Faith Bacon performs “Dance of Shame” (sexuality is complicated)

Looking up some old burlesque acts and stumbled upon this gem: Faith Bacon, delicate veil work, and tiny sparkly pasties and thong. Miss Bacon was once known as America’s most beautiful dancer, but her life came to a tragic end when she jumped out of the window of her hotel room in 1956.

I used to dance with veils back when I did traditional Romani dance and traditional Middle Eastern belly dance– it was always my favorite, but it can be very tricky. I’ve been tangled in my fair share of chiffon and silk, and I felt like an awkward fish in a net that was far too good for me. And I wore a lot more clothes than Miss Bacon. A LOT more clothes. And even with two skirts on I was still nervous as hell. I am so impressed by how confident and comfortable she looks in this performance– her expression is as relaxed and warm as a velvet fainting couch. And yet, it’s the “Dance of Shame.” Burlesque means parody… perhaps she’s parodying the very notion of bodily shame.

I like it.


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