Erotic dance is a major category or classification of dance forms or dance styles, where the purpose is the stimulation of erotic or sexual thoughts or actions.
Erotic dance is one of several major dance categories based on purpose, such as ceremonial dance, competitive dance, participation dance, performance dance and social dance.
The erotic dancer's clothing is often minimal, and may be gradually decreased or eliminated altogether. In some areas of the United States, it is illegal for the female dancer to expose her nipples or genitalia, and dancers will often wear g-strings or pasties to comply with these laws.
Nudity, however, is not a requirement of erotic dance. The culture and the ability of the human body is a significant aesthetic component in many dance styles.
Erotic dances are sometimes mistakenly referred to (or euphemised as) exotic dances. While there is overlap, they are not the same.
Not all exotic dances are erotic, and vice versa.