Last Updated on February 8, 2023
How much do pole dancers make? In a modern society where everyone is transparent about their earnings, let’s discuss the wages and salary of pole dancers around the world.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in pole dancing, or are just curious about the financial aspect of the profession, then this post is for you.
How much can professional pole dancers expect to earn, in realistic terms?
In this post, we’ll explore the various factors that can impact a pole dancer’s income, and provide some insight into the earning potential of working as a professional pole dancer.
This information contained in this article depends on many factors such as:
- The country you live in – the value of goods and services ranges differently across the world
- Your experience – more experienced dances, performers, strippers and instructors can have higher rates of pay
My experience is as a pole dancer is as follows:
- I have worked in the pole dancing industry for 12+ years
- I’m a professional pole dance instructor
- I’ve worked in night clubs, bars, theaters, gyms, dance studios, and private venues
- I’ve performed as a pole dancer in commercial venues across 3 continents
So whether you’re just being curious, or you’re here because you’re starting out on your pole dancing journey, we hope this post will give you a better understanding of the financial realities of the pole dancing industry.
Let’s dive right in!
Pole Fitness vs. Stripping Earnings & Salary
We need to make the important distinction between strippers earnings and pole fitness professional’s earnings.
We’ve written extensively about the similarities between pole fitness and stripping especially about both sides of the #yesastripper #notastripper should be united and not argumentative.
However, when we’re talking about earnings, they are essentially different industries.
The pole fitness industry is heavily influenced by strip clubs and strippers – so please think twice before posting #notastripper pole dancing content with that hashtag.
How Much Do Pole Dancers Make In A Year?
Pole dancers can realistically earn $40k – $75k annually, but this depends on many things, including where you live, the type of establishment you work in, and your level of experience.
Many pole dancers working as erotic dancers or strippers do not receive a fixed salary for their working hours as they are often considered self-employed, paid minimum wage or rely on “tips only” and payments for private dances paid for by customers, not the employer.
It’s common for pole dancers to work 4-5 nights per week with working patterns of 8-12 hours with few short breaks.
As the amount of take-home pay relies on how many paying customers each dancer can attract, this does vary from person to person and city to city.
There’s also no pay for things such as vacation days, sick days, or any paid time off at all.
If you don’t work – you don’t earn – it’s that simple. Pole dancing is similar to lots of other “gig economy” jobs.
How Much Do Pole Dancers Make Per Hour?
There is not a fixed rate of hourly pay for pole dancers as many of us get paid directly by customers in bars, clubs or private venues.
It’s really hard to put a fixed amount on hourly earnings because it varies so much.
Let’s just say that each private dance for a customer takes 15 minutes and costs $40.
We can perform 4 dances in 1 hour (back-to-back with no breaks in between) and earn $160.
However, we may have a customer who is feeling generous and decided to pay $20 extra for their dance.
Sometimes, customers pay upwards of $100 if they’re feeling flush with cash!
It depends so much.
When I worked in big cities, the best nights were after large sporting events – so many girls would take home $1200 in one night alone!
However, the bar started charging each girl $150 per evening to work on the busiest nights like those. In some parts of the world it’s common for bars and clubs to charge dancers a flat fee or ask for a cut of their earnings each night.
Do Pole Dancers Get Paid To Dance On The Pole?
It depends. Clubs and bars don’t necessarily pay pole dancers a salary to entertain their customers. Often, the pole dancer is self-employed and is there to generate business as a stripper.
In the US, it’s common for dancers to get paid during their pole performances with customers paying them cash as they dance.
Whereas in the UK, this is rare. Pole dancers in strip clubs use the pole to advertise themselves to customers in the club who pay for private dances. Private dances is where the money is made.
In the US, money is also made from private dances too, but there’s an extra opportunity to earn cash during public pole performances too.
What’s A Pole Dancer’s Average Take-Home Monthly Pay
A pole dancer who works 4 nights per week in good establishment in a large city can earn $4000 – £8,000 per month.
In smaller cities or towns, that may be around $2500 – $5500 per month.
Do Pole Dancers Have To Pay Taxes?
Income earning through pole dancing is taxable just the same as any other income. Pole dancing is a legitimate form of entertainment and all dancers should pay tax on their earnings.
Taxes and regulations varies from state-to-state and even more from country to country, so check with an accountant about your local tax obligations.
