Are you one of those nightclub operators who hires go-go dancers based solely on the “eye-candy” factor? If so, you may be among the majority of venue operators who don’t know some important aspects of properly hiring a go-go dancer/entertainer. That means you most likely are not tapping into your full profit potential.
Or, if you are thinking about adding go-go dancers to your business — maybe you are on the fence about it— consider this: Once the word gets out that you have live performers, customers of both sexes will be curious. Go-go dancing is an exciting form of entertainment, and just the mere presence of dancers helps create an energetic, vibrant and, most importantly, profitable group dynamic for your business.
Nightclub & Bar’s own Jon Taffer taught me three key ingredients that truly affect your nightclub or bar business: personal, interactive and group dynamics. Keep these in mind when hiring go-go dancers; these three elements play a crucial role in making sure you choose the right dancers to help grow your business.
Think about the personal dynamic, and ask yourself, is the dancer you are considering as a sub-contractor or a hire have the persona, character, personality and/or energy that fits your venue’s atmosphere? As for the interactive dynamic, can the potential hire fit in the environment, or can she/he create that environment through confidence? And finally the group dynamic: Will your entertainer potentially use or implement organizational development and social status to help you obtain your business’ group objective? No matter how gorgeous the entertainers may be or how well they move, if they don’t possess these three dynamics, they won’t help grow your business.
When we think “go-go dancer,” we envision energy and motion, not to mention a little sex appeal, but behind all the glitz and glam, there are profitable and fundamental reasons you need to be hiring the right go-go entertainment for your venue. Recruiting talent suitable for your specific setting/venue is imperative. The go-go dancers you hire must be trained and able to adapt to any environment, whether it be a regular night or a private corporate event. Obviously, they have to look exceptional, but they also must be versatile and able to perform different dance styles. I’ve seen it time and time again: A venue’s management hires “eye candy” without a clue about dance talent, experience, stage presence or style. The point in hiring go-go dancers is to entertain your guests while creating a fun-filled, energetic experience. If you hire someone who can’t dance, has no energy and isn’t able to work a crowd in a positive light — in other words, you hire solely on looks — you are not practicing quality control, and, worst of all, you’re missing out on profits! You must look for the whole package when hiring. Creating the look of your club through your ambiance and entertainment allows you to build your venue’s reputation.
By now you’re probably thinking, “Who cares if eye candy can’t dance?” or “Who cares if a quality dancer isn’t as appealing?” Women care! They are the prime demographic in the nightlife industry; you should know by now that “the money goes where the ladies go.” For instance, many women enjoy these entertainers because they tap into their own inner go-go dancer; they are intrigued with the fantasy of being in the limelight. If your female customers enjoy and embrace your go-go dancers, everyone else will as well.
Bottom line: Your go-go dancers help create your overall club persona and vibe, ultimately influencing guests’ perception of the quality you deliver. When hiring, consider dancing ability and talent; personal-, interactive- and group-dynamic abilities; and appearance. The right go-go dancers will generate excitement in the club, create buzz about the total experience and bring in greater sales and profits.
Go-Go Pay & Scheduling
When discussing the opportunity that go-go dancers present for clubs, the most frequently asked questions include, “What do I pay? And how do I schedule?” Remember, there are industry standards. Adhering to them will help your venue deliver a great experience for guests, entertainers and your bottom line.
Depending on your market, dancers should make between $150 and $275 per night or per four-hour shift. To ensure dancers can remain energetic and fresh, I recommend using one of these approaches when scheduling:
- Dancers perform for 20 minutes of each hour. In between sets, each should be given the opportunity to increase liquor sales and make tips by selling shots or running a “beer tub” or other station. This enables them to create a regular fan base by generating a dynamic interaction with your customers.
- Dancers perform for 30 minutes of each hour with no additional duties.
GO-GO HIRING CHECKLIST
When hiring a go-go dancer, consider the following attributes:
- Creative ability to express one’s self through music (e.g., a sense of rhythm and style).
- Incredible energy and ability to create a certain atmosphere while entertaining a crowd.
- Great confidence, physical fitness and stamina.
- Physical attractiveness.
- Outgoing and interactive (both are a must!).