How Much Do Pole Dancers Make?

If you’re wondering “how much do pole dancers make?”, then you’re not the only one.

Pole dancing is more than just costumes and exotic dance moves. One of the key benefits of the industry is the money. For many, it’s an easy way to make a lot of money and can even provide financial security.

So, to peel back this layer of secrecy surrounding this perfectly respectable profession, this article is going to dive deep into the pay and the life of a pole dancer!

How Much Do Pole Dancers Make?

According to many sources, the average pole dancer makes around $44,161 and can go as high as $65,431 a year.

If you have a contract with clubs that requires you to perform a number of hours per week (or a set number of performances), then you can expect the payout to be between $75 to $100 an hour.

However, according to many famous pole dancers on YouTube and Facebook, they recount having some days where they net up to $200 to $500 per hour!

But be warned, if you’re thinking about entering the industry, you probably won’t get such good rates right away (or possibly ever).

On average, a pole dancing gig in the United States will net you around $20 to $35 an hour.

It is still higher than minimum wage and can provide a liveable income, but the numbers aren’t as high as “success stories” online would lead you to believe.

Many factors can go into determining the salary of a pole dancer, ranging from the type of club, the skill of the dancer, and whether the dance is performed with clothes or not.

Pole Dancers’ vs. Dancers’ Salary

Suppose you were to compare a pole dancer’s salary with a “normal” dancer. In that case, you will see why some people enter the industry immediately.

According to one database, the average dancer only gets $20.13 an hour or $35,087 annually.

As for pole dancers, although the hourly rate is the same ($20,40), their annual incomes are significantly higher at an average of $59,496/year.

This is because pole dancers receive bonuses, tips, and venue profit shares. Rarely do traditional-style dancers receive these extras.

Salary Is Not the Only Income of Pole Dancers

But clubs aren’t the only way for pole dancers to make money these days. There are many ways for pole dancers to boost their incomes. When you add them up, the true income of pole dancers can get surprisingly high.

Freelance Teaching

Pole dancing isn’t just an exotic dance that’s performed solely in clubs for the viewing pleasure of others.

Being a high-intensity dance that engages the core muscles and arms, it’s an excellent sport for women to keep their bodies in shape and maintain their flexibility.

Don’t believe us?

In 2017, the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) gave pole dancing the ‘Observer Status’. That means pole dancing is on the way to being legitimized as an Olympic sport!

It’s why pole dancing studios have been popping up everywhere. And these studios need instructors.

Pole dancers can apply (usually on a freelance basis), instruct others on the art, and make good money while they’re at it.

Studios usually charge around $17 per session, and you’ll get a share of that.

pole dance coach

Offer Private Dancing Lessons (Open Private Studios)

An alternative to teaching at dance studios is hosting your dance classes or opening private studios. This is much more profitable since you don’t have to share revenue with anyone else.

You will also get the chance to spread your name around.

With the Internet, teaching a class 100% remotely without leaving your home is possible. In that case, the “costs” of running the business will be electricity, Internet, and maybe some marketing.

But if you want to go the extra mile, you can either use your home or hire a studio for a time to act as the classroom.

As for pay, $12 or $18 per session are perfectly reasonable.

Even if you were to take the lowest rate ($12) with one student for a month, three days a week, you’d still make $144.

Size that up to a small class of 10, and you can easily make $1,440 a month in clean revenue.

If the business takes off, you may have a long-term business in hand once you’re finished performing!

Become a Coach

A pole dancing coach is usually a contracted position at a dance studio. It’s usually a lot more lucrative than freelance teaching positions.

Although it’s a lot harder to get into since studios will only take up established, certified dancers as their in-house coaches, it’s worth looking into if you have the reps and the qualifications.

To be considered, you usually must go through a dance instructor course at a licensed dance studio and graduate there. The certifications can help you get your foot in the door and advance to the audition stage.

A pole dance instructor makes roughly the same as a pole dancer ($20 an hour or around $40,970 a year).

However, it’s a far more financially stable position. More importantly, you don’t necessarily have to exert yourself as you would as a dancer.

Make Your Own YouTube Channel, Tiktok or Website

The exotic dance industry has taken to the Internet like fish to water.

