I love dancing. Love to watch all types of dance forms. One of my guilty pleasures has always been to follow the dance competition shows on TV. I don’t have any talent for it myself, beyond the questionable gyrations I perform after a couple of drinks at a club, but I’d have to say that watching truly talented professional’s dance is one of my favorite entertainments.
I like all types of dance, but the more fluid and graceful forms such as ballet and aerial dancing are what I’m drawn to the most. My favorite performer from the dance pop group Kazaky, is Artur Gaspar who was once a professional ballet dancer. The way he uses his body to express himself through dance is amazing. It’s obvious that his training in ballet has informed his movement, even when he does other forms of dance. He’s always striking, but his background is highlighted in particular in the group’s videos of Last Night and Crazy Law.
Then there’s aerial dancing. It incorporates the use of long pieces of fabric called aerial silks that are attached to an apparatus in the ceiling. The performer then uses the drapes to suspend themselves high above the stage. From there, they perform a dance routine in the air. Great physical strength, graceful movement and a gymnastics background are needed to be a top performer in the aerial dance world. The Cirque du Soleil shows are the most famous examples of aerial dance.
The first time I ever saw aerial dance performed was years before the Cirque shows. When I was a kid, my parents had taken me to Sea World, and inexplicably there was a show there in the evening that incorporated aerial dance. I have no idea why, or how it related to sea mammals, but I was completely mesmerized. The performers seemed magical to me. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the movements were and was stunned by their athleticism. I’ve never aspired to such a thing, but I’d watch it any day.
When I began working on Strip Search, the seventh installment in the Sin City Uniforms series, I already knew that Dakota was a stripper, but I also knew he had a talent beyond that. It didn’t take me long to connect the dots for him. He’s already stripping in Vegas, he’s dedicated, talented and driven – what better aspiration for him to have than to be an aerial dancer? There are several Cirque shows in Vegas where he could perform and he has a background in ballet. It was perfect.
Of course, there are obstacles along the way for Dakota, including an obnoxious boss who wants Dakota all to himself and a runaway brother who he hopes to someday have guardianship of. It’s a good thing he meets a hunky cop as he struggles to set his world to rights, and Reed is more than happy to lend the hot, young stripper a hand. But no matter what else happens, Dakota never gives up on his dream to be a performer in an aerial show.
Strip Search buy link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/strip-search
A sexy stripper attempts to escape his dangerously obsessed boss while searching for his missing younger brother.
Stripping used to be fun, lucrative and a place for Dakota to practice for his professional dancing career. But the owner of Glitter Boys wants Dakota for himself and will stop at nothing to possess him. When his thirteen-year-old brother runs away from home to escape their abusive father, Dakota is determined to find him before something awful happens to him on the streets.
Patrol officer Reed hasn’t been attracted to a man in a very long time, but when he’s called to an assault in progress at the LGBTQ teen shelter, a young man approaches him, begging for help in finding his missing brother. An instant spark occurs, but he pushes it away. When the same man is attacked outside a strip club later that night, he discovers the desire is mutual.
As the two men learn more about each other and become closer, the specter of his obsessed ex-boss remains. In addition to that, Dakota has to fight the system to gain guardianship of his brother and keep him out of foster care. Dakota doesn’t know if the hunky cop he’s fallen so hard for can handle a relationship with an ex-stripper struggling to raise a teenager. But, will Reed be able to give up dating women for good and dedicate himself to their new family?
Excerpt from Strip Seach (Sin City Uniforms 7):
Dakota’s next set wasn’t for another hour, so he had plenty of time to relax. The club owners preferred that the talent dress sexy if they were going to be on the floor between numbers, but he wasn’t going to prance around in his thong. Instead, he pulled on some hot pink Lycra boy shorts that he topped off with one of his form-fitting sparkling tees.
A couple other dancers entered the room, idly chatting. One of them had gone on stage after Dakota, and the other one looked to just be arriving. He had his dance bag slung over his shoulder. Being the new kid on the block wasn’t Dakota’s favorite thing, but he didn’t have any social anxieties, so it wasn’t that big a deal.
“Hey. How’s it going?”
Dakota smiled at them both as he finished lacing his short-matching trainers. He also sported knee-high crew socks to complete his ensemble. It was one of his non-performing club looks.
“Oh hey.” The dancer who’d just exited the stage smiled back. “Dakota, right?”
“Yeah. Um, Sean?” He chuckled.
“That’d be me.” He swiped a white towel across his face. “Have you met Jon?”
“No, I haven’t.” Dakota glanced at the other dancer who’d already set his bag down and was rifling through the contents. “Nice to meet you. I’m Dakota.”
“Yeah. I heard.”
Jon hadn’t even bothered looking up. Dakota caught Sean’s eye. He mouthed ‘asshole’ while jerking his head in Jon’s direction. Dakota snorted.
Jon’s head shot up, his face etched in a scowl. “What?”
Dakota gave a light cough. “It’s really dusty in here, isn’t it?”
It was Sean’s turn to snort and that only deepened Jon’s scowl. He went back to ignoring them, focusing on his costumes instead.
Sean regarded Dakota. “That was an amazing routine. Do you have a choreographer?”
“God, I wish.” Dakota shrugged. “I learned a lot of cool moves from the teachers I had as a kid and my ballet instructor now. Plus, I watch famous performers, dance groups and so on to get an idea of what’s hot currently.”
“You mean you steal them.” Jon had mumbled it to his dance clothes, but it’d been clearly audible.
Sean pursed his lips at Jon, but Dakota let it roll off his back. His routines were original. He knew that. A fan kick was a fan kick no matter who executed it. But his way of expressing it through his body and how he used it in a number was what made it unique.
“Hmm.” Sean pointedly directed his marks at Jon. “I don’t know how you can steal strength and flexibility. I imagine only dancers who actually work hard at their craft can accomplish that.”
As much as Dakota appreciated Sean’s support, backbiting and tension hadn’t even made it onto his list of favorite pastimes.
“It’s pretty fucking hot under those lights.” Dakota fanned his face with one hand. “I’m gonna grab something to drink.” He considered Sean. “Do you want to hang out a bit?”
It wouldn’t hurt to get to know some of the dancers better. He didn’t see that much of Noah anymore. Between his friend’s porn shooting schedule and nights with his lovers, he hardly ever saw him unless it was at Glitter Boys.
That’s out now, too.
Sean’s expression was friendly, his smile warm. “I’d love to, but my fiancé is picking me up in a bit. He’s taking me out to this awesome new restaurant at the Venetian. It’s our one year anniversary as a couple.”
“Aww. Congrats.” Dakota loved it when couples were still in the honeymoon phase. It was so cute. Someday. “Next time, then. You guys have fun.”
Sean waggled his eyebrows, his grin wide. “Oh, we definitely will.”
Dakota laughed. Between his brief interaction with Reed and meeting someone at work who didn’t act as though they’d sooner spit on him than say hello, he felt a bit lighter than he had in a few days.