That’s an issue New York’s Court of Appeals will soon decide. An Albany strip club is arguing that it shouldn’t have to pay sales taxes on lap dances due to an exemption in the law for “dramatic or musical arts performances,” reports Newsday. An attorney for the state disagrees and says that dances must be “choreographed” to qualify for the exemption. What, no love for improvisation? One of the judges questioning W. Andrew McCullough, the attorney representing Nite Moves, said that “We need to get past the idea that somehow this is the Bolshoi,” referring to the legendary ballet company out of Moscow, Russia. Although McCullough agreed that exotic dancers aren’t doing pirouettes, he said the state shouldn’t be in the business of being an art critic and so the club’s lawyer brought in an expert:
He presented testimony from a cultural anthropologist who visited the club and concluded that the exotic dancing there qualifies as an art form.
A dancer at the club who refused to give her name echoed the sentiments of the academic and said that although it looks like they’re being spontaneous, a lot of planning goes into these routines: “Some girls are up there practicing for hours when nobody’s in here.” The court will decided on the case next week and it could have ramifications for strip joints across the state and in perfect world, this institution as well.