One in four lap dancers has a degree
One in four lap dancers has a degree, new research has shown.
An study of the industry showed that the majority of dancers were attracted into the profession by the money, with all the women interviewed having finished school and gained some qualifications.
The average dancer took home £232 per shift after paying commission and fees to the nightclub where they worked.
Most dancers worked two to four shifts a week – giving them annual incomes of between £24,000 and £48,000 a year.
Many were aspiring actresses, models and artists who hoped to use lap dancing as a lucrative platform for breaking into their desired industry.
Unemployed arts graduates who had who had been unable to enter their ideal careers since university also made up a sizeable proportion of the lap dancers interviewed.
The research, which was conducted by Dr Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy from the University of Leeds, found that the vast majority of dancers reported high levels of job satisfaction, with most citing flexibility as the main attraction of the job.
But the academics called for better regulation to improve dancers’ safety, including the banning of private booths in clubs, where women can be put in danger when left a long with clients.
Dancers were also often left open to exploitation by the clubs which they worked, which could impose unfair charges or fines on them.
On dancer told the researchers: "There's not enough security. I know of girls who have been raped and abused at work. You cannot go to the police as you are a stripper, so there's no legal standing."
The research comes after a change in the law earlier this year saw lap dancing clubs reclassified as entertainment venues, giving local authorities more powers to limit the number of clubs in their area.
But Dr Sanders said she had been surprised at the "endless supply of women" wanting to enter the profession.
She said: "These women are incredibly body confident. I think there is something of a generational cultural difference. These young women do not buy the line that they are being exploited, because they are the ones making the money out of a three-minute dance and a bit of a chat.”
The preliminary findings of the year-long study, which includes interviews with 300 dancers, show that all the women interviewed had finished school and gained some qualifications.
Almost 90 per cent had at least completed a further education course, while one in four had undergraduate degrees.
Just over one in three dancers were currently in some form of education, with 14 per cent using dancing to help fund an undergraduate degree.