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She is casual and smiling, wearing leggings, and a sweatshirt, her hair wrapped up in a bun. A former biotechnology student, Madison, 23, began stripping in Over the years, Madison has stayed at Night Moves because, although she has tried bartending and waitressing, she makes better money as a stripper.
She says she used to be shy but that dancing has helped her come out of her shell and feel empowered. She knows many of the regulars and sees her customers on a spectrum — some she sees as friends, while others she avoids because they tend to be rude.
Madison first came to Night Moves on a lark with friends and, after having a few drinks, wanted to audition. But the manager told her to come back when she was sober. Over the years, it has consistently employed and entertained a wide variety of people. But not all Bloomington residents support its presence. We know what your business is, do we have to have it thrown in our face every time we drive down the street?
Hafner is hardly the first person to complain about the sign, but his letter represents how some residents feel: These residents may get their wish. They say the building owner has been interested in selling, but the owner would have to honor the current lease, which expires in He says keeping businesses and affordable housing in that part of South Walnut is a top priority for the city.
Madison is nervous about a potential closing and hopes the business can move into a more updated and nicer building. However, location is key. Originally on the north side of town, Night Moves opened in and moved to South Walnut in , replacing a bar named 3rd Base. Fine and Domer purchased the business in , and, after a rough first year, they say business picked up and has been steady ever since. Madison is earnest, friendly, and open.
When asked what she wants people who criticize the business to know, she says she wants them to realize that sex workers are just normal people trying to work.
Dancers trying to switch careers often find it difficult to list previous work history because of the stigma of sex work. Photo by Natasha Komoda. Sex work, even though it generates significant income, can be a volatile and unprotected industry. They have lived experiences and should be respected, no matter what brings them there. This is further supported by academic research on exotic dancing. He points to the issue of Night Moves as one steeped in a contradiction about gentrification, perceived risk, and community perceptions.
Night Moves keeps drink prices higher than a typical bar to try to dissuade binge drinking; they only occasionally have to deal with fights. Several downtown bars catering to college crowds offer low drink prices and often experience violence. With so much of their focus on Night Moves, critics seem to forget these establishments and students who engage in the misogynist behavior that critics claim is a problem.
Stripping is one of the few industries where women systematically make more money than men working the same job, Sevell says. If women in the industry had better pathways to management positions and business ownership, they, and the industry as a whole, would benefit. Sevell believes critics should focus on the broader issue of gender inequality and not cherry-pick issues that are convenient for their claims. He argues that strip clubs and college bars do not create misogyny or gender inequality, they merely reflect them.
Night Moves employs between 50 and 60 people, depending on how busy the week will be and the time of year. If it does close, many of the dancers would lose their jobs, and the closest club where they could work is in Indianapolis — not a viable option for some women, due to childcare and transportation issues. The average exotic dancer salary in the U. Given this economic reality, many women employed in sex work tend to stay for extended periods of time.
Some dancers at Night Moves have worked there for 10 to 15 years. Should dancers try to switch careers, it is difficult to list previous work history because of the stigma of sex work. Madison, who has been working at Night Moves for four years, has a second job in Bloomington, but she keeps her Night Moves job a secret from them and her family members. As the city becomes more gentrified, its development plans ultimately cost the populations that are vulnerable. With stigma-attached occupations such as exotic dancing, city planning will push sex workers to be further marginalized.
Should Night Moves decide to re-open in a different location, Bloomington can include this business as a part of its array of services, funky businesses, inclusive attitude, and cultural ethos.
The sex industry, after all, is an industry that is responding to a demand, not creating one. Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship English Tomi and Jim Allison. Paulina Guerrero moved to Bloomington in to go to graduate school for folklore. She hails from Washington, D. She has a secret past life crashing on NYC couches and creating raucous street theater.
Although she misses being close to the ocean, she is quietly becoming more infatuated with the Midwest day by day. Natasha Komoda is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Bloomington. She is devoted to portraying her subjects with complete authenticity and presenting to the viewer the unique essence that lies beyond physical appearance.
Natasha is also the founder of Femmeography , a photographic service that uses the art of portraiture to heal body image negativity. Natasha puts a lot of heart and compassion into her work and cherishes every person she has the opportunity to photograph. View more of Natasha's work at www.
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