Dancer Etiquette

As much as we all want to compete fiercely while we dance, things go much smoother when we aren’t arguing and fighting at the club, due to some kind of drama that began when a dancer intentionally (and sometimes not intentionally) breaks some common rules. These are often unspoken rules that develop throughout time, and it is based on how we as dancers relate to each other in matters of business and making money in the club, how we treat customers, and how we treat each other as business associates.

Let’s face it – there are some dancers who have made their entire living by breaking these social rules. Sometimes, they do these kinds of hurtful and vengeful things to each and every girl in the club, and certain more (emotionally) vulnerable dancers more so just because they can.

They will sit with your customer when you head to stage. Heaven forbid if you look away for a moment because you look bored – then she darts across the room, throws her arms around YOUR customer like he was a long-lost friend, sits in his lap, her hand on his wallet – whispers in his ear and in a moment they are headed off to the VIP, and you loose! They have no respect for anyone and they just step on everyone else’s toes in their quest to be the most beautiful, most money-making, most attention-getting, on and on!

In a perfect world, the dancers would be better off working with each other, and by doing this, it eases the tension in the working environment making it stress-free. It allows each and every one of us to have a fair chance at making money and being the star of the show. The customers come to the clubs to be entertained in a fun environment. They don’t want to come in and see dancers scowling at each other all night long, or fighting over a customer at a table. In a stress-free environment, we can make more money because the customers are happy and comfortable!

Let’s face it, we know that we are in a competition, and that is what keeps things rolling in the club all night long. So how can we be competitive without creating drama? We have to know what is involved in creating an environment like this within the club, and it can begin with YOU as a good example to others (if you so desire)

We as dancers know that our livelihood depends on several key factors, and these are: the ability to get attention, the ability for the dancer to sustain interest with her customer(s), and the ability of the dancer to sell her time in exchange for fantasy and entertainment for the customer.

These rules that I speak of are common, it seems. While all clubs are different, they all operate under the same basic premise. So these rules are only a general guideline to good behavior in a club. I have had the privilege to work in a club environment that was relaxing and fun, and I also have worked in club environments that were so stressful, due to the abuse of these basic rules, and common considerations.

*Don’t sit beside the stage with the customers. Just like you wanted their attention while you were on stage, so does everyone else who has to go on stage as well. The customer at the stage is spending a minimal amount (most times, a dollar at a time). They are likely interested in quick, low-cost fun and maximum exposure. Think about this – the ones who aren’t sitting stage side may be interested in that private dance. After all, that is why they aren’t sitting at the stage!

Hit the floor after you dance and take a moment to thank the customers in the crowd.
When you fish for dances by the stage you look desperate. It’s a harder sell since he is getting his show at a really good price. And the dancer who is on stage doesn’t like it either. I have seen fights over behavior like this.

Solution: a bold solution to this problem is to dance your entire dance in front of the customer who is getting hustled by the stage. He will love the attention and he will most likely tip you instead of taking her to VIP. Make him give the other dancer money so she can put it in YOUR garter. Take control of the situation.

*Don’t approach a potential customer if another dancer is already sitting with him. – Pay attention to who is sitting with which customer in a casual way. To sit with another dancer’s customer is a blatant example of cutthroat behavior. Just think of how you would feel if you were right in the middle of making a sale and another dancer came along, sat in his lap and took him to the VIP right under your nose?

Solution: Take the time to sit with any and all customers who are sitting alone. This way you won’t be going around and stepping on other’s toes as you make your way through the night.

Remember that quality is more important than quantity and that if you get the right customer, it could only take one customer to make your whole night’s pay.

If the customer, by his own will, calls you over to him to sit with the other dancer that is already there, take advantage of it and try to double the money for both of you so that you can not only make more cash, you can avoid causing hurt feelings.

*Do act like a lady while you are at the club, be a good example of beauty and grace. While beauty and grace and all things feminine are subjective, there are some accepted standards when it comes to public behavior. Do not curse all the time, no one really wants to hear someone who is foul-mouthed. Do not YELL across the room to another dancer or at the DJ, shouting is rude.

Solution: If you have something to say, say it in person to whoever the message is meant to be said to, even if that means getting up out of your seat to do it. It might be a party environment but don’t act like a fool.

Also, if you do not have anything nice to say, it’s better not to say anything at all. Anything you do say, can and will come back to haunt you because the club is a small and personal environment.

Don’t yell across the dance floor It’s rude and unprofessional to yell across the dance floor at the DJ, or at another dancer. Just don’t do it.

*Do not carry your cellphone with you out onto the floor, and make calls with it – Every club has at least one of these girls, who carry their cellphones with them wherever they go while they are at work.

I think that the cellphone belongs inside the dressing room, in your locker. Work is business and time is money, and while you waste time talking on the phone out on the floor, you loose the interest of the customers who no longer feel that they matter.

Solution: Respect the work environment and make your phone calls in private, so that you can keep your personal life private too

*Do not beg the DJ to play songs for you that belong to other girls – Every girl in the club has at least one favorite song that they dance to, and some dancers have lists of music that they dance to. It will take the time to get your own music to dance to but once you do, you won’t want some new girl dancing to your music either. Some dancers have their whole persona built upon their song lists, entire routines planned out and when some new upstart tries to get their songs that they have danced to for so long, it can cause problems.

Solution: Respect other dancer’s music lists and work on building your own music list over time. If you have to, get with your DJ’s to work out a song list for you.

*Don’t sit with another dancer’s customer while she is on stage – most dancers who get caught while using this tactic use an excuse that ‘she didn’t know’ when the dancer returns from her stage set. But, look at this from a customer’s point of view. When you cut in on another dancer like this, you run the immediate risk of looking like a gold digger.

What happens in this situation is that the customer may feel uncomfortable. But since he is shy, he can’t say no and he can’t tell her to leave. Customers often don’t tell us what they want because they don’t know how to. Customers who go to clubs where this kind of thing happens, feel that they are being hustled with a sales technique and that takes all the fun out of it.

Solution: Tell your customer to follow you to stage so that you won’t take the chance of having another girl sit with him. Tell him to wait for you until you return, most of the customers listen because you just told them that it’s okay to turn any other girls down. It makes them feel great.

*Don’t leave a mess in the bathroom or the dressing room – You’ve seen a dressing room or dancer’s bathroom that looks disgusting. Paper everywhere, unflushed toilets. clothing everywhere on the floor. Magazines piled up. Full ashtrays. It can get pretty bad when no one is around to clean it up. Sometimes the dressing rooms in the places where I have danced got cleaned once a month if that and that was because some dancer (usually me or someone else there) would get tired of the mess and clean it up.

Solution: Clean as you go. Don’t contribute to the mess and remind others to keep the dressing room clean. A clean work environment produces less stress.

*Don’t Gossip about other Dancers at the club! – When you gossip to customers about other dancer’s personal life, you make yourself look unprofessional. They might think that it’s b*tchy, rude. Less than ladylike. And it makes you look desperate by throwing someone else ‘under the bus’. You aren’t instilling trust in your customer so that he will be interested. Instead, you are pushing him away emotionally, and he will not trust you. Also, when the customer who has bad intentions is able to get personal or private information about YOU, and he uses it to stalk you…well, then it becomes very dangerous. There is a reason why we use stage names, and why most of us have a dancer persona – we want our private lives to remain private.

Solution: So, don’t tell other dancers in the club your personal information unless you want to take the chance that it will be spread about as the topic of the day by the club gossip. Don’t spread gossip yourself – if you need something to talk about, talk about yourself, or get the customer involved by asking him questions

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