Guild of Ecdysiasts, Nautchers, Cancanieres and Exponents of Exotic Dance

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Otherwise known as the Strippers' Guild.

Removing your clothes for money is considered perfectly acceptable in Ankh-Morpork. It is a paradox of life that removing your clothes for nothing would in most quarters be considered immoral.

Its workers are hardworking, mainly human, women - especially at lunchtimes, when selection of the right sort of clothing means a girl can do a gig at up to six venues in the course of an hour.

The opening of pole-dancing clubs has expanded the membership somewhat, as well as opening up interesting issues of demarcation with the Seamstresses' Guild.

The non-human membership of the Guild is made up of trolls. Given the troll perspective on life and the passage of time, and the fact that trolls walk around nearly naked in normal circumstances, a troll "stripper" is more accurately a dresser - she dons more clothes as the act progresses, thus usually causing a riot by the time the fourth or fifth overcoat goes on. Trolls find the human attitude to stripping to be strange and peculiar. "It's not as if you don't already know what to expect", they say, with some truth.

Troll striptease therefore neatly fulfills the Disc condition of the existence of a totally opposite quality - that everything that exists also has to have its totally opposite state, or else things get a bit unbalanced.

There are no dwarf strippers - the Dwarven race finds it difficult to acknowledge as a whole, except in very careful and private localised arrangements between two dwarfs who have known each other for an acceptably long period of time, that there is such a thing as two genders who may differentiate from each other by wearing slightly more masculine or feminine clothing items. Still less taking off those gender-differentiated items of clothing in public...

Igor at Biers is said to have livened up (or more accurately imbued with a different but no less valid form of vitality) the Wednesday lunchtime trade with a sign advertising Dead Girls. Nothing more has been said concerning this outside the Undead community, but the mind is drawn, unwillingly and remorselessly, to the concept of a zombie stripper. We are assured that this did not catch on, though.

The Guild's president for life is named as Miss Dixie "Va Va" Voom, who still takes a very active interest in the Guild's training programme. Another prominent Guild member is Tawneee, the one-time adoring girlfriend of Nobby Nobbs.

Another registered Guild member is named only as Della, who runs a dance academy on Fringe Alley*(E4 - E5, in between the Rim Bank and Lower Broadway). She advertises private pole and fan-dance tuition. Poles are provided, but you must bring your own fans.

The Members of the Guild

Ecdysiasts are, literally, strippers. This term for "one who performs a striptease" was coined by H. L. Mencken in 1940.

Cancanieres are - presumably - those who indulge in dancing the Cancan, the mildly naughty French dance in which main the features are the lifting up and manipulation of the skirts, with high kicking and suggestive, provocative body movements.

Exponents of Exotic Dance doesn't need explicating.

Nautchers are also exotic dancers, perhaps with a particular Klatchian style. A Rudyard Kipling poem contains the lines:

I am the restless mortal mind
Which presses on through savage suns.
I love the soul of human kind,
I am the child who reads and runs.
I worship the unaltered East,
The winding Grand Trunk Road, the way
Of camel-train and dervish-feast
And the blue Hills to far Cathay.
I love the clatter of bazaars,
The attars and the nautchers song,
The faqirs and the blazing stars,
I am the hunger of the young
That beats on the Eternal Door.
I love the Vina's melting sound;
All India is my threshing floor
And all the world my hunting ground

A "nautch-bint", in the Indian subcontinent, is a dancer/singer, but the term overlaps "prostitute" or "courtesan". A demarcation issue to be sorted out with the Seamstresses?