Angie-- Mentor of the stage
There are dancers and then there are those who only pretend to be. And wouldn't you know it but we got to know Angie while she was working at Visions.
Angie turned out to be one of the best out of an outstanding coterie of entertainers at what we consider to have been the finest of all the St Louis Metro East clubs.
But sadly, Visions is no longer a topless club catering to men who like to be with women after having recently undergone a transformation into a night club featuring male dancers. It just didn't get enough business. But the club had real poles and stages that a real dancer could fall in love with. It had all the amenities and brother, did it have the girls. At Visions you either had to learn how to dance or look for employment elsewhere. Lap dancing or friction dancing as one girl once described her dancing style just didn't get it there. We lament its passing.
But the girls are still around, some of them getting jobs at other clubs while others went on to other things. Angie, a true professional in this business took her talent to Fantasyland in Brooklyn, IL. where she is no doubt leading the pack.
I remember the first time meeting Angie.
Charli was managing at Visions that evening and finally after trying many times
I succeeded in getting her to give me permission to do the pole. Angie had been
at the bar and had been the one to make the first move by introducing herself.
Never asked me to buy her a drink which was typical of the Visions girls.
For the most part the girls here appreciated the fine photography I was doing,
the web site I was doing for the club, and sharing with me their thoughts and in
some cases their poetry and art work. Later on, I was to find out
she seldom drinks. So when I headed to the stage to show off my ability to
levitate off the stage both Charli and Angie went with me to watch. I did fine.
I did much better than most pure lap dancers. I don't remember
exactly how it came up but I said something to Charli and she commented to me
with a knowing smile: "Don't ever pit yourself against Angie. She' s very good."
But you had to know Charli. I had----for years, and trust me she's one of my all
time favorite managers. Then.....back at the bar Angie started talking up how
good I was. "Yeah"----but I just didn't have any idea of just how good the best
Visions dancers really were." It was only later on that I would find out
that a seldom to be found dancers elite worked there. Girls with names like
Salem (Charli's daughter), Sahara and Angie.
Still, New York has a reputation for sophistication. And here's where Angie seems to have her feet in two different worlds. You can probably suggest to Angie--"Let's go to the city dump tonight and shoot rats," and if she likes you she'll go and the two of you will have a ball. Call it the country girl in her even though I doubt she ever lived in the country. But the next night you might suggest dinner to her offering her a choice between Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and sushi at a Japanese restaurant, and she is likely to reply: "They all sound great to me." She will probably continue with something like, "I'm glad you asked because I am getting tired of all that fast food we are constantly getting around here."
Now when we are talking about St Louis Metro East dancers there seems to be three major objectives that most have--at least one of them and sometimes all three. 1. Getting tips from men (which is important since that pays the bills). 2. Getting drunk and having a good time at work and 3. Doing a great performance on the stage. Now we might respect a dancer's needing tips and we love the good time girls we can cut up and get drunk with. But face it, the best dancers are the ones who are constantly trying to excel on the stage. It is the art of the performance itself which drives the best entertainers.
Trust us, Angie can put on quite a show. I remember once several of us being at another club. The best looking girl there wanted to see Angie perform. The club was good enough to allow Angie to dance a set on its stage even though the owner knew she was with our small group and never had any intention of working there. All eyes were upon her when she mounted the pole. Her exhibition was spectacular.
But there's at least two sides to Angie. At first glance when you see her outside the clubs you might regard her as just another skinny gal. She just doesn't look the part or act it. I'm sure that when she discusses her dancing with strangers outside the club many of them are thinking-----"She's lying or at least she's embellishing what she does." Until you watch her dance that is. Right before your eyes she becomes a show girl, her whole body and face undergoing a very visible transformation. Her shoulders start to swell as she literally floats on the pole. The muscles begin to show themselves as her chest, back, waist, stomach and legs start to show the definition that most dancers wish they had. Outside the club when she leaves her job behind, we are not really sure what she is, but we suspect she's a true artist which is probably why she gets on so well with so many of us in the Lost Angels group, which has far more than its fair share of writers, photographers, and artists.
Angie the entertainer --For more pictures of Angie on the Visions stage click here
Angie the artist-----For pictures of Angie at home and an explanation on what we think motivates her to dance click here.
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