Hello world! It’s Stripper Talk time again! This is a place where I field questions and answer them to the best of my ability, hopefully giving anyone who’s interested in burlesque some insight.
This week’s question comes from Bella Sin of Ohio, USA
I have been having this question in my mind for some time and i hope you can please shed some light upon it.
Recently i have attended some family friendly functions where there was a burlesque performer, The first thing i hear is “This is a family friendly none strip performance” I paused and asked “How can it be burlesque if there is no tease element?” They stated there was children in attendance and she was not stripping.
I waited for the performance as she entered the stage fully dressed she did remove articles of clothing down to a corset and underwear and bustle and she also did do some suggestive moves, it was interesting for me to see the audience reaction some looked away and took their children some where else and others where odd lookers that keep watching.
But it really got me thinking is burlesque a child friendly show even if there is no removal of clothing? Is it still burlesque or does it move to interpreted dance?
I have performed in Pride (LGBT celebration) and i do a full show but i have always been uncomfortable with the fact that there is children in the audience so i stop doing them.
I my self offer a performance that is friendly to family in my mind*
I simply fan dance in full costume *I.E In A full dress long gown and i title it “Fan Dancer” there is no clothing removal and its always a classic song, its that still acceptable?
I do not know if im becoming a prude or something like that but i just dont feel like what i do is acceptable for children under 18 to see and it furthers my mind to the idea that we are all going to love the body acceptance of it but when some ones little kid is 5 ot 8 they dont comprehend what that really is.
Please help clear my mind
Thanks for your question- I’ve also been approached to do “family friendly” or even funnier, gigs where it’s all adults, they want a burlesque dancer (classic striptease) but no raunch, no “strip”. I’ve found this confusing, because unless you’re doing the comedy/vaudeville/sideshow aspect of burlesque, you’re doing strip and not stripping certainly takes the cherry, the frosting and the eggs out of the cake, doesn’t it?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as family friendly burlesque when it comes to the striptease dancer. We’re dealing in a language that talks about sexuality, and even it we weren’t to take something off, our costumes, movement and makeup are hypersexualized enough to cause questions in a child’s mind, regardless of whether they can articulate them. Just like many mothers wouldn’t want to see a Barbie come to life in front of their young children, I’m sure parents aren’t too keen on someone in fishnets parading to classic strip songs. It’s a language that regardless of cognitive understanding- I think it translates. There is no other purpose for the shimmy except to titilate. The bump? invokes the thoughts of bumping with another in the night. The grind? FORGETABOUTIT.
A fan dance with clothes is an interesting concept in that I absolutely don’t think this would be seen as striptease in description, especially since you’re not removing clothes. However, are the movements suggestive? The fluttering, the close and reveal- the fan dance is all about the “hide and reveal”- it’s a big flirtatious dance typically, and the movements suggest that we should be admiring the body they frame.
Personally, I don’t do “family friendly” events. I’m not a family friendly performer, and that’s alright with me. If they ask me to be, I suggest to them clowns, jugglers and aerialists that I think would be the trick and also let them know that in my estimation there is no such thing as “family friendly” when it comes to us strippers.
Always ask about events that aren’t already set out to be 18+, if there’s a possibility that children might be able to attend, make sure that the advertising notes you as a STRIPTEASE act, and that the MC gives a friendly warning. After that- dance your heart out. You’ve done what you can, and they should remove their children if their uncomfortable. You don’t need to be held accountable for any different parenting that’s going on.
Use your best judgment!
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