27 August 2010

The surprising demographics of lap dancers

These data are from a study conducted in the U.K.:
Dancers took home an average of £232 a shift after paying commission and fees to the club, with most working between two and four shifts a week – giving them annual incomes of between £24,000 and £48,000 a year...

"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. You have got to have a certain way about you to do it. They say 80 per cent of the job is talking.

The preliminary findings of the year-long study, which will include interviews with 300 dancers, reveal that all the women interviewed had finished school and gained some qualifications.  Most (87 per cent) had at least completed a further education course, while one in four had undergraduate degrees.

Just over one in three dancers were in some form of education, with 13.9 per cent using dancing to help fund an undergraduate degree, 6.3 per cent to help fund a postgraduate degree, and 3.8 per cent using it to fund further education courses.

Some women begin dancing after graduating from university and not being able to find work. The researchers found arts degree graduates were most likely to report that they had turned to dancing after being unable to find other work. Others used dancing to provide a more steady and reliable income when working in more unstable arts jobs.


  1. I have a niece who teaches pole-dancing.
    She is highly intelligent (was transferred during her school years to a 'gifted student' program), has two science degrees, then trained as a physical fitness trainer, whilst winning regional trophies for kick boxing.
    She's also travelled the world, on her own.
    She's nobody's dupe.
    So she dances because she wants to, and is proud of herself, and self-confident.

    I admire her, not sure I could have been so assertive at her age.

  2. Oh?
    "Undergraduate Degree" Isn't that an oxymoron?
    An undergraduate studies toward a degree, the granting of the degree is called "graduation".

    So, if you are an undergraduate you have no degree: if you have a degree you are not an undergraduate.

  3. Actually, it's not an oxymoron:

    "An undergraduate degree (also called first degree or simply degree) is a colloquial term for an academic degree taken by a person who has completed undergraduate courses... In the United Kingdom, the degree of bachelor is the most common type of "undergraduate degree"... the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program in Canada is considered an "undergraduate degree."

    More at Wikipedia.

  4. Ah, Wikipedia.....
    To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, (ona verbal contract)
    "Wikipedia: it's not worth the paper it's written on"

    Nuttall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language, (based on the labours of the most eminent lexicographers), Frederick Warnes and Co., Publishers, London and New York, 1936. (I love this dictionary, it does not have "email", "hypertext", or "large hadron collider", but it does have English.)

    "Undergraduate: n, a student or member of a university who has not yet taken a degree"

    The Concise Oxford English Dictionary says: "Member of university who has not yet taken his first degree."

    Merriam Webster: a student at a college or university who has not received a first and especially a yet received a first degree"

    I got sidetracked wandering through my library, I was going to see what "Usage and Abusage" had to say but...
    Let's look at an online definition.

    :(n) undergraduate, undergrad (a university student who has not yet received a first degree)

    Wikipedia's the only one marching in step?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. soubriquet, I wouldn't argue about the definition of "undergraduate," but of course here we're talking about the paired words.

    I would look at it two ways. The first is that "undergraduate degree" is simplified from "undergraduate's degree" - that is, the degree awarded to someone who was an undergraduate while studying for it.

    Secondly, it may have evolved into common use as a way to distinguish a first degree from the "graduate degrees" or "postgraduate degrees."

  7. I'm not convinced.

    I still think it's a contradiction, That attaining a degree is called graduation, and therefore if you have not attained the degree yet, you're an undergraduate, if you have attained it, you're a graduate.

    I suggest a possible source for the misnomer is a confused reading of the phrase "Undergraduate degree course", and that some may think that means, "Course for an undergraduate-degree", as opposed to the correct meaning, Degree-course to be taken by undergraduates.

    Whilst I have found the phrase "Undergraduate-Degree" in several places, I've never found it in a credible published lexicon.

    Maybe I should ask a lap dancer to arbitrate?

  8. In order to get valid data, I think you need to interview about a dozen lap dancers.

    Please report back to the class after you recover.

  9. Good idea.

    Please send funding soonest. A dozen may be an inadequate sample. And it's four thousand miles from here to Las Vegas.
    I suspect, as Las Vegas must be the world's lap-dancer headquarters, that it's quite likely that minimum entry requirements for would-be lapdancers are likely to start at doctorate leve there.

  10. Funding denied. Since you're going to Las Vegas, you can use your winnings to pay for the trip.

  11. soubriquet,

    Oh, go duke it out with languagehat. As used today, and so accepted by a descriptivist, an undergraduate degree (a degree given under the level of gradations) is the correct term, to distinguish it from a graduate degree (overgraduate degree?). A BS or BA. Could also be an associate degree. Maybe it wasn't in 1936 (!?) but it is now. Go talk with actual people in the US who have such degrees, or institutions that provide them. If you are a prescriptivist, then nothing anyone says makes any difference, so why bother arguing it, since English stopped in 1936?

  12. For a contrast (to the article, not the comments) see:



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