Go-go dancers began to be hired on a regular basis at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in the Los Angeles area in July 1965. The Whisky a Go Go was also the first go-go club to have go-go cages suspended from the ceiling (they were there from the very beginning in 1965).
The phrase Go-Go was adopted by bars in the 1960s in Tokyo, Japan. It was of lesser reputation until it was abandoned by a majority of clubs and appropriated by burlesque and striptease establishments, which in turn became known as go-go bars and the women working there known as Go-Go dancers. During the Vietnam War there were many go-go bars in Saigon, South Vietnam to entertain U.S. troops. A synonym used in Vietnam for go-go dancers is table dancer.
Hullabaloo was a musical variety series that ran on NBC from January 12, 1965 through August 29, 1966. The Hullabaloo Dancers—a team of four men and six women—appeared on a regular basis. Another female dancer, model/actress Lada Edmund Jr. was best known as the caged "go-go girl" dancer in the Hullabaloo A-Go-Go segment near the closing sequence of the show. Other dance TV shows during this period such as Shindig! also featured go-go dancers in cages. Sometimes these cages were made of clear plastic with lights strung inside of them; sometimes the lights were synchronized to go on and off with the music. Shivaree!, another music show, usually put go-go dancers on scaffolding and on a platform behind the band which was performing. Each show of the period had a particular method of bringing the go-go dancers into camera view.
The tradition of go-go dancers on TV music shows continues around the world, such as the Viva Hotbabes and SexBomb Girls in the Philippines. However, while American shows of the 1960s featured dancers highly trained in the various choreography each show used, many modern dancers are not so closely choreographed.
Not very many nightclubs had go-go dancers in the 1970s. However, in the late 1990s, there was a nightclub at 128 West 45th St. (the same location where the Peppermint Lounge had been) in Manhattan called G.G. Barnum's Room, patronized mostly by transsexuals, that had male go-go dancers who danced on trapezes above a net over the dance floor. In 1978, the Xenon night club in Manhattan became the first night club to provide go-go boxes for amateur go-go dancers to dance on. This got many people interested in go-go dancing.
In the early 1980s go-go dancing again became popular in New York City clubs inspired by the music of Madonna. Madonna included go-go dancers in her MTV music videos. By the late 1980s, go-go dancing had spread once more to night clubs throughout the Western world and East Asia.
Go-Go dancing has made a comeback in recent years, particularly on the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii. Models such as Christine Mendoza, Sasha Singleton, Kat Gutierrez, Jenny Chu, Yasmeen Alexis, Katherine Thom, and Jeri Lee have made Go-Go appearances in cities that host Import Tuners Shows (like HIN, Driven To Perform DTP, and NOPI). In Honolulu, Go-Go dancing is in full swing at various nightclubs like The O Lounge, Venus Nightclub and Fashion 45. The most prolific Go-Go spot in Honolulu is Club Black Jack, which has up to six dancers on separate Vegas-themed bars on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Club 939, a strip club, was a Go-Go only night on Sundays from 2005-07. The gay night club Hula's in the Waikiki Beach area has male go-go dancers. As it was in the beginning, go-go dancers usually do not strip, but receive tips.
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