Hoochy Coochy Dancing and Fantasy Love


“Why are you, with your impec­cable cre­dent­ials, study­ing nude danc­ing?” The ques­tion was ask­ed by news­paper repor­ters to an­thro­po­lo­gist, edu­cator, wri­ter and dance cri­tic Ju­dith Lyn­ne Han­na when she did her field work on strip­tease clubs (also cal­led exo­tic dance caba­rets or gent­lemen’s clubs). “I am an an­thro­po­lo­gist,” Han­na blunt­ly ex­plain­ed. “An­thro­po­lo­gists study hu­man be­havior.” Han­na has been an ex­pert court wit­ness in cases re­lated to fre­edom of spe­ech and ex­otic dance in the Uni­ted Sta­tes, and in read on“Ethno­gra­phy Chal­leng­es Fal­se Myth­olo­gy” she ana­lyz­es how lo­cali­ties try to re­gu­late strip­tease clubs out of busi­ness. We are proud to say that Han­na is co-edit­ing the “Hoo­chy Coo­chy Dan­cing and Fan­tasy Love”-sect­ion of Amer­ican Ethno­graphy, in which we have gath­ered a hand­ful of, dare we say, “sin-sational” stuff.


* hoochy coochy is slang for a sexually suggestive dance. • "She let her hair down and she did the hoochie-coochie real slow" (Elvis in Roustabout, 1964). • "[W]e … headed straight for North Clark Street … to see the hootchy-kootchy joints and hear the bop" (On The Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957).

Lap dancer:

Photographer Juliana Beasley worked eight years as a professional nude dancer, using her camera to document the clubs she worked in, her co-workers, and the customers. read onHere are some of her photos.


Dancing for Dollars:

Sociologist Danielle Egan also worked as a striptease dancer and wrote about it. read onHere is an excerpt from her book Dancing for Dollars and Paying for Love.


Lust-creating waltz:

In 1892 Thomas Faulkner writes in his From the Ball-Room to Hell about “the degrading lust-creating influence of the waltz.” It's hilarious reading, so we bring you chapter one, read on“First and Last Step,” from the book.



G-Strings and Sympathy:

Anthropologist Katherine Frank has written a beautiful book, G-Strings and Sympathy, analyzing the “regulars” (patrons who regularly visit a club to see a particular dancer) in the clubs she worked in as a stripper. We have a chapter from the book for you, read on“Searching for Escape.”


The nuisance dance:

Patsy Holden writes about read onthe history of the Waltz and Swing, both once considered “a nuisance and the downfall of American society.”

Satan’s Angel

Flaming Beauty:

In 2008 we interviewed burlesque legend Satan’s Angel, whose signature act is to light her tassels aflame, “then extinguishing the flames by means of strenuous mammary rotation.” (Thank you to England’s Daily Telegraph for that vivid technical description of Miss Angel’s act.)

Here is read onour conversation with the flaming beauty.

We’ve also put together read ona Satan’s Angel gallery.

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