A taxi dancer is a dancer, typically female, who dances couples dances in a dance hall on a per-dance basis.
Taxi dance halls originated in San Francisco in the 19th century and became popular throughout the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Men would frequent these dance halls and purchase tickets or tokens which entitled them to dance with a taxi dancer of their choice for the length of one song. The dancer would be paid a percentage of the token's cost on a per-dance basis, with the remainder going to the dance hall to cover the overhead costs including the orchestra and staff salaries, as well as profits for the dance hall's owner.
Although it did not normally involve outright sex acts, taxi dancing was a mildly disreputable profession that involved women selling their sex appeal for money, especially since taxi dancers within a certain establishment often competed to attract more male customers than their rivals, and taxi dance halls competed to field the most attractive roster of dancers.
Taxi dancing declined rapidly in popularity after World War II, in conjunction with the rise in popularity of new forms of music less conducive to couples dancing, and by the end of the 1950s, most taxi dance halls had vanished from the landscape.