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Dancing for a Restaurant Audience
by Schadia and Saleema , © 2004
- Always have facial expressions that correspond w/ your music. Get into your music and Jam out! Do not make the music your partner, dancing beside or around it. Let the music into your body and FEEL the emotions of the music.
- If you are not happy, fake it! People are paying to watch you dance. Put on a good show.
- Eye contact: ALWAYS make eye contact w/ your audience members. Do not dance exclusively inside yourself. If you do, you will not make good tips nor will you have satisfied patrons.
- Flirt with both men and women. Make eye contact, dance for them. It is a good idea to make eye contact w/ the women of a table first.
- If someone does not make eye contact w/ you, or gives you negative vibes, move on! Always know that their negativity has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do w/ you or your performance. You rock and you should always know it!
- Dance w/ the children. They are lots of fun and people love to see their kids dancing!
- If someone is doing some heavy chair dancing, ask them to get up and dance w/ you. But, if they don't want to, be gracious and definitely don't force them or embarrass them.
- Have fun, smile and feel good about yourself!
About Accepting Tips:
Tipping is controversial. The policy of myself and my dancers is that we accept tips into our hands, into our belts or showered overhead. So, the following takes that policy for granted.
- Get the tip where you want it.
In order to insure that customers tip into your belt - direct them where you want them to tip w/ your hands. Put your hip towards them, do a fancy little hand twist & frame your hip. It is also fun for you and the costumer to first dance a little "out of reach" and then go in for the tip. Tease, but don't over do it. Teasing can get old & even frustrating for the costumer, if you do it too long.
DO NOT let costumers tip in any section of your bra. If a costumer goes for your bra, take a step back, shake your finger & give them a friendly NO. Frame your hip with your hands and direct them to put the money in your belt. If this doesn't work the first time, repeat the process. If they don't take the hint, dance away and move on.
Every once in a while you will get a joker who puts money in their teeth. AGH! What a pain! These are usually young guys, who are trying to be cute in front of their friends. If they do this, I either ignore them, or if I am feeling playful, I act like I am going to come to get the tip & then pull the money quickly out w/ my hand and dance away waving the dollar around - like "ha ha ha" - I got you! That usually makes his friends laugh & makes him look silly. It just depends on my mood & the vibe of the place where I am dancing.
As a rule, don't ever do anything you don't feel comfortable with. Men will try stuff. It is their little role in our world, but your job is to be professional, make your money & feel good about yourself. So keep that in mind when accepting tips.
- Don't let the choreography of a dance hinder you from getting tips. Tips are a big part of your "paycheck." Don't be so into doing your choreography that you can not get out of it in order to get tips. Many patrons enjoy tipping, you need to indulge them and take thier money!
- You job is to entertain and make patrons feel special. Make sure that you make and maintain eye contact w/ the patron, who is tipping, AND with other patrons at the table. This is VERY important.
- Always say THANK YOU or Merci when someone tips you. Don't forget this. It is rude not to thank them verbally.
- Also show your appreciation by spending a few seconds dancing in front of a table after they tipped. No need to stay long, 5-10 seconds is enough.
- Make sure you always put the tips tightly into your skirt or push it into your underwear. Don't think too much about it, don't look down at it or bring attention to what you are doing. Just do it quickly while dancing - do it nonchalantly during a turn or while walking up the steps...
- If a tip falls on the floor, NEVER EVER pick it up yourself. If a patron points out that a tip has fallen, you can say "Oh, can you get that for me?" --- that always works. Otherwise, a member of the waitstaff will pick it up for you after your set. You need only ask.
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