5 Famous Strippers You Should Know
23 Sep 2019
Did you know that the stripping business is a multi-billion dollar empire? Every day, adult stars perform around the world to literally hundreds of thousands of people. From strip clubs to private shows, it's a 24-hour business around the globe.
It's a unique world, and one that might seem sleazy to some, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Stripping is an art form, it's just not a standard artist...although it's certainly not your mainstream industry and you would struggle to find any performer within the industry who could be classed as boring or typical!
It might come as a surprise, but did you know that many current celebrities kicked off their careers as strippers? The likes of Channing Tatum, Lady Gaga and Carmen Electra have all taken to the stage before moving into films or performing arts. With such a massive industry, performers have become stars themselves and whilst everyone has their own favourite, we look into five famous names from history who helped to put stripping on the map!
1. Gypsy Rose Lee
Arguably one of, if not the most, famous burlesque dancers of all time, Gypsy Rose Lee (real name Rose Louise Hovick) helped bring the profession to the mainstream. A keen singer and dancer from a young age, when she turned 18 she soon realised she could make a lot of money on the burlesque scene; earning her a legendary status as a witty and elegant artist.
Starting off as a standard show, her act was made infinitely more popular when a shoulder strap on her dress gave way; causing it to fall to her feet. Encouraged by the audiences response (despite her best efforts to cover herself up) she made the mistake a regular trick and focus of her performance. Considered the first to introduce a routine to strip teasing, she would focus on emphasizing the tease aspect.
Working for many years at the famous Minsky’s Burlesque, Gypsy was one of their biggest stars. Moving on to star in various film roles, Gypsy changed the game for thousands of acts to follow.
2. Sally Rand
Sally Rand, or Billie Beck as she performed under, was a burlesque star in the 1920’s and 30’s. Most famous for her masterful skills of misdirect, she’s iconic for her ostrich feather fan dance and for inventing the balloon bubble dance.
Whilst she worked at various clubs and burlesque houses, her most famous performance came at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, where backed by an orchestra she played peek-a-boo with her body, manipulating and teasing her fans. Incredibly, she was arrested four times in a single day at the fair due to the perceived ‘indecent exposure’ of her fan dance performance and again for riding a white horse down the streets of Chicago in an illusion of nudity.
Alongside her regular performances, Sally also appeared in various Hollywood films, including the 1934 hit Bolero, where she performed her famous fan dance. The clip has gone down in history and is available online at Youtube to view now.
3. Dita Von Teese
Heather Sweet, AKA Dita Von Teese, is probably the most famous modern day burlesque and adult performer in the modern age. Beginning her career back in the early 90’s, Dita is thanked for helping to make the modern burlesque performance popular again and in her own words, “put the tease back in striptease”.
Inspired by musicals from the 30s and 40s, she often created largescale performances – copying the feather dance of Sally Rand, Dita performed with the world’s largest feather fans, which are now on show at the Hollywood Museum of Sex.
From performing at the New York Academy of Art wearing nothing by $5 million worth of diamonds to staring at the Crazy Horse cabaret club in Paris, Dita has done it all!
4. Missy Malone
Another of the modern day stars, Missy comes from Scotland and is famous across the United Kingdom. Beginning her career when she was 18, Malone initially developed a wide range of elaborate acts and is mostly known for her 9ft stilt performance, fan dance and Jack Frost which is undertaken in a rich black velvet cloak.
Quickly becoming one of the leading dancers in Scotland, Malone moved on to performing across the whole of the British Isles, performing in shows like Candybox and Torture Garden. Alongside her work, she has performed with some massive acts, including The Damned. She also regularly appears at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has also started in Bollywood movie Raftaar.
5. The Chippendales
Of course no list of famous strippers could be complete without a mention of the legendary Chippendale group. The most famous male performers in the globe, the group are known by their distinctive upper body costume of bow tie, collar and shirt cuffs.
Established in 1979, Chippendales were the first all-male stripping troupe to make a business performing for a mostly female audience. Using highly choreographed routine and structured stage designs, they helped legitimise stripping as a form of popular entertainment.
Over the years, dozens of acts have performed as part of the troupe – including a number of stars who have gone on to appear in Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore.
These are just five acts from thousands of incredible performers around the world. Who’s your favourite act?
Ivy Models Team
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