing a shimmy right now!!!

And for those who want the whole Shack to Shimmy when everyone's movin' around and around – here's a link to the Love Getaway: Trust me, shimmying to this is great fun!

To see Abi's presentation, follow this YouTube link!


A Moodscope member.

[And please let me know what adventures you get up to!]

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Jane SG Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 6:44am


Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 7:45am

Shimmy on you crazy diamond!

the room above the garage Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 6:46am

I'm not quite in a position to be able to open any links but just confirming I've had an attempt at a shimmy. I feel I really need some fringing on my PJs right now :-) love ratg x

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 7:45am

Fringing on the PJs... makes perfect fashion sense to me! x

Mary Wednesday Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:33am

Fringing on anything is good!

Marmaladegirl Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 6:51am

Best way to shimmy is wearing nothing but a smile, so I've been shimmying and smiling this morning. Thanks Lex! :-) MG x

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 7:44am

A blissful post, love it, MG x

Orangeblossom Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 7:57am

Hi Lex, Thanks for the blog which I loved. Cheered me up immensely. Had a go at shimming. Hope that you have a fun-filled day ahead.

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:03am

I'd love to see that Shimmy!

Ach UK Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 8:37am

Hello Lex, how lovely to start my day with a moodscope blog that made me smile, thank you. Now off to try shimmying in the shower.

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:23am

PERFECT place to Shimmy! Shimmy in the Shower. I think I'll write a song...

Ach UK Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:28am

And you raised my mood enough to put my mood scope score up . . . . Shimmy them cards!

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:21pm

Now THAT's a result! Yeeeeeeeha!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:36am

Well, ABI says shimmy with your shoulders. I'm finding That, darling, EVERYTHING shimmies when I do that! So tempted to put on that B52s track! But, as I'm at the beach, in a house that is basically a goldfish bowl, I think this might be a little more than the dog-walkers out there could take!
Seriously, as a business owner and enthusiastic networked, this was great!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:37am

And... WHY is there no edit facility? That should have been networker.. . Damn autocabbage....

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:39am

Ha ha, Marylicious.... I dare you, I dare you, I dare you... do a MarmaladeGirl

The Gardener Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:39am

After a horrendously stressful week-end - rain stopping gardening and producing oodles of washing which will never dry before I leave for UK on Wednesday your blog made a welcome break. It took me YEARS to achieve eye contact - so ashamed of the 'colour' I took from my father's antics that I kept my head on the ground. Posture I agreed with HO when I first started Moodscope - life with Alzheimers makes you physically slump with the sheer weight of responsibility and misery - head up and face the world helps. And 'shimmying' fine, loved the video - but am now busy perfecting it as an antidote to arthritis and shoulder stress. Could it join alternative medicines? Thanks x

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:30pm

Wow, didn't think about Shimmying for those with shoulder stress... putting my thinking cap on, though I'm already seeing 'Just Jack' from 'Will and Grace' with his 'Jazz Hands'!

Eva Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 10:25am

Shimmy shimmy shimmy, followed by wonder woman pose! Thanks Lex!

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:25pm

Ooo, Eva, have your seen the TED talk on this???

Eva Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:06pm

I have! And I proudly stand tall, whenever I remember too...

David Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:26am

If you are comfortable with your body image the World is your Oyster.Say no more.

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:26pm

...I say, "Shimmy with what you're proud of and the Oysters will dance with you!"

E Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:57am

The best book on meetings I have ever found is the "Ladybird book of THE MEETING". Taken entirely at random. p34

"Brian and Mandy are way from the office on a course.

Yesterday they played basketball without a ball until they understood inclusivity. Today they are optimising alternative mind paths by turning some old dust sheets into a ghost.

The course is entitled "Identifying Monetizing Opportunities" and costs £1,400 per person."

David Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 1:51pm

I will coach you for nothing but the pleasure of doing it!

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:27pm

That is SO funny, E... I love those Ladybird books. Have you seen the one on Mindfulness?

E Tue, Jul 25th 2017 @ 2:07pm

Thats my 2nd favourite ladybird book

David Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 2:00pm

Burlesque to me is to bring on the Dancing Girls with risque moves with Dita Von Teese being the World Class performer. I follow the shimmying all the way to Strictly Come Dancing.

