Bubble dance

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Julie Atlas Muz at the Miss Exotic World Pageant, 2006. Photo Michael Albov

The bubble dance is an erotic dance made famous by Sally Rand in the 1930s as an alternative to the striptease, with some similarities to fan dancing. The dancer (sometimes naked) dances with a huge bubble placed between her body and the audience to make some interesting poses.

It is usually performed by women, although it can also be performed by men. There's no requirement that the dancer be nude, although the performer can play "peek-a-boo" with the audience with the bubble.

Today, the bubble dance is less practised in some countries, but still popular in others.

In one cartoon in the Looney Tunes series, called Hollywood Steps Out, a caricature of Rand is seen performing a bubble dance. She appears to be wearing only a bubble in front of her. Her bubble glows bright white, and it looks as though her skin and the bubble are the same color. She lifts up her bubble to reveal her privates and the screen rises up to prevent the cartoon's viewers from seeing them and then it comes back down to cover them again. Then, Harpo Marx comes out from under a table with a slingshot and pops her bubble, revealing Rand wearing a barrel.

There is also a sketch in The Benny Hill Show that features a variation of this dance. In it, Benny plays a schoolboy who visits a strip club and sees "Mahala", played by Corinne Russell, doing her "daring Balloon Dance". Corinne wears almost nothing with only her balloon to cover her breasts. She winks and blows kisses at the crowd. She does some kicks and deep stretches as well as splits, until schoolboy Benny decides to use his slingshot on her in the hopes of puncturing her balloon, and in puncturing her, reveals her to be nothing but a blow up doll.

Like pole dancing, it is undergoing dissociation from pornography as seen in many countries. Visitors to these countries often find non-pornographic instances unthinkable back home.


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