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December 10, 2015

Brooke Haven Shares 10 Tips to Start Feature Dancing

This article originally ran in the November 2016 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition. My name is Brooke Haven. I have danced at gentlemen’s clubs for 17 years, and for a great many of those years have been employed as a feature dancer at clubs around the country through The Lee Network. With multiple years of experience performing and instructing in the industry, I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve learned along the way, which will hopefully help any adult performers who want to start feature dancing. So here we go… Professionalism Is KeyOne of the things that I cannot stress enough to young performers is professionalism. From the moment you arrive at a venue to the moment you leave, you are on the clock. This is a business and every part of the job must be taken seriously. The way you arrive, how you look and how you greet people are just as important as the performance on stage. When you are on stage, you have to portray that it is “the greatest booking ever.” Professionalism goes a long way in a booker’s decision to bring you back to the venue—which is a cornerstone of being successful in this profession. Get the Proper TrainingFeature dancing is no easy profession. I recommend to all beginners to get the proper training and meet with accomplished professionals before booking any appearances. Understanding the importance of stretching and building choreography routines are important, so that you don’t hurt yourself while on stage. Training both with and without a pole is encouraged, so that no matter the venue, you are comfortable performing your choreography routine. Own Your OutfitYour outfit needs to be over the top and set you apart from other acts. I take all my girls to Bizzy B on Hollywood Boulevard to find costumes. The girls can then customize their costumes to their liking, as well as find something they feel confident in—which is really important. Choreography comes after the costume, so it is important to pick the right outfit. Suitcase ItemsThree items that you always want to bring in your suitcase to a performance: baby wipes, stiletto heels, and your DVDs. Having a stash of DVDs at your bookings will bring in some extra cash.  Money TalksThe way you collect money while performing has an impact on the success of your performance. When money is laid down on the stage, be sure to go up to each person—don’t just grab the money. It’s important to build that relationship with the customer, and it’s something that management pays attention to. Also, be sure to sweep all money toward the center of the stage. That way a person can lay down more money if desired and it is much easier to collect at the end of your performance. Bring a CompanionTraveling with a companion is always more fun than traveling alone! Having an additional person with you not only can keep your mind fresh and sharp, but also can help your performance run smoothly. Coordinating with a companion who doubles as your assistant can make costume changes, money collecting and just the overall performance less stressful. Music Is MoneyChoosing the right music is very important to the overall success of your performance. During the entirety of the show, there are usually three to four songs used. The first song MUST match your costume. The song choices should be fun and upbeat, but most importantly familiar to you as the performer. I often pick songs that I jam out to in the car. Additionally, I would have two to three different track lists available based on the crowd—some may prefer rock over rave, as an example. I would try and stay away from slow songs unless it is to close your set—you want the music to bring energy to your performance. Tipping TipsWhen tipping the DJ and the door guys, I prefer to tip each individual at the end of the booking. Putting the money in blank envelopes with each person’s name on it is the most professional and safest way of tipping that I have found. If you tip at the beginning, or before your booking is finished, it puts you in a difficult spot for future appearances.  Believe in Your ActOwning your act on stage is one thing, but bringing that confidence level to signings and public appearances is equally as important. There is no time to be a shy wallflower in this industry. Take Advantage of the OpportunitiesOne perk that comes with the profession is the amount of traveling you are able to do. This job has taken me all around the world and has allowed me to see places I never dreamed I would be able to visit. So when booking events, request arrival dates one day prior, so you can explore the area. With some 400 adult movie titles on her résumé and 17 years as a feature dancing, Brooke Haven speaks with authority on how to succeed on the gentlemen’s club circuit. She wrote this article on behalf of the Lee Network for AVN magazine.

 
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