We’re all adults here, and some of us have found ourselves working at grownup entertainment establishments for one reason or another. Many of us might initially balk at putting this experience on their formal resume, but large gaps in employment can be a red flag during the hiring process, and when the the HR folks do their inevitable social media stalking the last thing you want is to be accused of misleading them or come across as dishonest. While I’m going to let my Colonists use their best judgement as to weather or not this is a good idea for their personal situations, I wanted to provide a guide for the rest of us. There’s nothing wrong with hustling up some extra cash to take care of your children or assist with paying for your education, and I applaud all the young ladies (and gentlemen!) who grit their teeth, grind that pole, and get err done to further themselves in our fucked-up world.
- Use your vocabulary; you’re not a “stripper” or “exotic dancer,” you’re an “experience creator” or “aerial performance artist.” See the difference in using the right words and the connotations they convey? Dance is a beautiful art form; some of the greatest performers I’ve had to privilege to watch can mesmerize you with a routine that comes straight from their soul. That is a unique, valuable, one-in-a-hundred thing, and if you’re one of those people don’t downplay your gifts and talent.
- Highlight the positive aspects of things you learned during your tenure, “Expanded my conversational skills in a highly competitive sales environment and excelled at closing large cash short sales.” Sounds a lot better than, “I’m really good at convincing drunk dudes to buy expensive champagne rooms.” Again, vocabulary. Use your ten-dollar words.
- Are you going into a field where good customer service skills are important, such as a receptionist, bartender, or call center operator? Describe how you were able to make guests from all different backgrounds and walks of life feel welcome and relaxed at your bar. Highlight your abilities to find common ground with people from across the socio-economic spectrum. We live in very polarizing times, and being capable of conversing pleasantly with people who are “different” is important. During your dance career, did you develop a sense of cultural literacy from interacting with people from different countries and learning their customs? In some places, shaking hands with your left hand is rude, burping at the table is considered a compliment to the chef, and staring people in the eyes when you talk to them could be seen as a challenge to a physical fight. As we become a more global and interconnected society, knowing what is and isn’t acceptable from a professional standpoint could make you a huge asset to an employer looking to expand their business to an international marketplace.
- You know those nights where the club is completely dead and you still manage to hustle up enough to pay house fees and a little bit to take home with you? That’s time-management skills and being able to meet deadlines, something essential to any job. You’d be surprised how many people lack this skill, which you have undoubtedly had to develop of your years as a performer. If you can make it in a club, one of the most cutthroat and competitive industries today, you can make it anywhere. Never forget that!
Are you a former or current dancer? What’s something you have learned on the job that you would add to this guide? Drop it in the comments!
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