"... I improvised, crazed by the music... Even my teeth and eyes burned with fever. Each time I leaped I seemed to touch the sky and when I regained earth it seemed to be mine alone."
In later shows in Paris she was often accompanied on stage by her pet cheetah Chiquita, who was adorned with a diamond collar. The cheetah frequently escaped into the orchestra pit, where it terrorized the musicians, adding another element of excitement to the show.
While many modern burlesque dancers are influenced by her performance, moxie and fame, there is a bigger picture here. Her dance moves are West African and Latin inspired and the story of her life is one of defiance and in the face of racism.
Below are a few links to the basics and beyond of the life of Josephine Baker:
Here she is dancing set to modern music: Josephine dances to Juana la Cubana
And tearing up as Princess Tam Tam