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:28pm

Hi David, I was so surprised to find out more about Burlesque - with Wikipedia article is quite shocking in a nice way. It wasn't at all what I was thinking.

The Gardener Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 2:28pm

John Cleese did a series on meetings (serious idea) screamingly funny. E - often difficult to believe that people will actually lash out money for these courses - AND believe the pretentious titles. Conversely people believe that if you don't pay a lot the wisdom (!!) is not worth having

Lex Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:29pm

I'm seeing a monetisation opportunity here... do you think Caroline will let me market the course??? lol (I'm joking, Caroline)

Molly Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 9:27pm

Standing tall definitely helps, I am lucky enough to have a good posture. In fact some people have commented on it but it's just the way I walk, I think nothing of it. Perhaps I should have been a dancer. Joke there because I am rubbish at the shimmy. I watched the video and really do wonder if these sort of things help within business and improving relations? My opinion is that they are a waste of money but I know I must appear miserable right now so enough said. I wonder if you live near me Lex because a lot of the events this company do, seem local. Molly xx

Eva Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:04pm

Hi Molly, business networking does work really well, it's generally about getting to know other business owners and their business well so that you can refer to them where appropriate and vice versa, you would only refer on if you recommend the person and service... Generally business peeps will belong to a group and build up solid relationships over time. And a lot of the things that they cover at networking meetings are tips to improve all sorts of business skills such as communication as though a lot of business peeps are specialists in their field they might not be the best at talking to clients about their product or service... The tips from networking meetings are generally really useful and handy to get when you are run off your feet running a business, it can be hard to find the time to learn how to be more tax efficient, or create a social media campaign or communicate effectively... The other thing about networking is that a lot of small businesses are one person bands, so it can get a bit lonely if you don't see clients from day to day, it's good to get together with others to get perspective and share resources. Hope this helps explain a bit why peeps take part in that kind of thing. It's a wee bit like Moodscope...

Molly Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 11:40pm

Thanks Eva, I'm sceptical but have decided I have said enough lately and dont trust my opinion so I will have to accept yours. I have been on many of these 'courses' and cannot say I learnt a thing but each to their own if people want a day off to shimmy and get a free lunch and a day off work. Sorry, I meant to be quiet, and forgot xx

Lex Tue, Jul 25th 2017 @ 6:13am

Hi Molly, I would far rather hear your voice and opinion on here. A couple of points, firstly, I'm Dorset-based, near Poole, but also actively network in Southampton because of strong connections. Secondly, I'm with Eva on this one... possibly for different reasons! Fundamentally, I've learned to not trust people! From a childlike and innocent trust of all, a series of bruises suggest that not everyone is what they seem. This is why I go to network meetings (like Eva in this case) to learn who I might trust. The results have been reassuring. I attend many property meetings and have to say that where there is a love of money, the door is open to poor moral stature. By staying with my property meetings, I now have an admittedly small group of professionals who I trust enough to work with... and many have come into my inner circle of close friends. My business networking has produced some of the best suppliers I've ever had the good fortune to connect with. So there you have it - I, a cynic, have nevertheless found people I cherish as we have built rapport over the longer term. Hope that helps and that you keep contributing xx

Eva Tue, Jul 25th 2017 @ 8:41am

Hi Molly, you can believe your own opinion! But you can also choose to hear mine, thank you. This wasn't a course, business networking is different, it's usually weekly or monthly meetings, each attendee gets to talk for a short time highlighting any pertinent features of their business, and there is usually an educational slot like the one given above, it's about building relationships with the group over time, and as such trust in their business offering so that you can confidently recommend them. These meetings are often very early breakfasts so that they don't use up precious working time, and you have to pay a fee, no free lunches I'm afraid. They have worked very well for my business over the years. Its mainly about building relationships and trust.

Molly Tue, Jul 25th 2017 @ 9:17pm

Thank you Lex. I don't really have an understanding of 'business' as such. I worked for a local authority and then for an MP, so I guess I have little knowledge in the business field. Eva, I hear you - networking via business is a whole new thing for me, I still don't understand why we have to shimmy and make complete fools of ourselves but if that gets you clients then great. I hope the breakfast includes a full english fry up xx

Eva Wed, Jul 26th 2017 @ 7:18am

Sadly they are not all as fun as Lee's shimmy meeting! But it's great to have the occasional bit of levity at silly o'clock in the morning!

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