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Starting Out: Your First Night

March 30, 2018

Some do's and don'ts to make the most of your first night as an exotic dancer.

 

Do:

 

Break your shoes and outfit in beforehand: Wearing your outfit before your first shift will familiarize you with how to move in it to feel sexy, how to take it off quickly and efficiently (if you've ever fidgeted with a bra strap for way too long, you'll get why that matters), and will make you feel your most sexy and confident on the day of.

 

On top of that, wearing dancer shoes (the Pleasers brand is the industry standard, at least anywhere I've worked) is an experience in itself. They're usually a lot higher than other heels, but also a lot sturdier. Once they're broken in they're very comfortable. But because they usually have patent or plastic as the top part, and because the bottom of it molds to your foot, wearing them for even a few hours before your first day will make your life a whole lot easier.

 

Remember to bring something to hold your money in: It seems obvious, but can be easily forgotten the first time you pack your bag. When you first scope out a club, make sure to keep an eye out for how the dancers are storing their cash. Usually they'll have a small purse or clutch, or a garter around their thigh or arm. You can usually choose to do either, unless your club has an explicit rule about which one they prefer. I usually like to use a garter, but if your club pays you with chips or other unwieldy objects, a small handbag may do the job.

 

You can usually find nice clutches for work at Victoria's Secret, Forever 21, etc. Usually something in a neutral tone that matches your outfits will do.

 

Garters can be bought either online at Amazon or any dancer retail shop, or at a local store that tailors to dancers. You can usually find these by searching "exotic dancer wear + your area.

 

Arrive early: Especially on your first night, it's crucial that you arrive as early as possible. For one, it maximizes your chances of being hired if you're the first audition there and you arrive ready for the job. On top of this, you will be learning the set up of the club, trying on stage sets, and aiming to have a sense of whether you enjoy this job. Being present when the management, other dancers, and support staff are available to show you around and to introduce themselves may make it feel like a much more manageable environment.

 

Keep a copy of your audition paperwork: when it comes time to file your taxes, or to review club rules and policies, you may want to take a second look at these. I only put it down because it's an easy one to forget, but it may be a pain later on if left unaddressed.

 

Write down club prices: managers tend to run through these fairly quickly, but since you'll need to know pricing for every transaction from the moment you start your shift, it's worth putting down on paper until you commit it to memory. This is also a useful habit if you ever start traveling- keeping the pricing for different clubs in your head is much harder than keeping a written log.

 

Familiarize yourself with your support team: while dancers may come and go, clubs enjoy having a stable team to take care of their customers over time. That means of everyone you work with, these employees are the most likely to have great information on customers, club rules, and strategies to increase your earnings tailored to that club.

 

Take cues from other dancers: How are other dancers moving on stage? How do they approach customers? While over time you will develop your own style and approach that works for you. When in doubt, it's always helpful to watch what other entertainers are doing day-to-day, and to make sure that you're acting on the

A note on asking for advice: while it's always useful to ask for help, a lot of times you have to build relationships- you can't expect someone who doesn't know you yet to spend their work time in developing you as an entertainer.

 

An easy way to start building relationships is to bring in other dancers when you find opportunities. Whenever I start at a new club, I like to bring in entertainers that I see are consistently busy into rooms with my customers, or invite them to tables that have more than one customer. Not only does that show other entertainers that there is quantifiable value in getting along with you professionally, it gives you an opportunity to see the way they interact with customers, and glean from their strategies and tactics.

 

Stay until close: While you're learning about the structure of your club, it's valuable to stay until the end of the night. While other dancers may leave earlier, keep in mind that many of them have already put in many hours into this business, and that some of them may have obligations that span beyond work. If you have prior obligations that limit your work schedule, it may still be useful to find an alternative solution for your first few weeks so that you can get a better sense of the best hours to work your club. I've worked at some places that are best between 7 and 10 in the evening, and others that didn't even get started learning how the club is structured, so learn how the club is structured.

Set a schedule, and keep to it: generally, it takes a few weeks to get fully settled into a club. Getting to know your support staff, having a sense of the regular clientele and the best days of the week for you all take time. But when you first start it can be easy to get overwhelmed or to leave a shift early just because you can. If you're here to work seriously, you have to behave as if you have a set schedule. Starting this practice early on means that you'll be used to keeping to at least 7-8 hours at your club every night, and giving yourself a fair shot at earning income.

 

 

 

Don't

 

Don't get discouraged: the biggest myth about this industry is that it's easy money. There is no such thing as free money. You may have customers that make your job easier, but no customer will pay you just for being there. You are an entertainer, and a salesperson; and if you've just started there will be times where you don't feel in control of the situation or of your money. That doesn't mean you can't earn great money in this industry though. It just takes practice and dedication; more than what flashy videos and social media flexing would let you think.

 

It's absolutely OK, and everyone who has danced has been there at some point. Even the most beautiful women you will meet had to learn to sell and to entertain. Otherwise, they wouldn't have maximized their earning potential. The only way to get better is to keep practicing. There will be rejections. There will be difficult or downright unpleasant customers. There may be other dancers or staff members that you develop issues with. Or it may be an internal struggle to feel that you're worthy of everything you're making.

 

A lot of those difficulties will stay around for as long as you keep dancing, but they'll get less important and you'll get better at handling them. When you start to get really good, they won't even phase you because your focus will be on your money, your success, and your future. So, when it starts to get difficult take a deep breath, remove yourself from the situation if you have to, and let go. Let go of the stress, the expectations, and the frustration. Let go of the fear, the anger, or whatever it is that is holding you back. And once you're ready, begin again.

 

Don't party hard: When you first start working, there's a temptation to treat your job like a party. For your customers, it is a party that they can walk into at any time. That's what makes the club alluring. But for you, this place is your business. You'd never let someone handle your money or your assets while they were heavily intoxicated or medicated; so don't let yourself do it.

 

Be kind to your body; it is an essential part of your job. Be kind to your mind, since without it you will not succeed either.

 

Don't sit around waiting for something to happen: The easiest way to go home empty handed is to find someone to talk with (either a co-worker or a customer) and sit there until one of you has to go home. There will always be customers at the club happy to buy you drinks and to chat with you without ever helping you move toward your goals.

 

These interactions are not doing you any favors; your time at work is your primary commodity, and if you willingly give it away it will be exponentially harder for you to turn around and ask to be paid for it later on. There a plenty of times when spending time with a customer before he commits to a purchase is a great idea; just be sure that you're not willingly sacrificing your income to hang out at work.

 

 

These are only a few ideas, but there are plenty more pieces of advice that could make a first night successful. Feel free to share what you wish someone would have told you when you first started.

 

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