In the last ‘Dance College’ post, I went through the ‘Champagne System’ and how to navigate the hazards. This week it is all about the lap dance system and some tips on how to maximise earnings when working this style of club.
As previously mentioned, most clubs outside of continental Europe use this model. Mainly, in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Drinks provide very little income, if any at all. As a result it tends to run on a faster pace. The commission structure normally works in one of three main ways:
- A flat percentage cut to the dancer. Normally higher than champagne system clubs (65-80%), all dances have a proportion taken by the club with the majority of money going to the dancer
- A flat ‘house fee’. A set amount payable to the club at the beginning of shift with 100% of cash kept by the dancer. Some clubs will charge a ‘booth fee’ on VIP dances, though this isn’t standard.
- A combination of the two. A smaller fee payable at the beginning of your shift with a higher percentage payout on earnings.
Benefits of each style of payout
There are pros and cons to all of the commission types. If a club is busy the ‘house fee’ system can be hugely beneficial. You can end up paying as little as 5-10% of what you make on a good night. However, the amount of footfall creates no variation on the fee. If the club is quiet you can very easily end up out of pocket. Conversely, with paying a percentage, you can end up paying out hundreds on a good night. On a bad night, you are at least guaranteed some profit out of your earnings.
‘House fee’ clubs tend to be more relaxed with the dancers. Once they have been paid, it makes no difference, to them, if you throw in the towel 2 hours early on a shift or fight through to the end to try and hit that £1000 target. When the venue is taking a cut, the club earnings increase as your earning increases. As a result, leaving early or being lazy is going to lose you brownie points.
Use the time efficiently
Like the Champagne system, you really want to be aiming for no more than 5-10 minutes on each customer to break the ice. Lap dance clubs will normally offer 1 song or 3 minute dances for around £20 (or equivalent). You aren’t pushing for a larger initial sale, as is often the case in Champagne clubs. Therefore, you can go for the close a lot quicker. The small dances can seriously mount up and are good for girls that really hate the chat of sit downs.
Sit downs will get you a bigger amount in one hit but can require a little more mental effort. You need to really be able to read the customer and ensure you don’t spend the extra time talking to a time waster thinking you are getting an hour out of it. There is a huge difference between someone who needs to ease into things and a freeloader. If they are taking more than 15-20 minutes to decide, they are probably not going to go or just not that into you. Make space for someone else to have a go, stop wasting your time and find the customer for you.
Continuations can get things really stacking up. Leave the full nudity until the last minute and don’t give too much away right off the bat! Using the tail end of the dance to build into the next can keep things flowing. It is far easier to keep the customer in the room than to get them in there in the first place. It is also a lot easier to get an agreement on more time whilst they are in a very happy place…
Deciding if it can work for you
The lap dance system can be very lucrative as you can bounce from customer to customer very quickly without any obligation to have drinks. The more generous commission structure also means that with this quick work, you can walk away with better numbers and a lot less damage to your liver. On the flipside, it also means that on quiet nights, there is a lot less scope to pull money in from alternative directions if the crowd is just not playing ball. Sometimes it is better to get 50% of a thousand than 100% of zero.
If you are a dancer that prefers physical exhaustion to mental at the end of the night, and chatting is not your thing, then the lap dance system is definitely the way forward. If sit-downs are more your thing than you can make it work in either, but you will definitely gain the benefits when you can sell Champagne too.
I am a UK based, owner of an international stripper recruitment agency called Showgirls International. I have over 10 years club experience worldwide. When I think I have seen it all, something proves me wrong and that is what keeps me on my toes and fascinated with the industry!