Meet the gorgeous Sophia St. Villier.  

I am thrilled to share this interview with you...

Sophia is an incredible burlesque artist and runs 'Every Woman is a Goddess' Burlesque Workshops, to help women with self-acceptance and body confidence.  Sophia is such a goddess - a truly beautiful human being, inside and out.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Ha, ha - a fairy, mermaid, Jessica Rabbit, Dame Edna Everage, Miss Piggy hybrid. An artist.

Above photos Brian Harris

How did you get into your area of expertise? 

I heard about burlesque when I was at university in New Zealand. I thought it sounded like a wonderful, interesting and intriguing art form and I began to research the history of burlesque and was fascinated by the wild, beautiful women who performed burlesque in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I began burlesque firstly as a hobby when I moved to London. I’ve been performing burlesque for 7 years and I specialise in classic vintage style burlesque and I have a passion for teaching and helping women unveil their sexy inner goddess. I’m very big on each of us becoming aware of what ‘sexy’ is for us individually.

Photo Mark Sherratt

Photo Joanna Kor, Life Is Yours Photography

Photo Mark Sherratt

What obstacles have you faced in following your dreams and how have you overcome them? 

The obstacles I have faced are more of the “mind forged manacles” variety than anything concrete.

I recently started working with a life coach which has been bloody amazing to break down ideas and create small actionable steps to get shit done and focus your energies. 

I would highly recommend to people making a start on bringing their dreams into being is to get really clear on their strengths and get help on their weaknesses. Don’t waste your energy mastering things you aren’t naturally good at. Work, outsource and/or skill swap with people who have a different skill set to you and focus on fortifying your strengths rather than being a jill or jack of all trades. 

What’s the best part of what you do? 

With performing burlesque there is so much that happens to create an act; selection of music, bespoke costumes made, rehearsals with props, that it is such a pleasure to be on stage performing, being in the moment and enjoying the connection you have with the audience.

Photos Brian Harris

With teaching, it is seeing women blossom during workshops - shoulders open, the chin is held proudly and a smile from the soul radiates a presence of innate self-assurance. There is nothing sexier than someone who is having fun.

Photos Beth Crockatt Photogrpahy

What advice do you have for other women who might want to follow suit?

Do what you do for the love of it. Keep new ideas and ventures close to your chest until you feel you will not be swayed by others opinion. Making the transition from employee to self employed is scary, so don’t wait for the point for it to not feel scary. 

I listened to this video by Doreen Virtue pretty much everyday the year I left my 9-5 job which was a tremendous help.   The quote Doreen recites in this video is now a personal mantra: “I've never began any important venture for which I felt adequately prepared” by Sheldon Kopp.

What’s your morning routine? 

When I wake up and I’m lying in bed, I’ll say a small prayer and thank my guides for reminding me of their presence during the day (thanks Kyle Gray for that hot tip) then make a cup of hot water with lemon. Sometimes I’ll read in bed for a bit (I’m currently reading Girl Trouble by Carole Dyhouse and Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell or I’ll read the daily A Course in Miracles lesson) or I’ll throw some clothes on, put my lemon water in a keep cup and walk to the local park to be near some trees and hear bird song. 

3 things that are on your ‘to do’ list today?

1. Write.

2. Get outside to see and smell the roses in the local park.

3. Make out with my husband. Making out is the best.

What are you working on at the moment?  Next project?

I’m writing a book about self acceptance and love (we teach what we need to learn, right?), sensuality and ancient goddesses - just a few of my favourite things. I’m going really deep on things I have learnt. 

Photo Joanna Kor, Life Is Yours Photography

One woman you admire and why?

My grandmother Penny - for her wicked sense of humour, for her big heart in rescuing animals, for reading tarot cards, for not playing by the rules. I admire women that turn away from the status quo and trail blaze a new path. I love kind hearted bad asses. 

Photo Brian Harris

Three wishes?

  • That everyone has a home. I do not understand how we allow homelessness to exist in this day in age. 
  • That all litter, plastic bottles, plastic bags in the world would magically disappear into thin air and we can stop choking the planet. 
  • To live in an egalitarian world where everyone can thrive. I want to see a good life for all in my lifetime. 

Who do you turn to for advice? 

My gut, my husband, my friends, my tarot cards, my journal. The more people I ask, the more Erica Jong’s voice rings in my head… “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” I’ve had to become a lot better at relying on myself for advice.

Who do you turn to for a shoulder to cry on?

My husband, my girlfriends, a tree (it has to be a special tree, not just any old tree - ha!).

Favourite book?

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Favourite movie?

Wild at Heart by David Lynch. 

Favourite childhood game?

Playing dress-ups and putting on shows for the family and drawing… Somethings never change. 

Photo Brian Harris

Words for Monday motivation?

Monday is a cabaret performer’s Sunday. So Tuesday motivation is ‘Get disciplined and devote yourself to something bigger’.

#FeelGoodFriday song?

I Wanna Be Your Dog - The Stooges.

Favourite quote? 

A quote my Mum always said to me “Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out of it alive” by Elbert Hubbard. I can take life way too seriously and worry about what people will think about what I’m doing. This quotes puts all my freak outs in perspective, reminds me to ease up on the self judgement and to laugh - at life and myself!

Contact

Sophia St. Villier Burlesque Bombshell and Retro Model

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