My current job has given me a direct connection to the dance industry. I've talked about this to a few of my friends and find it incredibly sweet that most of them thought I was talking about ballet dancers or Dancing With the Stars kind of dancers.
My friends… I am talking about strippers-women who take off their clothes in a manner that is choreographed to music. As church folks I’m going to guess that you’re not too familiar with the finer details of this industry so please allow me to share with you my findings.
First and foremost like all things there is a hierarchy of haves and have-nots. The “haves” in this business…..really are the club owners…but they do create a system that pits women against women. Because the women who bring in the most business to the clubs dance for free, have their wardrobes purchased by the club owners, receive free security in and out of the club as well as while they are working and they keep all of the tips they make.
Those women who dance in less well known clubs, off the main strip so to speak, pay a lot to dance. They have to pay a daily fee to the club owners just to be able to get on stage to dance and therefore have access to earn tips. They have to buy their own outfits (which are NOT cheap- less surface area covered does not equal less of a price tag!!) because they can’t wear the same outfit twice in one night- so every time they go up to dance, there is a new outfit that goes with them. They have to pay for bodyguard service in and out of the club. They don’t have to pay for protection while they are working because the club assigns them a bodyguard… who also is responsible for documenting every time the dancers are on stage or perform a lap dance or other private services….because the club owners take a percentage of those tips as well.
Our city has a 33% unemployment rate in some areas and there are little if any career options for our young women and men to aspire to. When your life choices are stripping or working in fast food there is little space for the Good News to break in. And even if it did, I'm not sure anyone could recognize it.