The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever – When Altruism Meets Opportunity

A Very Wuthering Heights Day ACT
Jo Pybus with fellow Wutherers

It would be nigh impossible to not know that singer/songwriter Kate Bush is back in the charts, thanks to the 80s-themed Netflix mega-series ‘Stranger Things’. Kate’s 1985 hit ‘Running Up That Hill’ increased its online streaming by close to 10,000% after the episode in which it was featured, aired.

The timing of this came just as I was preparing myself to attend my first rehearsal for The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever, run by Brooke Thomas and inspired by a 2013 UK performance by Shambush called ‘The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience’. You may have seen images in recent years of groups of people dressed as Kate Bush in the video of her hit ‘Wuthering Heights’ and performing the dance.

Two things attracted me to participate this year. Firstly, we were raising money for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT, a place where my gorgeous daughter works with an amazing team of people who work tirelessly to support victims. Secondly, I wanted to dance like it’s 1985. Something I have come to realise in the last year, is not as easy as it sounds.

Rewind to September 2021 when a mix of lock-down gloom and a dare from a friend, saw me perform a dance to Kenny Loggins ‘Footloose’ in a carpark at Weston Park – c’mon, we all went a bit Corona-Crazy! I’d found a YouTube video with easy step-by-step instructions and figured I’d knock it over in an afternoon between my nap and making dinner. It quickly became apparent however, that my creaking bones don’t move like they did when I was blessed with youth and a few Bacardi and Cokes. It took a whole week to remember the bloody thing!

When I saw the opportunity to learn another dance and support a good cause, it was like altruism and opportunism collided. I could support DVC ACT and stave off my own aged-related cognitive decline, at the same time! For three consecutive Sundays I attended the Canberra Dance Theatre who kindly donated the venue so all of us Cathy’s could learn to sexy-train, sweep cobwebs, and booty-pop like we were on the wily, windy moors themselves.

Fast-forward over four decades, and a sea of flowing red skirts flooded into the foyer of the National Portrait Gallery, where they conjured their inner-Cathy and grabbed souls away raising a phenomenal $9,000 for DVCS ACT! A big congratulations to Brooke Thomas who has been giving up her time for years teaching people, like me, this dance. Bravo to all those Cathys that came to learn the dance and perform on the day.

As I now return to being just Jo again, I am aglow with something much bigger than a 40-year-old song being back in the charts, or a mid-life woman managing to follow the choreography to an entire song. I am now a Wutherer.

To donate to DVCS ACT click here.

Jo Pybus

Jo is a columnist who shares observations from her life in the middle-ages through another late-onset pursuit; writing. Having been a late-onset athlete, her love of an endurance event led her to write a novel and become an advocate for menopause awareness. Jo the co-host of Alex The Seal Podcast.