Besides teaching, pole dancers can release their performances online, spread their name, and even make money through ads and sponsorships (YouTube or TikTok) or subscriptions (OnlyFans).

Creating a YouTube channel or an OnlyFans is one of the most popular kinds of “side hustles” for pole dancers. It’s easy to set up, it’s free and can be very profitable if done right.

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Become an Affiliate

Becoming an affiliate means recommending products and services related to pole dancing on your website or social media channels. It’s basically running ads and marketing.

There are many affiliate programs that you can pick with commission rates ranging from 15% to as high as 75%.

While lucrative, you will need to have a large audience first to make much money out of this type of side hustle.

The more people that buy the products or services you recommend, the more money you’re going to make.

Publish Podcast

Surprisingly, pole dancing is a pretty popular podcasting subject. Popular examples are “Pole Dancers Talk About Stuff” hosted by Teresa Rodriguez and Lana Morgana.

These podcasts generally talk about pole dancing as a profession, the daily lives of pole dancers, and more.

If you feel like you have a knack for conversing with people and can whip up a good story, you can try podcasting.

It can be a bit difficult to learn how to set up a podcast (audio editing, setting up accounts, and so on), but it can be worth it in the end!

What Affects a Pole Dancer’s Income?

Many factors affect the income of a pole dancer. And, the effects can be positive or negative.

Working Experience

New dancers won’t make good rates right away. You will need to build your skill, and familiarity with the trade, as well as improve your name around the venues.

Beginner pole dancers can expect a rate of around $25 to $50 an hour. However, experienced pole dancers can earn up to $1,500 a night.

Dance Skill

Aside from working experience, the better and more attractive you dance, the more money you’re going to get in tips and bonuses. These are the bread and butter of the profession.

The only way to improve is to practice and improve your skills. That will, in turn, draw more high-paying customers.

Dancer’s Reputation

To have good rates as a pole dancer, you need to build your name. The more recognizable your name is, the higher the chance of people paying well for your performances.

Plus, if you were to become famous, you would have a higher chance of taking substantial incomes out of hustles like YouTube or teaching or famous Tiktok dancer, as well.

Size of the Club/Bar

Before you start signing up for gigs, scout around your local area and write down the names of all the clubs and bars that have pole dancing on the program list, first.

Larger, more established clubs will usually pay better, so focus on getting as many gigs out of them as possible.

You can sign up for smaller gigs in the minor bars for some extra income but don’t expect too much from them.


Different cities will offer different rates.

For example, if you operate in Florida, you will only make around $16 an hour or around $41,487 a year according to one estimate.

But if you were to move to baller cities like Las Vegas, you could earn significantly more.

Depending on the type of dancing that you do, the establishment, and the guests, it’s not unheard of to earn up to four figures in a night.

But do note that even in Las Vegas, there’s a limit. Exotic dancers still have to work a lot to get any income. But a good night can mean $300 in the bank.

Stripper or Not

Stripping is the major differentiating factor between exotic dancers’ incomes.

Now, before we dive into this topic, it’s worth noting that stripping is entirely optional. If you do not want to do it, you should not force yourself to strip or allow anyone to peer pressure you into it.

Stripping is dancing with some pieces of clothing off (usually the top), but there are all-nude clubs, too.

The dance is also a lot more sensual and personal, including lap dances and one-on-one dance sessions. And a lot of people can get the wrong idea because of this.

Usually, most strip clubs will employ a ‘No Touching’ rule, meaning the patrons aren’t allowed to touch the dancers under any circumstances.

No matter how well they’re paying, if people were to touch the strip dancers, then it’s a quick way to be booted out of the club by bouncers.

Contrary to a lot of people’s beliefs, strip clubs aren’t brothels and function by entirely different rules.

Clubs go the extra mile to ensure that inappropriate touchings don’t happen because they can be held liable for assaults.

Final Words

Pole dancing is a well-paying, perfectly respectable profession in the entertainment industry despite the stigma surrounding it.

If you’re thinking of joining, it can be a good way to make a career out of your exotic dancing skills.

To recap on the question of how much pole dancers make, it’s usually between $40,000 to $65,000.

You can make more depending on your skill, experience, and the side pole dancing jobs that you pick up along the way.

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