Lola Montez travelled to Seville in Spain to learn dancing. She adapted flamenco to create her famous ‘Spider Dance” which she performed all over the world. Lola Montez Spider Dance was a form of striptease in which she found rubber spiders in her clothes and threw them on the stage. Then she started to strip off layers of her clothing until she was topless and sometimes nude for a private show.
The video of Lola Montez Spider Dance on this site now is not representative of Lola’s performance. It wouldn’t have attracted audiences even in the conservative 19th century. Lola’s dance was more like the ‘dance of the seven veils‘ which Salome did for Herod in return for the head of John the Baptist.
Lola’s 19c audiences loved it because they rarely saw women nude. Some men never saw their wives undressed so you can imagine she had quite an effect. The fact that she was a well educated and titled lady helped to give it a unique appeal after 1848.