The earliest evidence of exotic dance can be traced back twenty thousand years to Palaeolithic cave paintings in the south of France, and proof has also been found by archaeologists near the Black Sea regions of Bulgaria and Romania.
It is thought to hold its origins in ancient rituals associated with fertility, not only for motherhood but also agriculture and farming. During the height of the Roman Empire and Ancient Greece, priestesses performed in sacred temples, and this practice was also commonplace in India. Exotic dance even makes an appearance in the Bible, where Salome seductively performs the Dance of the Seven Veils for the guests of Kind Herod’s birthday celebrations.
During the 12th Century, belly dancing captivated voyeurs throughout the Middle East. While the performers did not remove their garments, vigorous movements of the hips and pelvis entranced the audience, who in turn tossed coins to the dancers as a gesture of their admiration.
From the Far East to the West, from ancient ritual to modern-day table dancing, striptease continues to enchant audiences around the world, providing a pathway to financial independence.