At Work: Tips from Dancers
Dancers were asked what were the key personal safety tips they would give to other dancers. Here are their main tips;
- Judge the customer and use instinctive feelings to work out whether you feel comfortable or not. You learn how to judge customer’s behaviour – you can use that to read and manage situations.
- Be in control and don’t let anyone be disrespectful: it is really important to let your client know from the start that you are confident and in control of what happens.
- Always set out the rules to customers clearly before you start and tell them if they break the rules you will call security. You can tell them this in a pleasant but firm manner.
- Remember you do not have to dance for, or tolerate, the behaviour of a customer who is being rude, abusive or offensive in anyway. Walk away and inform security or management.
- Always maintain body language that suggests confidence and control by using eye contact, direct language about what is permitted and watch their hands. It’s important to state clear limits about what is permitted and stay focused on the behaviour of the customer.
- Keep your eyes on your customers and their hands at all times.
- Tell the customer to put his hands by his side, be seated with hands under their legs, legs open (whatever is required) before you will start.
- If a guy is fidgety with his hands ask him to sit on them, remind him it’s no touching. If he tries again THEN warn him.
- Don’t trust any customers and always be on your guard: even regular customers can be a problem and can start to try to push the boundaries.
I have always worked in clubs where I felt safe but I think all the time what if something does happen and stay alert
- Watch customers carefully, as much as you can and try not to turn your back totally on a customer.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Watch out for your girls and have them keep an eye or two on you.
- Use the mirrors to keep the customers in view.
- Be aware of how you position your body all the time: you can generally avoid being touched where you don’t want to be by thinking about distance and positioning.
- Be firm with no touching rules: tell them touching is not allowed. If a customer does touch the majority of dancers advised giving one or two warnings, reminding them of the rules and that security will be called if they persist. If they persist - walk away and call security.
- If a customer is verbally abusive, tactile, too intoxicated to speak properly or generally difficult to deal with warn your colleagues. If a customer has been derogatory to you, there is a high chance he will be to others.
- If a customer is too intoxicated to speak or stand properly there is a strong possibility he/she will try to touch, or at the very least be difficult to dance for - remember not every dance is worth it!
- If you are having a bad night financially it is important to try and remain upbeat (we know it’s hard!) – customers tend to sense anxiety and this sometimes leads to them behaving problematically OR will lead to you not making any money at all. Customers generally want to be presented with a friendly face (no matter how bad things might be going for you in reality).
- Never brag about how much you have earned – it could make you a target. When you are leaving the club always have your purse away and safe, consider splitting your money.
One girl recently left from another club and she had money in her bag and someone took all her money
- Split your money: hide larger notes so if you are unfortunately targeted when leaving you can hand over your smaller wad.
Private Dances & Booths
Many dancers stressed that for private dances and dancing in booths the general key tips were;
- Let security know you are in a private booth if they are not observing already.
- Lay out the rules to the customer before starting.
- Think carefully about body positioning and keep your distance.
- Use the mirrors so you can see the customer at all times.
- Should anything happen you are not comfortable with call security, if there is a panic button in the booth use it! Some local authorities are now specifying in licensing conditions that panic buttons should be fitted in private booths. Check with the club managers if this is the case in the area the club is based. You can find out yourself, either get a copy of licensing conditions from the Manager or contact the council licensing department.