Our own Dona Dei Cuori, the genius behind Burlesque for the Boardroom, will be giving a talk about the link between burlesque and feminine leadership at Ignite Seattle at Town Hall on September 17.

What is Ignite? Ignite talks take place in over 100 cities worldwide. Speakers get 5 minutes to talk about the thing they are most passionate about. They get 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. Dona’s presentation is called “To Be a Great Leader, Perform Burlesque” and you can see her deliver her passion talk for just $5 (and also hear a whole bunch of other amazing people talk about their passions, too!) Check out Ignite to learn more about their programming, and to buy tickets.


Photo by Lou Daprile

Dona shares a little bit about her path to burlesque in a preview of her talk below:

In 2009, I said “yes” to an opportunity that challenged everything I know  about being a woman, about leadership, and about what it is going to take  to create a world that exalts the feminine. I signed up for the Burlesque  101 Class at the Academy of Burlesque, and subsequently experienced a  feminist and leadership shakubuku. My unexpected heroine’s journey brought  me to major local festivals like Bumbershoot and SEAF, to far away cities  like Anchorage and London, and to a place of profound awakening where I  began to understand what women’s leadership looked like on women’s terms.
My burlesque career began with a rocking horse named Cornflakes, and an  homage to Catherine the Great. My quest to make sense of feminine leadership emerged when I tried to come to terms with my blazer-wearing  business persona and my bustier-wearing burlesque persona. By day, I’m an  author, speaker, coach, trainer, and leadership development consultant  helping people cultivate and exemplify the potential in human  relationships. By night, I’m a rhinestone-obsessed, glamorous vixen and co-owner of Sinner Saint Burlesque.

Seattle is one of the top cities in the world for burlesque entertainment.  Sinner Saint Burlesque uses bawdy humor, embodied story-telling and  narrative cabaret to help audiences spark dialogue about taboo topics,  unravel internalized oppression, and celebrate radical self-acceptance. In  a pervasive culture that still disenfranchises and diminishes the feminine,  burlesque shines light on a new archetype of leader. It provides a  prototype of an embodied, aggregate, and powerful woman as seen and constructed through the female gaze. Not only does burlesque dare to aggrandize feminine leadership, it has the audacity to exalt the “whole  woman:” the intellectual, the emotional, the spiritual and the physical.

I have learned more about leadership through burlesque than from any other  book, workshop or degree I’ve ever received. This past year, I piloted a  program called Burlesque for the Boardroom that helps bold, passionate  women build executive leadership skills while celebrating the wild and  glorified feminine.

In my Ignite talk, I want to reveal a provocative pairing – what happens  when the unlikely duo of corporate leadership development and burlesque  share the same stage? I will share the top three lessons burlesque can teach you about leadership and about embracing the feminine.

Want to hear more about Dona’s path to burlesque? Join her on September 17 at Ignite Seattle!

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