Unfair to burlesque dancer

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I enjoy reading the Independent. The reporting is spot-on and all events, whether popular or not, are reported in a fair and non-judgmental manner. You do an excellent job. However, an opportunity to portray a time-honored artistic profession was missed in your recent article by Erika Fredrickson [“The big tease,” Dec. 15].

Having seen the Cigarette Girls Burlesque troop many times and been a supporter for as long as they’ve been in existence, I was deeply disappointed in the manner in which they were portrayed. The first mistake was the unflattering picture of Miss Birdie La Rouge. It almost appears the intent was to embarrass her.

I am also disappointed to read in the first paragraph a reference to “pasties” and what was probably an off-the-cuff comment made by La Rouge about the removal process. There are many trade secrets performers probably work hard at keeping from being made public. It’s my guess this description was one of them. The women in this troop have a lot of hurdles to overcome by public misconceptions of their craft. That was a private piece of information that was not necessary to reveal in your article. I believe you owe The Cigarette Girls an apology, in particular Miss La Rouge. She is a beautiful girl and deserves more than the horrible photograph the Independent printed.

Donna Rose

Kalispell

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