Customers, dancers and staff relations
Dancers had different views and advice on this. The majority of dancers advised other dancers not to arrange to see customers for private dances or other involvements outside the club for a number of reasons including;
- Breaks house and licensing rules.
- Breaks down the professional boundary between work and private life.
- For personal safety reasons: inside the club a range of security measures are in place, outside of the club in a one to one meeting you are more vulnerable.
They advised, never taking or giving mobile phone number to customers, using a professional dancer work name in work and if you have a professional dancer facebook have this separate from any personal facebook account and use your professional dancer name. Some dancers said they use a separate name for their professional facebook account to their club dancer’s name so they cannot be easily searched for by customers who you do not want to access this page.
Some other dancers advised that realistically dancers are working in a club which is a social environment where you may meet people you want to form relationships with. They advised dancers to check with the club about the policy on exchanging of numbers/email addresses with customers. Many will have a zero tolerance policy (so no exchanges of numbers/email addresses permitted) as this might lead to allegations of dancers soliciting and mean they can lose their license. But, you may well meet someone who you would like to date. If this is the case arrange to meet them using the same precautions you would use for an on-line/blind date. Make sure a friend knows your meeting place (which should be busy) and that you give them a call at a pre-arranged time to let them know you are safe. Some dancers noted that many dancers have dated and married customers.
Bumping into Customers & Public Recognition
Remember you may bump into customers and be recognised outside of the club. Chances are customers will be too shy/embarrassed to say anything to you, but feel free to say a quick ‘hi’ if they do say ‘hi’ to you. The level of conversation you choose to have is up to you. Some dancers keep their job a secret and are therefore uncomfortable with any level of out-of-club contact, whereas others are not.
I have met customers whilst out with my mother - who have approached me to have a ‘chat’. My family know what I do, and while they might not like it they know it’s a ‘job’. Living a double life (while unfortunately necessary for some dancers) can be difficult to manage in the long-term.
Also beware of agreeing to be featured on venue promo material or venue websites – if you are fine with this but don’t want to be recognised outside of the club, make sure your face is obscured.