Regulation of the erotic dancing industry

Sexy boots - Large August 2012

Following co-operation with researchers at the University of Leeds, several Local Authorities have adopted specific 'good practice' procedures for the erotic dancing industry.

The past few years have seen an increase in the number of erotic dancing clubs, with venues branding themselves as a respectable part of the leisure industry. But with this came allegations that clubs were normalising the idea of paying for sexualised encounters with women, and that such venues were linked to rising levels of male sexual violence.

Dr Teela Sanders and her colleagues Dr Kate Hardy and Rosie Campbell, who are based at the University of Leeds, carried out the largest study to date of the erotic dancing industry in the UK night-time economy to assess the realities of negative claims about the industry.

The 'Regulatory Dance' project drew on information gathered during consultation with Local Authority licensing officials, club owners/managers and dancers. A second phase of follow-on funding was awarded to work directly with licensing officials, the industry and to create a smartphone application and website resource of dancers. Following co-operation with the researchers, Local Authorities such as Leeds, Blackpool, Manchester and Camden have adopted specific 'good practice' procedures, while a number of initiatives are ongoing to improve safety, licensing, working conditions and welfare of dancers.

Impact

  • A number of Local Authority Licensing Committees (Leeds, Blackpool, Manchester, Westminster, Cardiff) have now begun to consider dancer welfare and safety, and some have added licensing conditions specifically to enhance working conditions.
  • The creation of an iPhone app in May 2012, providing tips on how dancers can best work with their employers to manage customers, personal safety information, tax awareness and self-employment information.
  • The creation of a website containing similar information: safety-at-work information (written in partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust), and self-employment rights and tax awareness information (written in association with HM Revenue and Customs).

Further information