What comes to mind when you hear the word Go-Go dancing?
Not surprisingly, a lot of girls look down on Go-Go dancers. They don’t know or can’t see the difference between a Go-Go dancing and stripping (and I can understand why many see stripping as degrading). I know this because I was a Go-Go dancer myself. Go-Go dancers are energetic dancers who are hired to keep the crowd going at the nightclub or at a venue. Hence, Go Go. They may or may not wear skimpy outfits, but they don’t take off their clothes, unlike strippers. (What strippers do is their business, but personally, I preferred not to be mistaken by a stripper or a sex worker.)
I must say I hated the name after only a few weeks working as a dancer because people immediately assumed and said odd things, reason why I referred to myself as a club dancer instead. I don’t know what other Go-Go dancers opt to do with their personal lives at work these days, but generally Go-Go is really just another name for cheerleader.
The confusion makes sense though. Apparently, in the 1960s, Go-Go dancers did dance topless, and perhaps that’s how the striptease industry was born, too? Today, Go-Go dancers are the girls you see in the club dancing nonstop for 30 minutes to an hour, wearing sexy bright colorful outfits; rhinestone bikini tops, tiny bikini bottoms or shorts, and seriously high-heeled boots or stilettos. They usually dance on a stage, tables, or even in cages.
My Experience as a Go-Go Dancer
These days I forget what dancing always meant to me. I think I was dancing since I was in my mama’s womb. It was my goal to become a professional dancer one day. I wanted to be a backup dancer for a celebrity or work in a Broadway musical. Go on tour with them and just dance my life off. But life kinda got in the way, or priorities changed? It’s one or the other.
I used to go to the nightclub every single weekend, basically, to shake my booty for free when I could’ve been making a few bucks for all that work. Ha ha. I enjoyed it regardless. Sometimes I looked over at the dancers, standing tall and perfectly on their heels on those tiny stages, and it made me wonder how cool it’d be if I became one of them. One day I bumped into a dancer in the ladies' room and couldn’t take my eyes off of her outfit. How cute are those little skimpy things!
I believe I called the nightclub inquiring about work as a Go-Go dancer and found out that they hired the dancers through a third-party company actually. I didn’t know how to go about that, so I put it to rest. But then, I came across an ad by a company looking for dancers. Finding out how this business worked was easier than I thought; I just had to do an online search with the right keywords.
That doesn’t sound too complicated, but wait—I thought. I actually have to attend an audition to become a Go-Go dancer? Those girls don’t even know how to move! That’s me being mean and condescending towards most of the dancers I’d seen. Partly true though. A lot of dancers don’t deliver the ton of energy they’re supposed to deliver. They just throw in a few poses, hands in the air, in rhythm with the music, or so they think, and then call that Go-Go dancing. Other dancers (ahem!) leave it all on the dance floor. Because, it’s dancing; not a modeling gig!
But I did it; I auditioned and got in easily (although I got carried away and almost fell off the stage, yikes.)
I really enjoyed myself the first few months. It was so much fun and so much better to be dancing up on a stage without the weirdos trying to bump and grind with everyone. I didn’t have to worry about the spilled drinks or people stepping on me either. Playing dress-up was one of the best parts. Also, the VIP treatment and the fact that I, the dancer, was the center of attention totally boosted my confidence. 😀
Within maybe five months, I danced at different nightclubs and some were definitely better than others. Some paid better than others, as well. More than anything, it was absolutely wonderful to be doing what I loved and getting paid for it. The 40-45 minutes sessions (my workout) in heels got me in pretty good physical shape, too.
And how did I fare in the boobs department as a Go-Go dancer? Well, it gets interesting. But let me just say that some of us had to do a lot of “adjustments” to fill up our tops (the whole story of how me and my tiny bumps were even hired to do this job will be detailed in my Flat-Chested Señorita book, which I’m still writing, which will be ready any time this century!)
What I didn’t like about the job, however, is that some nightclubs encouraged the dancers to be flirty with the crowd, the male crowd especially (which is another example of how wrong they got the idea). We didn’t have to work for tips, so I don’t understand how any club would ask for that. I didn’t mind being a little flirty; that’s a given. But to flirt directly with men in the crowd for tips…that really turned me off.
The dancers rotated, but I was sent to the same flirt-encouraging nightclub all the time and I hated the crowd there —basically, a bunch of perverted f*cks staring at my crotch. Some of them did tip the Go-Go dancers and that’s probably why they expected something in return. We didn’t have to take the money, but it was thrown at us. And it was…money. Dammit.
Because of this, my Go-Go dancing job was short-lived. I couldn’t stand being seen as fresh meat in a herd of lions. There’s only so much one can do to attempt to change society’s views. I was totally creeped out by this, never got used to it, so I just quit it.
This doesn’t mean the gig isn’t still awesome. In fact, I’d totally do it again if I didn’t have other priorities and, of course, the stage was high up and away from creeps. If anyone who truly loves dancing is contemplating the idea of working as a Go-Go dancer, I’d say go ahead. You may not have to come in physical touch with the crowd, if so desired, though it depends on the venue.
Want to become a Go-Go dancer? Here’s my advice.
Believe it or not, there are many reputable companies that take dancers’ safety seriously. You just have to do your homework to find them. Do an online search and narrow down your list. Stay away from Craigslist or proceed with caution — I found my gig there but a lot has changed since and it is now a very creepy place.
Once contact has been made, the process is simple. Companies will most likely request to see you dance just to have an idea of your skills. If you can dance and look half-decent, you have nothing to worry about (unless the competition is totally fierce). Show them what you’ve got and you’ll be on your way to a whole lot of dancing!
Go-Go dancing is not hard if you already are a dancer. If you see the dance floor as your home and you’ve got some moves, you can do it. There’s really no choreography to follow, but you have to be able to free style. Natural dancers are usually creative, so free-styling shouldn’t be a problem.
You’ll also need a lot of energy. Though I don’t know how any true dancer could get bored, there’s nothing less attractive than a club dancer yawning and swinging side to side on stage because she is tired. This will make the crowd tired, too. Don’t you know yawning is contagious? Some companies allow dancers to have a drink or two before going up on stage. You’ll be tempted, but just don’t. Or maybe limit it to just one if you must. Clumsiness by the edge of a small platform is not a great idea.
I think it is really important to research the company in question before committing to anything. There’s a lot of shady business out there and you want to make sure you get what you signed up for. Above all, be safe wherever you are scheduled to work. Security guards should have no problem walking you to your car if you drive. Never walk by yourself after work, and finally, have fun!
Don't look down on Go-Go dancers next time you see one — gymnasts were revealing attires, too, but you wouldn't look down on them, would you?