10 Lessons from Professional Vegas Exotic Dancers
Why Being an Extrovert is So Important in Exotic Dancewear Las Vegas
Las Vegas is literally the capital of exotic dancewear, so it’s no surprise that there is a lot to learn from the performers who make their homes there.
Not only can wearing the right dancewear boost your self-esteem, but it can also help you to become a better performer and a more extroverted person.
Soon, you’ll be working in some of the best clubs on the Strip, money falling out of your pockets as you leave work each night.
But there’s no point in wearing an exotic dance outfit if you don’t feel like your best self in it. That alone can wreck your confidence.
Sometimes, our doubts about ourselves become so great that even the most rocking outfit isn’t enough to bolster you and give you the confidence that you need.
As a performer, I think it’s natural for people to assume we always have our happy face on. People come to Las Vegas to get away from their normal daily lives, and we want to provide an experience for them.
When we’re on stage, we radiate such an intense energy of confidence that it’s hard to see the true emotions of the person underneath.
It’s not true that all performers are extroverts; in fact, I know many of my fellow dancers are total introverts, who love hanging at home on the couch with their cat and Netflix more than anything in the world.
We have to project that personality on-stage, and for a lot of us, the mask comes off as soon as we leave the stage. That’s a fatal mistake in our industry, where we need to be ON at every moment we are surrounded by customers. There is no room for error.
Despite our natural inclinations towards or against being around others, it’s important as dancers that we know how to project extroversion at the right moments.
There is nothing worse than getting off-stage and knowing your performance fell flat because you didn’t connect with your audience.
Or even worse: a customer expecting you to be fun to talk to after a wonderful dance, and you have no personality to speak of.
A good outfit might add to your confidence, but it’s not going to save the day when it comes to trying to talk to customers or convince them to have a private dance.
There is an element to a great performance, one that’s rarely talked about in our industry: personability.
You can be a great dancer, practicing all day every day on your home pole or in a studio, but if you cannot connect with your customers, you’re not going to keep customers coming back.
Especially in such a high-competition city as Las Vegas, there are too many dancers out there that have both for you to get by with just the skills and not the personality.
Don’t Hide Under the Piano
Look, I get being shy. It’s not a choice.
When I was a kid, I was always so shy that performing my dance moves in front of others left me shivering with anxiety.
Sometimes, I would freeze up under the pressure--there was one memorable ballet performance where I ran and hid underneath the piano rather than perform my pirouettes with the rest of the class.
My shyness took over and obliterated my personality. It wasn’t until I had a few years of practice under my belt with dance that I began to feel comfortable performing in front of others. I never hid under a piano again, that’s for sure.
When I first became an exotic dancer, I was visited by the same crippling anxiety that had overwhelmed me when I was a kid.
Especially that first performance, where I broke the strap of my outfit just before--I was not off to a good start. If I had gone with ShopMoola’s line of beautiful clothes, all of that might’ve gone away, but that’s why I’m sharing my mistakes with you now.
I had experience with go-going at that point and had found my way into pole a year or so before I took the plunge, and I knew that I needed to get over my performance anxiety. It was a crushing blow to my self-esteem, flubbing that first dance.
Nevertheless, I persisted.
I kept taking pole classes and practicing my speech to customers in the mirror. I picked up subtle tips from other dancers, and practiced as much as I could with all of the new things I was learning. Instead of giving up, I became a sponge.
One of the biggest things I’ve realized over the years is that once you become comfortable with yourself and your routine, there’s no fear. If you feel 100% true to yourself, there’s no way you can fail when you step onto that brightly-lit stage.
But there’s more to our jobs as entertainers: if you can’t bring that same energy off-stage, your customers won’t keep coming back.
Having a good conversation is just as important as having great dance moves--if not more, some nights, when your hips hurt or your feet are sore and you want to talk to someone for a while.
Being engaging and fun to talk to is not only a boon to your tips--it also will help you in every other aspect of your life.
So whether you’re new to trying to socialize or you’ve been doing it your whole life, I have some tips and tricks to help you up your game when it comes to talking to customers while feeling great about what you’re wearing.
With ShopMoola, there’s never a doubt that your confidence will falter from your outfit not fitting well--you can be sure of that.
10 Lessons from Professional Vegas Exotic Dancers Plus Outfits for To Help You Become A Confidence All-Star
1. Be Comfortable Where You Work
Is the club that you’re dancing at one that you’d want to come to on a wild night off? Or is it a place that you hate to be, a dread to come into work every single day?
It’s so important that you feel comfortable in your place of work. You’re not going to be able to loosen up and be your authentic self if you don’t feel at one with your surroundings.
