The club itself was well appointed with a large stage with two poles in the middle. There was a 10' long fireplace on the far left side wall, flanked with two somewhat cheesy looking statues of posed dancers. There were several recessed female busts on the walls, back-lit with (what else) red lights. The ceiling was quite tall- I'd say about 40' or so. There were several mirrored disco balls and the obligatory multi-colored lights streaming down on the darkened room and the illuminated stage.
Richard, the hiring manager/bouncer is a large, heavy yet muscular chap standing about 6'2". The first thing I noticed about him was that he had a shaved head, and a slightly bored expression. He handed me an application to fill out, and told me we'd talk afterwards. I sat at the bar, my stomach burbling with nervousness and excitement, and was grateful to have something soothing and routine to focus my attention on. Name, social security number, places I'd danced at- it was all very calming. After I filled out my job application, I was taken to the DJ booth to meet Dominik, a jovial blue eyed gentleman who was quite talkative. Dominic been DJing at Cheetah's for 4 years. He said he's getting a bit tired of it and is thinking of becoming a plumber. We shot the shit for a little, and I gave him my music, then was directed to the ladies room to change. New dancers aren't brought into the dressing room- probably for very good reasons.
As I was changing, a 5'6" tall brunette with long, straight brown hair and bright blue eyes came in. She was wearing her street clothes, a green sweater, brown skirt, and brown suede boots. As she was washing her hands, I smiled and said hi, and she asked if I was auditioning.
"Yes," I replied.
"Are you new? Is this the first club you've been too?" She asked.
"No," I smiled back wryly, "I'm afraid I'm an old hat at this. I danced for 5 years ago back in the day."
She nodded sagely and regarded me with a friendly smile. "I've worked at 23 different clubs," she said.
"Holy shit," I replied, rather surprised. She looks too young to have gone through so many with her bright blue eyes and girl-next-door looks. "How's the clientèle?" I asked.
"We get lots of Indians in here," she replied, "And you know what that means."
"Yup," I laughed back, "Grabby and cheap!"
"Totally," she responded, " We also get our share of traveling businessmen in, though, so that's nice," she stated, as she walked out the door.
The 4 girls I'd seen so far looked sober and happy, which is rare in a club. I returned to the DJ booth, and Dominic filled me in on the drill.
"Okay, so the rules are: no touching the customers. The customers put their money on the railing, and you shouldn't get within 5" of them or so." He gestured with his hands. "Don't try to walk on the rail, either, you might fall."
"I don't think I'd want to try it in these heels," I responded.
He chuckled and continued, "That's good. Don't dance too fast, like you're in a club," he gave me the eye.
"I danced for 5 years in out-call service and a few months at Little Darlings in the City," I responded.
"Then you know what you're doing. Have fun. I'll play your two songs, 2 minutes each- short, because it's an audition."
"Great. Thank you very much," I replied and got ready to go up.
The opening notes to The Fixx's 'One Thing Leads to Another' came on, and I started my flirty walk towards the stage. Walking in dancer heels is an all-or-nothing deal- you either move your feet with certainty and fling your hips with zest, or you fall on your face. I hip-swished my way through the room, and balanced my way up the 4 steps to the stage. The stage was lit with scarlet red lights, with a conservative brown hard-wood floor. The hardwood was a nice change to the mirrored floors I've seen in so many clubs. The stage was about 20' long, with poles up to the ceiling on either end.
I got on the stage, wrapped my hands around the pole, and suddenly my body started to move around it, I did a few little steps encircling the pole, then boom- up went my left leg, then my right, and I slid down slowly, using my thigh strength to slow me down. I didn't know I could still do that. As I finished my slide and looked around, directly to my right was a 30 something Latino man who was getting up to leave. I got right in front of him, dropped to my knees, and started to tease him with my cleavage, stroking my hands up and down the front of my jacket before unbuttoning it in front of him.
"Going somewhere, honey?" I asked teasingly.
He sat right back down and said, "Well, I was, but I'll stick around for those," he nodded at my breasts. I smiled and danced for him for a minute before crawling my way over to a cute Hispanic couple. They were heavier-set, and the woman was flirty. I had fun dancing in front of her, and smiled at her man before proceeding to say hi to the 3 businessmen on the opposite end of the stage.
I crawled down the stage, swaying my hips in time with my knees moving forward.
The three older gentlemen seemed to be having a good time- 2 more so than the 3rd. I asked the third one, "Why no smile, honey?" Everyone is honey, or sugar, or baby to a dancer.
He managed to crack a grin as I spread-eagled myself in front of him, teasing his buddies and trying to get a rise (ahem) out of him.
There was a thin, taciturn looking man with weepy brown eyes two seats over to the left of the three. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was not going to tip me. Oh, he was enjoying the show, he was just a cheap person who feels that the 20 dollar admission price means one can sit in the hot seat without paying. I ignored him after my brief salutation.
I slither-crawled my way back to the Latino couple. I enjoyed air grinding and rubbing my tits on the stage with my ass in the air in front of them, and then my song went off.
"Let's hear it for the sexy and sultry Riley!" said Dominic over the PA system.
I gathered my clothes, tossed the few ones I'd made into them, thanked my customers, and then headed back to the bathroom to get dressed. After I dressed, I was to meet Richard to discuss employment. As I was in the bathroom, patting the sweat off my body, I realized that dancing isn't for me anymore.
I've seen that couple a hundred times. I know those businessmen well. Oh, I don't know their names, but I know their stories. I don't even need to talk to them to tell you all about their lives. I had watched about 12 girls filter in and out of the room as I was dancing- sassing out the competition/new cat on the block. They struck artful poses next to a few clients, the rest lounging by the walls, hands draped purposefully on their hips, nipples brushing against the black silk of their string bikinis. They watched me with very old eyes, and I could feel my own age rising up behind mine in greeting.
I thanked Richard for the opportunity, and told him I was sorry, but the dancing life just wasn't for me any more. He seemed surprised, but was friendly, and walked me to my car.
As we walked through the chilly parking lot he said, "You have to do what's in your heart. Honestly, I don't think this life is really for me anymore either," he laughed softly and low. As we reached my car, I realized I'd left my CD in the club.....honestly, I didn't need it. I can burn another. I just wanted to leave. Apparently, the DJ is quicker than I, and alerted Richard over the radio that I had left it. Richard went to the back door and got the rest of my tips (I guess I hadn't seen them in the post-adrenaline haze I had going on). He passed me my CD, a few more 1 dollar bills, and wished me goodnight. I drove away laughing and shaking my head at myself.
I made 13 dollars for my last foray into the dancing world- a number I consider to be a good omen. At first I was pissed at myself for not just saying I could work for a few weeks and making some quick cash, but I don't really want to lie with my eyes and my body any more. I'm over it, I've been there before, and I don't need that particular visit to memory lane... and I think I'm happy about that.