(Some of) the most important qualities to bring to the table when you audition.
Clubs have a lot of women that come by for auditions, to work, and some that stay for years and others for days. Setting yourself apart to management takes a sense of what they might be looking for in the first place. With that in mind, here are some of the most important things to consider when first auditioning for a position.
1. A Great Attitude
The most important quality that you can have in this industry is a positive, can do attitude.
Your look, your experience, the way you dance; none of them will affect your chances of success more than your behavior. Managers have to interact with dancers interpersonally, and they know they're hiring someone to represent their club to customers. Managers will be interacting with you when you're tired, or hungry, or when you deal with difficult customers. Showing them that you can be friendly and respectful before you even have the position will go a long way.
When you show up to audition, treat everyone around you with respect and with a smile on your face. Make sure you respond to requests professionally, that you bring everything you were expected to. Arrive at the door in full hair and makeup, dressed to the nines. When you first arrive all they’re going off is your look, and the way you dress and prepare says a lot about your attitude. If you do it right, it says: I came here to get this job, I understand the expectations of this job, and I am here to do and look my best.
You’ll usually be asked about what clubs you’ve worked before. Some women lie in the audition and say they’ve been at another club, but I would strongly suggest that you avoid that strategy. First of all, at most clubs you’ll be asked to do a stage set as part of your audition, and it’s wildly obvious when someone hasn’t been in the industry. You don’t want the first interaction you have with your management management to be called out as a lie.
If you've never danced before, I’d suggest highlighting other jobs you’ve done that translate into dancing, and to have a short prepared idea of what you’re going to say when asked.
"Where have you danced before?"
“This is the first time I've applied for a position, but I have a lot of experience with the service industry. I've worked as a waitress for two years, and bartended for one.”
is an outline of a possible response that’s still honest but makes you look prepared for what you’re getting into.
It might help to think of some answers to the following questions:
- Have you ever danced before?
- Where have you danced?
- Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
- Would you change your hair/outfit/look to get this job?
- Do you have your documents with you? (What documents to bring will be covered in Scope It Out)
- Do you live in town?
- How long will you be staying in town?
- What days will you plan to work?
- When will you start?
- Would you like to work day/afternoon/night shift?
You don't need a script, but at least planning on hearing these will get you better set up for the real thing. Every manager will have different questions for you, but the point is to be as prepared as you can be, and when you’re asked something you’re not prepared for to be professional and excited to be there.
3. Your Look
Second to attitude, your look is essential to getting the position. Ultimately, you can be the nicest person in the world, but if you don’t present in a way that has potential to earn income for your club, they will most likely not hire you.
I'd like to make clear that there isn't one universal look that translates to success for dancers. There are awesome, badass moneymaking babes that come in wildly different packages. The goal isn't necessarily to meet the standards of one look, but to make a look that works for you.
This doesn't mean that the industry doesn't have expectations and standards that categorize dancers in different ways. At some clubs, having the look that they want will determine whether you get the job, regardless of how much your own personal style fits you. Luckily, it's not difficult to figure out the hiring standards of a club if you take the time to scope it out beforehand.
No matter how you decide to construct the way you look, try to structure it from the perspective of those that will be interacting with you. If you are charging hundreds or thousands of dollars for your time, it will help to look put together, organized and as attractive as possible. And it'll make it far more easy to get hired if you look like you will be a moneymaker for the club.
4. Ability to show up consistently*
*Depends on the club
Although some clubs are more flexible than others on coming and going, the vast majority of clubs prefer women that are going to stick around. This is for a few reasons: the club will, to some extent, have to teach you how to do your job. Your process of trial and error will be at the expense of their customer base, their nightly totals, and most importantly, the time and energy of people you work with.
Because of this, it would help you to make a commitment to staying in the area that your club is in; at least when you're first starting as a dancer. Even if you’re not sure, at least at the time of your audition you should indicate a strong interest in working often, staying local, and giving your best work to this establishment. If it doesn’t work out, the worst that will happen is that you move on and let them know. But before you have the position, and for the first few weeks of having the position, commit. You will not know the potential of the club if you’re not willing to put in the hours. And you can’t put in the hours if you’re only planning to come by every other Saturday night.
5. The Way You Move
How you dance says a lot about you. If you’ve got two left feet on stage, it’s likely because you haven’t drilled how to move like a dancer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is something you should try a few dozen times before you step on a stage.
Even if you’re a good dancer, how you move should also be dictated by the desires of the club.
If you’re auditioning for a loud, stage show centered club that blasts hip hop and has lots of money thrown on stage, looking demure and sexy will not land you a position. And if you show up to a high end gentlemen’s club and start doing floor work and twerking on stage, you will all but guarantee yourself a ticket out.
Luckily, the dancing is the easiest part of the job. It's a part of the job you can get significantly better at without ever stepping into a club. And because of the vast set of resources online, there's plenty of ways to get stage ready. First and most valuable, are pole lessons, often taught by ex or current dancers. If you're committed to improving, there are thousands of videos online created to teach you how to strut your stuff. Even Instagram or Snapchat feeds have loads of really talented dancers and amateurs that can show you the ropes.
At every club, there are hiring criteria that may be spoken or unspoken, but that will ultimately decide if you'll be hired. But even if you prepare to be your best, you may still have to try again. Sometimes hiring managers have too many dancers, or are in a slow part of the season. Other times they have personal preferences that have nothing to do with your preparation (I've seen managers that blatantly will hire blondes over brunettes, skinny over curvy, etc.). Whether you get hired or not isn't a reflection of your ability to succeed in this industry. Most important of all is to get up, aim again, and keep trying until you get the job that you want.