This is the last one in the series and thank you all for being so responsive and great. Now to recap, you can find 1,2, and 3 (just click the numbers). This situation is another one that is gig related. Specifically a bait and switch type of situation.

You arrive at a gig to find out that it is a 95% male party and that the lady who hired you expects you to and has told everyone that you are going to sit on the guest of honor’s lap during your performance. There is a ring of men around a chair in a room and all the ladies (few there are) are in the other room.  What do you do?

There are a few things you can do. One of them involves better screening beforehand. Did you ask the questions as to who will be in attendance, have they ever seen a show before, what does their ideal show look like? I typically ask questions like these not only for my own safety,  but so that the client can be sure that they get exactly what they want. No dancer wants a client to say “oh i wished you had used wings” after the fact when it would’ve been simple to include them.

If pre-screening wasn’t possible or did not happen and you are faced with this, here are 3 options.

1. Stay and go through with the performance as is, cringing and feeling horrible the whole time. Who knows, perhaps he won’t try anything or they just want an embarassing photo and it’s not nefarious at all.

2. Stay and convince them to change the setup. You can choose to be direct and say why and what makes you uncomfortable. You can try to be subtle and say that your choroegraphy doesn’t include things like that and that it’s all ages and family appropriate; you’d love to have the women join in. Lastly, that you can’t sit on his lap as the beads would hurt and stab him; and we wouldn’t want that to happen!

3. Leave. Apologize and refund the deposit- if there was one. State that you do not feel comfortable and that you will not do the performance. They won’t be happy with you but you have to do what you feel is right for yourself.

I have never been so unlucky as to have been put in a situation where the gig was not what I expected or pre-screened for. I have, however, heard of situations such as this happening. This is why it’s important to have a list of questions in advance for every customer call that you take and to trust your gut. If your spidey-sense is telling you something is wrong, then it usually is.

I hope that you all have enjoyed this series and that it has helped you in some way. Feel free to comment and post with your own thoughts and experiences.