Lapdancers bare brunt of economic downturn

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Lapdancers no longer need dancing skills, because club owners prefer women who are better at “hustling” for private dances rather than performing, a study suggests.

Owners have compensated for falling profits in the economic downturn by demanding more money from their performers, according to researchers Dr Teela Sanders and Dr Kate Hardy from the University of Leeds.

They told the British Sociological Association’s annual conference yesterday that club owners had also increased the fees women pay to have the opportunity to dance, in order to remain buoyant.

The researchers said: “It was unnecessary to have any dancing skills whatsoever, let alone the ability to do athletic tricks on the pole. The core skill necessary shifted from performance to hustling for private dances.”

Dr Sanders and Dr Hardy surveyed 197 dancers, interviewed 35 women and visited 20 strip clubs and pubs in the largest research project of its kind into the strip club industry in the UK.

One dancer complained about what she said was a fall in standards. She told the researchers: “You’d see some girl who wasn’t very pretty, couldn’t dance, had a crap outfit, making a lot more money than you because she was there to make money, not to enjoy herself and be creative, so she would be pushier.”