Salary of a Go-Go Dancer

Go-go dancing has much in common with burlesque performance.

Go-go dancers are a staple of the club scene, and they add an element of excitement to any music venue. Tasked with getting people onto the dance floor, these dancers tend to perform high-energy, exuberant dance moves to draw the crowds. Salaries are difficult to predict, as dancers often work for tips and thus rely on the generosity of their customers.

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Job Description

A go-go dancer is a performer who is hired to dance on a stage or dance floor to entertain crowds at a club, concert or rave. As Love to Know reports, go-go girls and boys are often associated with music genres such as disco, electronica and hip-hop. Their performances range from high energy to erotic, and they may dance alone or perform choreographed routines, working with other dancers to create complex formations. In addition to dancing, go-go dancers may also interact with guests, serve drinks or sell merchandise. Primarily, though, their job is to dance and get people dancing.

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Education Requirements

There are no formal education requirements to become a go-go dancer, not even a high school diploma. However, many dancers have strong dancing skills learned from some type of dance training, whether it's through dance classes, workshops or informal learning. Some dancers also have experience in other performing arts, such as acting or singing.

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The main requirement is fitness since go-go dancing is a high-energy cardio workout. Dancers must be able to sustain intense physical activity for long periods of time and have the stamina to perform multiple sets in a night. They should also be comfortable working in close proximity to others and must have the coordination to execute choreographed routines. This tends to be a job for younger people.

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The average salary for a go-go dancer is ​$33,993​ per year, according to Comparably. Most earn between ​$16,640​ and ​$68,640​.

Industry

A go-go dancer typically works at gigs and in nightclubs, bars, discotheques or other venues that host live music or DJ sets. They may also feature in certain types of music videos. The hours can be long and irregular, often starting late at night and going into the early morning hours. The work environment is usually loud and crowded with flashing lights and heavy bass. This can be an exciting and adrenaline-pumping environment for some, but it can also be tiring and overwhelming.

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Job Mobility and Career Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track wages specifically for go-go dancers but reports a median wage for all dancers of ​$18.78​ per hour in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent of dancers earned less than ​$10.03,​ and the highest 10 percent earned more than ​$47.62​. Dancers who work in large clubs in major club-scene cities, such as New York City or San Francisco, can earn more money than those who work in smaller clubs or in less populated areas.

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The pay is usually low since go-go dancers typically earn their income from tips. In some cases, dancers may be paid a salary by the venue or promoter, but this is less common. Many go-go dancers use it as a way to make extra money while they're in school or working another job.

This is not a job where the salary increases with time and experience. Dancers tend to be young and replaceable, so there is little room for advancement. The typical go-go dancer stays in their job for two to three years and then moves on to something else. Some dancers use their experience as a go-go dancer to transition into other related jobs, such as teaching dance classes or fitness instruction.

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Job Growth Trend

The job outlook for go-go dancers is excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for dancers and choreographers will grow by 31 percent through 2030, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. This is due to a combination of factors, including an increase in demand for live entertainment post-pandemic and the continued popularity of dance as a form of recreation.

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