A row of young women sit side-by-side in fishnets and knee-high boots, their right legs crossed over their left.
One woman stands out, probably because she’s got that tall-blonde-big boobs thing. And maybe a hint of special sparkle.
Although Adrienne Zaccone has only been in Vegas for two weeks, she isn’t at all worried about the future or intimidated by the big flashy city.
“It’s like a big Reno,” she says. Zaccone was a go-go dancer at Harrah’s up in the Tahoe area for six years before moving, and she hopes to continue dancing in Vegas. So here she is at a go-go girl audition for Lavo and Tao Nightclubs.
“I just love to dance and give off my energy,” she says about why she is a go-go dancer. “I just want to make people feel my energy and want to dance. Just feel the music. You’re the living speaker and the music just kind of filters through you.”
Zaccone has had minimal training, but no training is required for go-go dancing. She describes herself as a “freestyle dancer”: someone who just likes to dance and has a natural rhythm.
For feeling the music, giving off energy and filtering the music for the crowds, you can make upwards of $50 an hour. Not bad, but strippers, the dirtier cousins of go-go dancers, can make even more. But Zaccone doesn’t consider stripping an option.
“You’ve got to hustle, and with go-go dancing you don’t have to deal with people, usually,” Zaccone explains. She says that sometimes guys still try to tip her and talk to her—mainly the drunk ones—and girls do too. But for most of the time, she is up there dancing and enjoying herself; Zaccone describes it as “stress relief.”
Nayley Casillas and Juanita Caceres share her love for dancing. Young Hispanic CSN students, they are gorgeous: luscious dark hair, flawless olive skin, bright brown eyes and slender bodies. They became friends in college and have been dancing at Mandalay Bay EyeCandy for over a year.
Casillas plans to keep on dancing “until I get it out of my system,” she says. “I’m still young, I love dancing and I love being the center of attention.”
The two beauties would spend the week in class studying nursing and international business and then dance on Friday and Saturday nights, coming home $400 richer.
“Go-go-ing is just a rhythm that you feel inside,” says Casillas. “Go-go-ing is good money so I would stick to that and never go to stripping.”
“Stripping is totally different because you have a different motive: to turn guys on, seduce them and get their money,” explains Caceres, while Casillas nods in agreement.
“There are probably girls in here who are strippers and I wouldn’t judge them,” Caceres continues. “I just wouldn’t want to take my clothes off like that. At least we have clothes on.”
The girls are all wearing black bras, skimpy black boy shorts, nude fishnets and black go-go boots. The Craigslist ad that advertised the gig also advised girls to come with “fake eyelashes, shadowed eyes, body glitter and glossed lips.”
The 30 or so girls sit around nervously chatting, until, four at a time, they are called to dance on four platforms for three stoic men in suits. Dancing up high in those outfits for the unfriendly men and the rest of the expectant women must be nerve-wracking.
But in the club, where you only have to dance for about 15 minutes and then—at some clubs—sell shots until it’s your turn to dance again, seems like a very fun and easy way to make money. Dance, look hot, get attention, get paid.
Immediately after the auditions they did call-backs. Only about five or six girls made the first cut; Zaccone was one of them. Caceres and Casillas sadly pulled their jackets over their bras and headed out.
“I don’t even think about it, it’s like second nature to me now,” Zaccone tells me after finding out she made it. Indeed, she danced like an expert, with ease and poise and sass.
It turns out it’s not as easy as getting up there and feeling the music. Six years of experience helps too.