No. In fact, it’s very difficult to tell if it’s legal at all. It’s usually seen as a form of free-form dancing—no rules. Even though there are a number of videos posted to YouTube about it, it’s not a full-out mainstream scene but is still popular. According to the International Lap Dance Association, there are over 500 licensed lap dance schools across the United States, with some in the Midwest, South, and East, all of which require a background check and a license. It’s an industry that’s still in its infant stage, however—and one that’s still pretty unregulated. The International Association of Lap Dancers (IALD) is an organization that was founded in 2011, and by the beginning of this year, its membership had grown to about 300, and had established the first American chapter.
“There are two ways to do it,” explains ILD spokesperson Sarah Burt, to BuzzFeed. “You can do it legally or you can do it without a license.” As the most prevalent form of lap dancing today, it has more of a sense of anonymity than more traditional dance styles like pole, contortion, and even traditional jukebox dance. “When I’m seeing people dance, I notice how they are really not using any physical props, or dancing, or jumping or dancing from one part of the stage to another.”
One of the many video blogs made by dancers, The Lapdance Manifesto, has also been making national news. It’s not a new thing for the site, but it has a growing presence in today’s videos and has recently garnered plenty of attention due to its popularity, but has not yet been officially certified by the ILD to be legal. Burt, however, believes that ILD may be considering this to be a possibility as more and more videos pop up showing the dancers as they’re not tied down in anything resembling a traditional dance routine and more and more people are taking part.
“There is a definite demand in American culture for lap dancing because of television,” Sizemore says. “We need to find a way to get people to see what we’re having and to watch it.”
For more information about becoming a licensed professional lap dancer, visit http://www.ild.org/professionallapdances.html to read and sign an application. And for more information about lap dancing, check out Sizemore’s YouTube page by clicking here.
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