Perhaps this isn’t the case where you live? But I’m working throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. I can speak only from my own experience…
I know several gorgeous dancers of color. Some are Latino, one is Asian, and the remaining are African American. Most of the Latinos do very well, and so does the Asian. I frequently hear complaints from those who are Black, or some mix thereof. I cannot speak for them or from their perspective, but what I can do is voice frustration for them. (If you are a Black dancer, or if you know one, please consider writing a blog entry for the site on this subject.)
Before I continue, let me say this: If you are one of my beautiful Black brothers in the art, you should consider very carefully the venues you choose. I know career dancers who are Black, and who do very well; however, until we as a culture mature enough to see beauty as it is, you are likely to run into a passive form of racism at predominantly White clubs (“I’m not racist. I’m just not attracted to Black guys.” Ergo, I won’t tip them.). It’s impossible to force people to budge on preference, so you’ll need a strategy in mind for placing yourself amongst people who will appreciate you. As a person of color I’m sure it is frustrating to be fetishized, but as a dancer/business man you have to perform where you can make the most money.
I’m trying to make an ugly truth known to a wider base of patrons. I go into this entry knowing that it is a minefield, especially since I’m from the South. But I am not trying to discourage anyone, and I am not trying to offend anyone (likely, that will happen whether I try or not). What I do want to do is bring attention to the fact that most Black dancers work hard. The sad truth is that it’s because they have to. I’ve seen it first hand far too much – the White dancers who just stand there like (poorly rendered and often arrogant) sculptures and get money literally thrown at them, while the Black dancers putting on a fucking show come off with a tiny fraction of the same… It’s not right.
I am not going to tell people whom they should fantasize about, nor am I going to lecture people about racism. Both tirades would be ridiculous at best. What I can do is remind patrons that everyone has bills to pay, and that everyone is hurt by rejection/invisibility/marginalization. Yes, you as a patron are there to exercise your right to dawdle over the dancers you like. But please consider the entertainment value of what you are seeing. Regardless of which dancers make you hot, are there any that simply command respect just because their skills are amazing? Would it kill you to tip a brotha for being off the chain?
One of the frustrations in this career is that what you make isn’t necessarily connected to how much you work out, whether or not you’re nice, and being a good performer. You are at the mercy of Whim. Whim is the god of moodswings. We aren’t rewarded or compensated on a regular, consistent basis for anything other than the benefiscence of Whim. Speaking as someone who has had bad nights and knows how frustrating they can be, please consider interacting not just with the dancers who make you think “Mmmm!,” but also with those who make you think “Ahhh!”