I’ve worked at clubs where the owner was a jerk, or my fellow dancers made me feel bad about myself. You deserve better than that--how can you thrive if you’re constantly being put down.
Another consideration is the differences in audiences at different clubs.
Every club is different, and every club caters to a different set of clientele. There are some spots where I will thrive and others where I know my personality will fall flat--learn where your strengths are and feed into those.
There’s no point in working somewhere that you aren’t a good fit, unless you don’t have a choice. In that case, try to adapt as best you can, or relocate to an area that has better options for clubs.
For example, the [Enchanting Women's High Cut Deep V Monokini Thong One Piece in Wild Animal Foil Print] would work at a more EDM-vibe club, whereas something more like the [Hanky Panky Women's Cheeky Scrunch String Tie Bikini Set in Sheer Passion Foil Lace Black Sangria Trim] might work at an upscale club.
2. Practice Talking In the Mirror While Wearing your Favorite Confidence-Boosting Outfit
One thing I did when I was first starting out was practicing ice breakers in front of the mirror on my off-time. It helped me to come up with ways to engage with my customers outside of just my moves on-stage and it also helped me be more confident in what I was saying.
One easy tip is to put on your dancewear, whatever makes you feel most powerful (such as Hanky Panky Women's Cheeky Scrunch String Tie Bikini Set in Sheer Passion Foil Lace Black Sangria Trim), and practice in front of the mirror in that. Know how you look to your customers.
Practicing in the mirror is a great technique for improving pretty much anything, but since there is such a strong visual component to dance, it’s even more important that you understand deeply how you appear. If your normal resting face has a slight frown, remind yourself to smile more often. If your smile is a little too full of teeth, remind yourself to tone it down.
A lot of customers, especially regulars, are lonely and want someone beautiful to talk to for a little while. If you feel confident in the way you appear and also know what you’re going to say to break the ice, it makes it a lot easier to get over the awkwardness of a new introduction.
3. Learn How to Listen
It’s important to learn how to be an active listener.
Say you engage with a customer, break the ice, and you still feel like the conversation is stiff and dull? Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them, and being an active listener can help you learn more about the customer, so you can engage them further.
Try to find similar interests between you and that person, to create a sense of intimacy.
Listen to what they have to say. Repeat them, but in your own words.Think about how you’re sitting--do you look interested? Even if the customer is boring you, you can always smile and nod and ask questions to keep them talking. If they feel listened to, they’ll be more engaged in the conversation.
4. Go Outside of Your Comfort Zone
You’ll never have success “faking it till you make it” with extroversion if you’re not willing to push your own personal limit. No one ever became more personable by sitting at home and staying within their own boundaries of introversion. The television and your bed will not make you more personable, I’m sorry to tell you.
When I first started dancing, I felt a little self-conscious about my body and my lack of skill. I knew I needed to work harder to look good, but there wasn’t anything wrong with my look at that point, objectively speaking.
Some days I would just wear my exotic dance outfits around the house, just to feel more comfortable in them.
It wasn’t until I built up a little bit of confidence that I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and wear awesome outfits like this one here. It really does enhance your style and personality when you can pull something off that nobody else would dare to.
So go outside of your comfort zone! You’ll feel better about yourself, even if you just start off by faking it. Here’s a good example of an outfit [Hanky Panky Women's Cheeky Scrunch String Tie Bikini Set in Sheer Passion Foil Lace Black Sangria Trim] that is out of my comfort zone but I’d still love to wear.
5. Talk to Strangers
Practice small talk with everyone you come across. If someone says something funny in my vicinity, I like to giggle and use it as a way to start talking to them.
It feels good to be able to engage with just about everyone you meet, no matter how small the interaction is, and it gives you practice for when you’re talking to customers.
Sometimes when I go out to the pool, I’ll wear one of my exotic dance outfits (like this one: [Sexy Thang Women's High Rise Super Cheeky Tanga Thong Double Strap Bikini Set Sparkly Lilac]) so I can practice talking to normal people in that clothing. The closer I can get to actually simulating talking to a customer the better.
But even if you’re not wearing your work outfit, you can start conversations at the grocery store or at the mall, while waiting in line for the bank or waiting for your oil to get changed. There’s so many opportunities to step up your game and enhance your confidence if you just take the chance and put yourself out there.
6. Dress The Part
It’s not just important that you look the part, but that you feel comfortable dressing the part. After all, what’s the point of wearing something that you can’t stop adjusting nervously?
Being extroverted means having to pretend you don’t feel insecure or nervous around customers, and if you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, you won’t project that to your customers.
If, on the other hand, everything aligns and you feel like a powerful dancer up on stage, more the better. But remember to bring that energy when you leave the stage as well. You are an entertainer, someone that your customers come in to see you perform, but they also want to talk to you.
