Dirty Dancing : An Ethnography of Lap Dancing book cover
1st Edition

Dirty Dancing
An Ethnography of Lap Dancing

ISBN 9780415627641
Published March 16, 2012 by Willan
206 Pages

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Book Description

Based on ethnographic research conducted in 'Starlets', a lap-dancing club in the North of England, this book delves into what is often seen as the 'deviant', and 'stigmatized' world of lap-dancing. As well as the relationships between dancers, the author offers a unique insider's account of lap-dancing club culture, having worked as a lap-dancer both prior to, and during, the study. The book tells a fascinating tale of the author's experiences working as a lap dancer and the insights this has provided. This book projects a textured picture of working, socializing and living as a lap-dancer by following the dancer from the beginning of her career, to her eventual exit; providing a fluid and comprehensive examination of the occupation of lap-dancing. As well as building on the popular themes of 'dancer motivation', 'dancer exploitation/empowerment' and risk already embedded in existing literature, this book also offers completely new insight into this industry by drawing attention to the occupational subculture of which lap-dancers at 'Starlets' were found to be a part. This book is recommended for anyone studying or researching in this field.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introducing the Ethnography: Working and Researching in a 'deviant' Occupation  1. My Story  2. Research Motivation, Significance and Approach  3. The Dancing-ethnographer  4. Conceptualizing Lap-dancing   Part II: Lap-dancing and the Night-time Economy  5. Commercializing Lap-dancing  6. Legislating on and Regulating Lap-dancing  Part III: Rules, Contracts and Players  7. Rules, Rotas and Contracts  8. Dancers' Earnings  9. The Lap-dance  10. The Sit-down  11. The Stage Show  12. Starlets' Main Players  Part IV: Introducing Starlets: a Lap-dancing Club Setting  13. The Heart of the Action: Starlets  14. The Changing Room  15. The Managers' Office  16. The Main Floor  17. The Main Stage  18. Dance Reception  19. Conclusion  Part V: Karen's Story, Part 1  20. Starting Out  21. Becoming a Dancer  22. Entry Routes  23. The Complexity of Dancer Motivation  24. Getting in: the Audition   Part VI: Karen's Story, Part 2  25. Working at Starlets  26. Learning to Lap-dance: an Apprenticeship  27. The Apprenticeship  28. New and Under Scrutiny  29. Forming Relationships with other Dancers  30. Making Adjustments  31. The Tacit Rules  32. Developing Dancing Skills  Part VII: Experiencing Lap-dancing  33. The Cynical Performance  34. Social and Emotional Rituals  35. The Experience of Stigma  36. Feeling the Strain of Lap-dancing  Part VIII: Being Established  37. Old-school Privileges  38. Maintenance of the Tacit Rules  39. Re-establishing Status  40. The meaning of Status  Part IX: Karen's Story, Part 3  41. Leaving Starlets  42. Saying Goodbye  43. Exit Routes  44. Dismissal  45. Returning to Starlets  Part X: Lap-dancing - Complex and Contradictory  46. Power and Resistance  47. Worker Exploitation  48. Dancer Morality  49. The Future? What future?  50. Epilogue: the Last Dance ... 

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'This is an important study of the occupational culture of lap-dancing. We learn how dancers do their job, manage their identity and membership of a community, their motivations for 'stripping' overtime, and how women manage the 'players' of the lap-dancing world. Dirty Dancing provides a truly authentic, detailed and original account by a 'dance-ethnographer' of how the lap-dancing industry sits within the British night time economy.' – Dr Teela Sanders, University of Leeds

'This book, which presents one of the first accounts of lap-dancing within the United Kingdom, proved to be very interesting.  Because the vast majority of studies related to stripping and strippers are confined to the United States, this work offers invaluable insights for both scholars of deviance and comparative criminal justice alike.  Colosi’s examination of the lap-dancing subculture proves to be unique and offers an in-depth, insider’s perspective of adult entertainment.  In spite of the fact that Colosi was employed as a dancer during the course of her study, she presents her findings in an objective and unbiased manner.  Her work is also comprehensive in that it examines lap-dancing from the perspectives of managers, customers, and of course, the dancers themselves.  It is likely that this book will find a strong audience within the disciplines of sociology, human sexuality, and criminal justice and may very well be regarded as a classic in the years to come.  For these reasons, I strongly recommend Dirty Dancing.' – Robert M. Worley, Texas A&M University Central Texas