Chilean stripper arrested for subway pole dances

SANTIAGO Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:37pm EDT

1 of 2. Monserrat Morilles (C), a stripper who danced on the poles of Santiago subway trains, is arrested by Chilean police officers near the Government Place in Santiago downtown July 10, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A stripper who danced on the poles of Santiago subway trains to challenge the prudishness of Chilean society was arrested on Thursday during one of her lightning performances.

Monserrat Morilles, 26, surprised subway riders all week stripping to skimpy underwear, but she refused tips.

She said she was protesting a lack of tolerance in Chile, one of Latin America's most conservative societies where the first generation since the Pinochet dictatorship is reaching adulthood.

"This is just a beginning. We are starting an idea here that will grow and be developed further," she told Reuters as police and subway guards surrounded her.

The professional pole dancer worked quickly all week to avoid arrest, getting on at one station, finding a subway car with no children on it and stripping in time to exit at the next station.

Chilean media dubbed her "La Diosa del Metro" or Subway Goddess. She called her performances "happy minutes."

"Chile is still a pretty timid country," said her manager Gustavo Pradenas. "People aren't very extroverted and we want to take aim at that and make Chile a happier country."

(Reporting by Pav Jordan; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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