Finally, my post about club dancers and what role they have in the the SL® world. To start with, you must remember that there are two distinct types of dancer: Erotic and Non-Erotic. I decided to interview one of each so that you all have a better idea of the differences and similarities. I also decided to interview two MALE dancers since they have a unique perspective on the subject matter.
Let me introduce you to Camthan Hax (Owner and Erotic Dancer at Lounge of Dreams) and Damian Furse (Non-Erotic Dancer at Sanctuary Rock). Yup I have 2 consecutive posts about Damian and I'm sure he's gonna have a swelled head after reading these. ;-)
Anyways, the first thing to address is what exactly a Dancer does in both erotic and non-erotic environments. The most common duties include making sure people are having fun, welcoming all guests who wander into the club, and of course acting as 'eye candy' for all guests who stay for the course of the event. Having an attractive Avatar certainly helps, but don't think you have to be a human Avatar to accomplish this. There's a lot of Neko, Furry, and other types of Avatars that make wonderful dancers. Damian said, "Anyone has his place and especially in SL and a rock club... its all about the music and the fun... anything else would be racism."
Now, besides the obvious factor that Erotic dancers eventually end up naked and Non-Erotic do not, there is one other distinct difference between the two. At Erotic clubs, the Host is support for the Dancers while at Non-Erotic the Dancer is support for the Host. This doesn't make Non-Erotic dancers any less important, mind you. The more on-duty staff that greet and making guests feel welcome the better. "Notice your guests, notice your colleagues, and read the atmosphere," Damian suggests.
Erotic dancers also have to perfect the art of emoting. Camthan suggests, "The main thing to remember is that you are there for the guest, they are not there for you. You need to treat everyone the same, and they will treat you good. Anyone can get a nice looking Av, but interaction is the key. Dancing is not camping. Someone tips you $5L and you treat them good, they will be more inclined to buy more money to spend on you, and it'll be more than $5L." Don't beg for tips and don't make your emote something like 10 lines long, either. You're trying to please the guests, not annoy them.
Many non-dancers still think that being a dancer is one of the easiest jobs to do in SL®. Far from it. Not only do you have to make sure that you're not just standing there, but you also have to keep track of all the current guests, welcoming all new guests, answer any questions about the club, and also be on your toes to respond when a guest tips you. Erotic dancers add on knowing what pieces of clothes to take off at certain times and attaching "parts" properly. In reality it's one of the most difficult jobs in SL® to do and do well.
The last part of my interview with both Damian & Camthan, I asked them if they could suggest things an aspiring dancer should purchase. They both suggest investing in a good shape, skin, and a selection of clothing to wear for event themes. The first two are critical while the last you can build up over time. You should also eventually purchase a good Chim to put dances in. You can start with the provided dance machines, cages, and poles the club already provides but buying a Chim from Owenimations and dances from places like Sine Wave or Animazoo so that you have a more distinctive overall 'look'. Finally, Camthan says, "If you're going to get nude, you need to get a real penis from Dark Delights, or a Lotus penis. Xcite won't do for dancing."
So I hope this gives all guests of clubs, dancers, and aspiring dancers a more in-depth perspective on club dancers and their purpose in both Non-Erotic and Erotic environments. Thank you to Damian & Camthan as well for offering their insight.
Next Club Etiquette... DJs