How Much Do Pole Dance Fitness Instructors Make?
The average pay for a pole dance fitness instructor is approximately the same as a pole dancer or stripper in a night club.
Pole dance instructors earn money per class, and they can teach up to 6-8 classes per day. For group classes, individuals pay fees of up to $25 per class so let’s do some quick figures:
- 10x pole dance students paying $25 each = $250
- Venue hire/dance studio hire = $100 per hour
- Hourly rate = $150
- 6 Classes per day = $900
- 3 days of work per week = $2700 per week
Of course, this doesn’t take into account things like insurance, buying the pole dancing poles, workout gear, crash mats, branding, running costs and other business expenses such as marketing and accounting.
Teaching 6 pole dancing classes per day 3 days per week is also exceptionally tiring work!
Can Anyone Work As A Pole Dancer?
You may think that pole dancing is reserved for slim, toned and healthy young women. But that’s not true!
It may surprise you to know that pole dancing originated as a men’s sport in India (called Mallakhamb) and there are thousands of professional male pole dancers around the world right now.
Also, it doesn’t matter about your age, shape or size either.
From a stripping and entertainment point-of-view, everyone is attracted to different body types. Having cellulite, scars or belly rolls certainly doesn’t exclude you from being a stripper.
In a club I worked in we had plus-sized pole dancers aged 40+ who were some of the most demanded dancers for private dances! Therefore, they were some of the highest earning dancers in the club! Not all men like women to be young and thin, you know!
If you want to create a different type of pole dancing business, for example a YouTube channel – you could use this to document your journey to fitness, or weight loss using pole dancing. This gives your followers something inspirational to follow along with.
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What Determines A Pole Dancer’s Salary?
There are a few different factors that can affect how much you earn as a pole dancer:
The area or city that you work in plays the largest role in determining how much you can earn as a pole dancer.
Working as a pole dancer in larger cities anywhere in the world has the added benefit of more people and a busier atmosphere.
In large cities, it’s not just locals, it’s usually tourists and international visitors who visit strip cubs and pole dancing establishments. This makes the job really interesting as you get to talk to loads of people from around the world!
In smaller towns, it’s harder to earn extra money as there are fewer customers available and generally less money in their pockets too.
Type Of Establishment
There are different types of establishment. You’ll find dedicated strip clubs, where poles and the dancers are the main focus and larger clubs where pole dancers are working but that’s not the main focus of the entertainment.
Some clubs are open 24/7, whereas others are only open on certain nights of the week or at certain times.
It really depends what sort of pole dancing businesses you have in your area.
As most strip clubs are independently managed, their respective owners make the decisions about how pole dancers are employed. There are so many different formal and informal arrangements I’ve seen over the years:
- Dancers pay the establishment a flat fee per night (around $100 or $150 on weekends) to work, all their earnings are theirs to keep
- The establishment pays the dancers a flat fee per night (around $150) to work, but a cut of all their earnings belong to the club
- Dancers must work a minimum number of nights per week or are dismissed from future work
Depending on how your club is managed, you may have a similar or totally different arrangement with the management.
Your Pole Dancing Skills & Expertise
Does your expertise as a pole dancer affect how much you get paid?
Yes, your expertise as a pole dancer can definitely impact how much you get paid for your performances and classes. In general, the more skilled and experienced you are as a pole dancer, the more desirable your services are to potential customers and employers.
There are several factors that can contribute to your expertise, including the amount of practice and training you have, your stage presence and your ability to perform impressive pole dancing tricks.
A dancer who has been training and performing for many years and has a strong reputation in the industry is likely to earn higher fees for their performances and classes compared to a dancer who is just starting out and has less experience.
How To Earn Extra Money As A Pole Dancer
Besides actually pole dancing, there are at least a dozen other ways that pole dancers can earn money!
Become A Pole Dance Instructor
You don’t actually need any formal qualifications to become a pole dancing instructor (although some professional training really can help)
What you do need is the experience on the pole. You need to know how to confidently perform pole tricks safely and properly, as well as educate and support your students.
So, if you’re an experienced pole dancer who wants to try something new for your career, then start out by offering lessons locally!
