Joanne Ball-Burgess’ aka Jo-1’s Biography

Welcome to my blog. Jo-1 aka Judge Jo-1  uses dance as a pathway to freedom. She is an experienced dance choreographer, songwriter, poet and published, best-selling author. Jo-1, although known as a dancer in Kenya, holds a Master’s in Education where she researched how dance, drama and music could be used to enhance learning among students. She was the first to test creativity among students in Bermuda and was hired as the Education Officer at the Bermuda National Gallery where she trained teachers and students and created and tested curricula on the arts. She has continued to teach through the arts and has found much success in Literacy among students who have participated in her programme.

Jo-1 has continued to dance, choreograph and perform throughout her life in afro-fusion, hip-hop, dancehall and modern dance even after she survived the Westgate Mall Attack after hiding for four hours and finally escaping.

She also founded The Cottage School where performing and visual arts are used to enhance the core subjects for children as a tuition centre.

Best known in Kenya as a dance judge for 4 seasons on Sakata Mashariki, Jo-1 demanded perfection and passion from crews and became a household name. She has taught dance across the US, Cyprus, Egypt and now in Kenya and is known for her hit song Chizika. After giving birth to her third child Jo-1 was back to dancing three weeks postpartum and back to practising yoga six weeks later. She will gain her certification in Vinyasa Yoga next month.

At present Jo-1 teaches choreography classes as well as dance fitness classes where she combines deep yoga stretching with fun, hip-hop and dancehall choreography at Acacia Studio.


Below are links to her books:


The Lizard & The Rock –

Take This Journey Anthology –

Keep tabs on what happens in my life and how I choose to view them.

Here is a portfolio of some of the modelling concepts I have actualized.

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Here is my latest song #DDMD (Don’t Disturb My Dance)

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