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The Upside to Stripping: 'There is an art to what these girls do'

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RodrigoFavera via Flickr
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After last week's brutal attack on a Tarzana "gentleman's club" dancer, there's been murmurings in the news about the dark life of an exotic dancer. Today's Daily News gives readers insight into the unseemly underbelly of those who dance for dollars.The article focuses on one gal named "Brazil" who offers probing insight into the world of the strip club: "There's drugs, alcohol, sex, fighting ... there's everything. [...] Whether you're in West L.A., Beverly Hills, Tarzana or downtown, there are a lot of things going on in a club," she told the paper. When it comes to risky business, dancing can be downright dangerous, Brazil explains, more so than in your average line of work: "You're dealing with people who are intoxicated or doing drugs and you have to know you're more susceptible to getting hurt than if you were leaving your job at a bank."

All this drama, and still the ladies choose to dance, because the pay is lucrative and the hours better than a regular old 9 to 5. While some may be seduced by the allure of glamour, the fact remains that it's a little uglier than it seems, with the girls often turning to drugs or alcohol to lessen nerves before hitting the stage. However, some dancers wish the media wouldn't play up the ugly side. One performer explains: "But there is a good side too, for girls who can stay true to themselves and can do business without selling their souls. There is an art to what these girls do." They don't call it a "job" for nothing, though, right?