You will need:
- Somewhere to actually teach your lessons, such as your home or a rented studio space with pole dancing poles
- The correct insurance (public liability) to teach
- To be registered as self-employed according to the regulations in your country
- Marketing materials to promote yourself such as a website or social media presence
Become A Sensual Movement Coach
A sensual movement coach is a professional who helps individuals improve their body awareness, confidence, and expression through sensual movement practices.
Sensual movement coaches often work with clients who are interested in exploring their sensuality, sexuality, or femininity in a safe and supportive environment.
As a pole dancer, you’re likely an expert in sensual movement, especially if you’ve worked as a stripper.
Open A Pole Dancing Studio
Opening a pole dancing studio seems like an obvious way to turn pole dancing into a business. There are lots of opportunities available and pole dancing is always in-demand due to the health and fitness benefits it offers.
Here are some different services you could offer as a pole dancing business owner:
- Pole dancing drop-in lessons for different skill levels
- Fixed programme of pole dance courses that follow a training plan over a fixed number of weeks
- Pole dancing performances and public shows
- Bachelorette parties
- Corporate team-building days
- One-to-one fitness coaching
- Training for strippers and workers in the adult industry
- Online pole dancing lessons
- Paid video tutorials
- Selling pole dancing goods and accessories such as dance poles, clothing, shoes and grip aids
- Choreographing pole dancing routines
- Pole dancing photoshoots
- Other fitness classes such as Lyra hoop or aerial silks
Launch A Pole Dancing Podcast or YouTube Channel
If you have a creative flair for choreography, routines or even tutorials, then YouTube is your oyster. You could either choose routines, tutorials, or both.
It can take a while to get regular viewers, subscribers and eventually income from YouTube. Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success:
- Upload regularly and consistently
- Pick a personal brand and stick with it
- Engage with other YouTubers within the pole community
- Invest in a small tripod (under $20) for steady camera work, you don’t need expensive camera gear straight away. Start with your phone or compact camera.
- Be helpful, engaging and remind people to subscribe to you (they won’t if you don’t tell them to…)
- Stay family friendly. YouTube really like advertiser-friendly content. Keep your pole videos fitness related and save your most revealing outfits for another platform ?
Podcasts are more popular now than ever. People listen to podcasts on their way to work or when they’re doing chores at home. It’s also super easy to publish your own podcasts with Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.
It’s like having your own 21st Century Radio show.
Once you have a steady amount of regular listeners, you can start reaching out to sponsors and advertisers for a spot on your podcast.
Start A Pole Dancing Blog
The process of setting up and maintaining a blog is now easier than ever, it’s so easy even I could do it!!
It may seem overwhelming at first like there is a lot to learn and get your head around. But, there’s no need to be overwhelmed.
These days, you can start a website without writing any code at all thanks to software like WordPress and SquareSpace.
It’s a good idea to choose a domain name that is catchy and memorable. Here are a few ideas name ideas for a pole dancing blog:
Domain names cost as little as $7, or many hosts will offer a free domain with a hosting package. Check to see whether your domain ideas are available:
Create Pole Dancing Related Products or Clothing Brand
If you’re a passionate pole dancer and have always dreamed of turning your love for the sport into a business, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you to earn extra money.
Pole dancing has grown in popularity in recent years, and there is a growing demand for high-quality products and clothing that support and celebrate the sport.
Enter Pole Dancing Competitions
There are a wide range of pole dancing competitions around the world some of which have cash prizes involved. Even if the prize is not financial – entering pole dancing competitions can help you grow your personal brand as a pole dancer.
If you have a blog, YouTube channel, Instagram account or pole dancing podcast then entering competitions can help you grow these too.
Summary: How Much Do Pole Dancers Make?
The earning potential of a pole dancer can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including their level of expertise, the location and type of venue they are performing at, the demand for their services, and the overall state of the economy.
It’s common for pole dancers to have more than one income stream too.
In general, more experienced and skilled dancers tend to earn more for their performances and classes.
If you’re considering pursuing a career in pole dancing, it’s important to keep in mind that the financial rewards of this profession can be unpredictable and may vary significantly from one dancer to the next.
However, with hard work, devotion and dedication, it is entirely possible for you to build a successful and rewarding career as a professional pole dancer.
We hope you found this post informative and helpful in understanding the various factors that can impact a pole dancer’s income.
We hope this post has provided you with a better understanding of the financial realities of the pole dance industry, and wish you the best of luck on your pole dancing journey!