Burlesque dancers in Des Moines, Iowa were cited for "prohibited acts," after police saw their breasts during the show. But the performers say their partial nudity was an accident.
KCCI reports that after a customer complained about the show "Phoenix L'Amour presents Burlesque Baby!!!" at the Ingersoll Theater, two policeman informed performers that they'd be in the audience, watching and videotaping. Their goal: to make sure that the dancers never exposed their breasts "at or below the nipple." That's illegal in Des Moines at places that serve alcohol, which the Ingersoll does. L'Amour says dancers didn't intentionally flash their breasts during the show, but one of the balloons on her costume fell off, momentarily exposing hers. Later, during a costume change, police apparently saw some more skin. They cited both L'Amour (real name Erin O'Grady) and performer Julia Mahlstadt, saying they "observed a full breast of each defendant at different times." Now the Ingersoll could lose its liquor license, and Burlesque Baby could be shut down.
While it would've behooved them to be extra-careful when they knew cops were in the audience, the performers' nipple slips seem to have been innocent mistakes. It's also possible that police, looking for a reason to cite them, fixated on minutiae. It's not clear how common such slips are in Burlesque Baby or in other shows (burlesque dancers, please enlighten us in the comments!), but as many commenters on The Smoking Gun point out, visitors to something that billed itself as the "Naughtiest Show in Des Moines" should probably have been prepared for a little flesh. And one says the whole incident "Makes me want to move to Iowa because their 'crime' rate must be incredibly low, since they have enough time on their hands to worry about a boob popping out during a Burlesque show."
Burlesque Busts Result In Burlesque Busts [The Smoking Gun]
Police: Burlesque Show Too Revealing [KCCI.com]
Two Women Bared Breasts During Burlesque Show, Police Say [Des Moines Register]