Students by day; strippers by night
Published: Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:06
A lot of people are often defined by their job choice by others and society, however, not all jobs have the same battle of morals attached to them as stripping does.
Before their introduction into the skin trade, many strippers perceived the job with the same stigmatized conception that has become the norm.
MCC psychology major by day and stripper by night, Angela Smutek said, "Before I started dancing, I had the same perception everyone else did. But the more I dance, the more I realize they're just women trying to make a living."
Smutek said her occupation has many positive aspects and is well fond of the trade. "I do like dancing. I've worked three jobs before without a car, riding my bike miles everywhere. I've been through that. I've been through the struggling of trying to get good grades while stressed out about bills. So this is an awesome job. I have no qualms and I love the people I work with."
When asked about her favorite aspect of the job, she said "the girls," adding, "I never really had a family and those girls are my family," Smutek said.
"I feel like we have this unspoken bond. I absolutely love where I work and I feel really blessed." Smutek believes she has experienced a sense of self-transformation through the job as well.
"Before I started dancing, I was really insecure with myself and really insecure with my body.with dancing you compare yourself to other naked women. On a normal day-to-day basis, women don't do that.
They compare themselves to women in magazines.
They have this off idealization of what women should look like...I think with dancing, once you hang around women and you actually get to see them for who they are, it really helps you see the good things in yourself."
Dakota is another MCC student who is also a dancer. She asked that her identity not be revealed and is using her stage name. An exceptional student, she attributed her streak of straight A's to her career as a dancer.
"I don't see how I would be getting A's in all of my classes if I wasn't dancing. There would be no possible way." For Dakota, dancing gives her the opportunity to pick and choose when she works and when she studies.
Dakota said that she views dancing as a stepping stone for herself.
"I'm putting myself through school and getting myself a better job in half the time."
Dakota came to the industry with classical training in dance. She enjoys the performance aspects and "being able to express" herself.
Dancing gives Dakota an independence that many college students may not be able to afford.
"I can (set) my own goals on what I make and on where I want to live. I don't have to have roommates. I don't have to eat Ramen every day. I can make my own life without anybody telling me what to do. I have freedom."
"Liberating would be a good word," she said about dancing.
MCC student and dancer, Jordan (again a stage name), said "because of dancing I know I have a lot more self confidence and I know my self worth. It helped me become more comfortable in my sexuality because it forced me to become more comfortable with my own body.