Burlesque Dancers: Don't Call Us Strippers!

Burlesque Dancers Question No. 1: What's the difference between strippers, burlesque performers and exotic dancers? Question No. 2: Does it really matter?

Yes, it does, according to burlesque professionals in Alberta, Canada, where the Gaming and Liquor Commission lumps them with strippers and exotic dancers, labeling all their acts "nude entertainment."

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As such, they all are prohibited from performing less than one-meter apart, and no contact with each other or the audience. Those are often key elements of burlesque performances, as anyone who has seen Cabaret or the Cher/Christina Aquilera movie knows.

But the audience interaction in burlesque is much more chaste than what strippers and exotic dancers normally do, according to performers. Burlesque performers don't do lap dances, they don't do body shots and they don't invite patrons to put tips in provocative places. They also don't get naked. Fans call it pure performance art. So why is this distinction so important?

Local authorities have been cracking down on burlesque performances lately, according to Fast Forward Weekly. Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission inspectors and police officers have been showing up at burlesque establishments and noting violations. The performance sites could have their liquor licenses revoked if they don't completely comply with the laws regulating "nude entertainment." They've had to change their acts to accommodate the law.

Burlesque supporters in the area are campaigning to change the law so they're not included in the "nude entertainment" category. Law enforcement workers who have to attend the shows and watch for violations are likely ambivalent about that change.


Next: A Day in the Life of a Burlesque Dancer


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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brittanylove1993

Oh My God.... seriously... to all you people who are calling Burlesque Dancers "strippers" you need to get your act together.... Burlesque Dancers don't take their clothes off... they dress in garters, corsets, stockings, gloves, skirts, hats with feathers and veils, etc. Have you even SEEN the movie Burlesque with Cher and Christina Aguilara???? watch it... even look up the MEANING of Burlesque if you are gonna hate. it explains that they were Comedic Performances back in the 16th century... then in the 20th century, they adapted it to females only who sing and dance... they don't go down into the audience, they don't offer lap-dances or body shots, they don't take offered tips, and they DON'T GET NAKED!!! Get your minds out of the f**king gutter and do research before you hate... ********.

November 05 2011 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brittanylove1993's comment
takeitofftrixie

Oh, honey, let's not talk about doing our research without doing it ourselves. The movie "Burlesque" isn't a representation of what burlesque is at all. The closest thing to a burlesuq number in the film is "I'm A Good Girl" (the only strip number). That movie is more about a cabaret (watch "Cabaret" -1970s-Liza Minelli- great musical). Burlesque dancers do take their clothes off. Often stripping into pasties and underwear. It's a more glamourized/ artsy version stripping. If you asked Gypsy Rose Lee what she was (do your research) she'd say she was a stripper. No, they don't do lap dances or bodyshots, but the striptease is a crucial part of their job description, as well as being humorous.

Some great docs to watch...

http://www.amazon.com/Wink-Smile-Miss-Indigo-Blue/dp/B002KT5TDW/ref=pd_sim_mov_9
http://www.amazon.com/Behind-Burly-Story-Burlesque-America/dp/B004I45MUC/ref=pd_sim_mov_1

June 21 2013 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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November 04 2011 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margie

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig . Strippers , hookers, escrort workers, porn stars are all the same...they are pathetic ****** that have no other talents. Most are lesbians, also, faking orgasms with their stupid customers!

June 13 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Margie's comment
MeruuMeruu

Watch out ladies we have a hater over here. Do you know anything about Burlesque? They don't get anywhere close enough to their customers to fake orgasms. They're also not strippers, however I do respect strippers. For one thing, they have the self confidence to get up on stage and dance around and be judged, do you? What in the seven hells makes you think they do it because they have no other talent? Most of them do it because they need to make money, probably to put themselves through college. Even if it is because they have no other talent, if they enjoy their work(making people happy), then whats the problem? How does it affect you? Oh yea, it doesn't.
For that matter, whats so wrong with strippers/hookers/escorts? It's better then some horny guy going out and raping a poor girl just to get a release. Why is everyone so offended by sex? It's natural!

January 01 2012 at 5:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emilio Paletta

DOWN IN FRONT ( Burlesque )



Emilio Paletta Author copy right 2006

HELLO BOYS!


Allow me to pay tribute to those baggy-pants comics of the 40's; you know the ones who told the corny jokes during the hey-day of Burlesque. Unless you were privileged to live back then,you probably haven't the faintness idea what I'm alluding to. Allow me to enlighten you! The audiences were comprised mostly of men, young and old alike. Till this day I'll bet if you were to ask a survivor of that era why it was he went to see the show, his pat answer would be, "I went for the jokes." But those of us who were around back then know differently; don't we?

