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gandy dancer

old fashioned A worker in a railway gang who lays and maintains railroad tracks. My grandaddy worked as a gandy dancer building the first stretch of railroads across the state.
See also: dancer

be half the [dancer/writer etc.] you used to be

if you are half the dancer, writer etc. you used to be, you are much less good at doing something than you used to be She's half the tennis-player she used to be.
See also: half, used

erotic dancer

n. a dancer, typically female, who performs teasing and sexually stimulating dances, usually on a stage. She was a school teacher by day and an erotic dancer by night.
See also: dancer


n. someone who profits from or takes advantage of someone else’s misfortune. (From dance on someone’s grave, seemingly in celebration of someone else’s misfortune.) I don’t want to seem like a grave-dancer, but his defeat places me in line for a promotion.

lap dancer

n. an exotic dancer who writhes and rubs her posterior on the lap of a seated customer. Most of us lap dancers follow rules about no touching.
See also: dancer, lap

pole dancer

n. a woman, thought of as a stripper, who performs erotic dances around a metal pole, onstage, exploiting the pole’s phallic form. Jed swears that he has never seen an inept pole dancer.
See also: dancer, pole
References in classic literature ?
He saw the same children, and the same toys on the table; and there was the same grand castle with the pretty little Dancer.
A single turn proved to them that their methods were incompatible; instead of fitting into each other their bones seemed to jut out in angles making smooth turning an impossibility, and cutting, moreover, into the circular progress of the other dancers.
In these three dances the dancers furnish their own music, which never varies; nor do the steps or figures vary, having been handed down from time immemorial.
There he sat, in his place behind her, to all appearance spell-bound by the fascinations of the graceful dancer.
In the finale she fell into some of those grotesque attitudes which were at the time popular among the dancers in the theatres up-town, giving to the Bowery public the phantasies of the aristocratic theatre-going public, at reduced rates.
You're a dream of a dancer," Billy Roberts was saying.
In a distracted condition, which only a mother--moving in Society--can be susceptible of, I determined to go myself to the theatre, and represent my state of mind to the dancer.
Endlessly the dancers swung round and round--when they were dizzy they swung the other way.
We are extremely fond of good dinners, music, and dancing; we also like frequent changes of linen, warm baths, and good beds, so now, please, some of you who are the best dancers set about dancing, that our guest on his return home may be able to tell his friends how much we surpass all other nations as sailors, runners, dancers, and minstrels.
And at the first let him practise with helps, as swimmers do with bladders or rushes; but after a time let him practise with disadvantages, as dancers do with thick shoes.
The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window that the reel would never end.
When all the adult males had joined in the thin line of circling dancers the attack commenced.
For an instant the dancers paused, and in the silence of the interval there rose from the lips of the fast-bound white man an answering shriek, more fearsome and more terrible than that of the jungle-beast that had roused it.
The women came and squatted about the rim of the circle, beating upon tom-toms, clapping their hands in time to the steps of the dancers, and joining in the chant of the warriors.
And when the fiddler, peering into the front room, remarked to the pianist, "It's Burning Daylight," the waltz-time perceptibly quickened, and the dancers, catching the contagion, began to whirl about as if they really enjoyed it.