7. Learn How to Be a Conversationalist
It’s not easy to learn how to talk to people, but I promise that once you learn how to make conversations interesting, you’ll be able to see that there’s something to be learned from just about everyone you meet.
Some people might not come off as interesting or personable when you first sit down with them, but once you get them talking about something they love, you’ll be able to bring out the best in them.
My favorite way to connect to customers is to ask them about their interests, as indicated by whatever shirt or button they might be wearing. For instance, if a person is wearing sports memorabilia, that’s an immediate segue into engaging the customer in conversation.
There’s no end to the things you can engage your customers on. Keep an eye out for if they’re drinking themselves into a hole, and try to cheer them up if so. It’s always nice to have a beautiful person trying to make your mood better when you’re sad, especially a talented performer such as yourself.
8. Engage in Group Activities
There’s no better way to learn to be a social butterfly than to engage with people who have common interests with you.
When you’re surrounded by like-minded people, it makes you feel like you can be your truest self.
Personally, I like to use pole class as my “getaway” to talk about all things pole-related. I’ve always been an athlete, so learning the ins and outs of each trick gets my inner nerd going. I can also wear my sexiest outfit, like this one [Hanky Panky Women's Cheeky Scrunch String Tie Bikini Set in Sheer Splattered Lime Mesh Black Trim] without any judgement.
I think that being around others who share similar interests with me makes it a lot easier to learn how to talk to people. It makes you understand that people really are what they are passionate about, underneath, and those things connect us deeply.
9. Have Downtime (But Not Too Much)
I mentioned burn-out in my introduction to this post, and burnout is. SO. REAL.
If you need time to recharge after large social occasions, exotic dancing is going to take a lot out of you. It requires you to be “on” pretty much all the time, and that can be pretty exhausting to the introverted mind.
So I think it’s really important to plan downtime into your week. I don’t just mean time to sit in front of the TV being a couch potato--no, I mean true “you time”, where you focus on pampering yourself in some way.
Whether it’s a nice bubble bath and a face mask, a full spa day (or a home spa day), or just a twenty-minute period to read a book you’ve been wanting to get to, take some time that’s just for YOU. Needing to recharge between social engagements is normal, so Netflix with your cat if you truly need to. Just make sure you don’t lose yourself in recharging and not go after your goals.
I find that if I have too much downtime, I start to feel lazy. I’ll end up not practicing on my pole at home, so I try to schedule my downtime at specific times on my days off or before going into work. That way, I know how much time I have to just sit and be.
Sometimes, I’ll lounge by the pool, wearing something like this outfit [Dazzle Me Women's Rhinestone Brazilian Mini Cheeky Low Rise Scrunch String Tie Bikini Set in Lilac Jewels]. It helps to know even in my relaxation that I can still be confident and feel sexy.
10. Be Yourself
The most important part of being a performer is not the persona you put on when you get on stage--it’s the power that comes from being your true self. There’s absolutely nothing greater than embracing your true being when you are on stage, and an outfit like the one above is just an example of how loud and proud you can be with your self-image.
I always say, “Don’t blend in. Blend out.” Anything that is unique about is a strength, because it’s not something that anyone else has, so play it up!
One of the weirdest things about me is how much I love to mash up strange patterns. I’ve always called my personal style “homeless alien” because it’s slouchy but it has a touch of strange, futuristic flair to it. I’m not sure why, but that’s just the kind of style I’ve always loved. I suppose “hipster alien” might also be a good moniker.
So I like exotic dance outfits that are loud or have a futuristic element, such as this iridescent beauty [Sexy Thang Women's High Rise Cheeky Tanga Thong Double Strap Bikini Set in Silver Iridescent]. I play up that strangeness for the crowd because it is indeed my strength.
Find your own little weirdness, and dress for it. I know a lot of dancers who find great success in dressing up as rave girls or as wild animals, just because that’s something they love to do. If you love what you’re wearing, your audience will be able to see that in you as well.
No matter who you are, there is a unique beauty inside of you. You just have to display it, so people can appreciate it.
There are so many ways that you can teach yourself how to be a social butterfly if that’s something that you lack, and in Las Vegas of all places, wearing the right exotic dance outfit is essential to that.
I promise you that being more of a conversationalist and being confident in yourself is not just something that comes on by accident. It’s a goal to set to become more extroverted, and wearing clothes you feel confident in is just one step to take towards that. It’s important that you feel like your best self on and off-stage, so that you become the best performer that you can possibly be.
Here at ShopMoola, we want you to live your life to its fullest, and never settle when it comes to dancewear.