The truth is we really went to watch the curvaceous broads strip down to within an inch of their birthday suit. It was in-fact so titillating theater security men walked up and down the aisles carrying nightsticks looking for stiffs in the crowd; if you get the drift. Aside from telling jokes comics followed a basic format. They were involved in slapstick spoofs revolving around satirical skits. The participants included the top banana, a straight-man and of course a scantily-clad femme fatale. Always a favorite of the enthusiastic audience was the Doctor-Nurse-Patient shtick. One of the most popular "Top-banana's" of that era was the hilarious Cheese-An-Crackers Hagen. Whereas the most famous stripper of the time had to be the enchantress Gypsy Rose Lee. In the vernacular of burlesque terminology she was considered a headliner! Strippers for the most part had a special gimmick and were ranked according to status; third being the lowest tier, second and of course the main attraction. Each became known by her signature routine, which were all notably different. Some worked fast, others slow, while some shook their buns faster than a bowl of Jello, after it jelled!

The red velvet curtain was a useful prop for many. On the other hand headliners such as Ann Corio, Lily St Cyr, and Sally Rand had their own special style of enticing the audience. For example Lilly St Cyr captivated the boys in the crowd by grinding and gyrating her voluptuous torso to the drumbeat emanating from the orchestra pit of "Boom, bada boom, bada boom, bada boom!" "Take it off , take it all off;" yelled the boys in the crowd. Of course that was wishful thinking on their part.

Tempest Storm was a stripper extraordinare'. Jennie Lee known as "The Bazoom Girl," defied the laws of gravity. Her amazing muscle control allowed her to whirl the tassels on her pasties simultaneously, each in opposite directions.

In every large city throughout America Burlesque houses could be found. In Newark N. J., my old stamping grounds; it was the Empire and Minsky's.

During the intermission a barker appeared on stage sporting a derby, highly polished patent leather shoes and black trousers. Colorful garters held up the sleeves of his white starched shirt which was covered over by a black vest. Speaking with a gravely voice he made his pitch, which went something like this......

" Now listen up gents! For the mere price of fifty cents, one half of one dollar, you can be the lucky recipient of a truly wondrous gift. Folks the contents to be found in each and every package are guaranteed to amuse and titillate each and every one of you. If not completely satisfied your money will be graciously refunded. As the beautiful young ladies pass among you dig deep into your pockets. Take advantage of this once in a lifetime offer. Don't be satisfied with just one; take two, three, or more. You won't be sorry! Each bag contains a different prize. I repeat no two are alike. You'll be rewarded with many hours of pleasure."

Then as the scantily-clad strippers filtered through the crowd,they were accompanied by security. The men holding greenbacks were rewarded with a bag containing a small paper book; known back then as " Dirty Books." On each page there could be found old cartoon characters the likes of Jigs & Maggie, Blondie & Dagwood, and Moon Mullins; who were shown locked in a compromising position with some one of the opposite sex.The quicker the recipient flipped the pages the faster the participants performed. On occasion as the young ladies passed through the narrow aisles security had to whack a long-handed client for trying to cop a cheep feel. My how I yern those bye-gone days, long before the age of computers.

Perhaps your father or grandfather like me, was also sitting in the audience? Ha! Ha!

June 13 2011 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BNXBMBERS2011

IVE BEEN A DJ AT THESE PLACES A FEW TIMES, ALOT OF THESE GIRLS COME FROM DISFUNCTIONAL/ BROKEN HOMES, ALOT ARE EDUCATED WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE ETC , SOME ARE NOT, SOME OF THEM ARE NOT VERY BRIGHT, I WOULD RATHER SEE THEM DANCING ON A STAGE & GIVING LAP DANCES THAN HANGING OUT ON STREET CORNERS & MAKING MONEY THAT OTHER WAY. I FEEL FOR ALOT OF THESE GIRLS ITS NOT REALLY FAIR TO CALL THEM HOES, BY THE WAY ANY MAN THAT IS SERIOUSLY INVOLVED WITH SOMEONE, OR IS MARRIED, SHOULDNT BE STEPPING FOOT IN THESE PLACES, IF THEY DO, THEY ARE THE HOES.

June 13 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
manchusson2

A ho is a ho is a ho.

June 13 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
onewingedbirdz

A Ho is a ho is a ho.

June 13 2011 at 2:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
massivemogulman

a ho is a ho is a ho.

June 13 2011 at 2:10 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
massivemogulman

ok I wont call you strippers i calll you what you Really deserve...I will call you lowest common denominator ******....with nothign better to offer the world than their desperate attempts to get attention by getting naked. Waste of oxygen would be another appropriate title for you ho's.

June 13 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to massivemogulman's comment
Koz

Glad our stripper don't have to stay a yard apart.

June 13 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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