He’s worked at strip clubs from coast to coast, in big markets and small and everything in between. And while many of those gigs were as the club’s DJ, Dane Hansen has now transitioned into the role of Manager at Centerfolds Cabaret in Las Vegas. Hansen is also the President of PANDA (Professional Adult Nightclub DJ Association). We had a chance to speak with Dane about the biggest differences between being a club manager and a DJ, why he loves working in the strip club industry, his favorite industry songs, and what songs and artists would make his own personal Spotify playlist.
ED PUB: You’ve successfully made the transition from DJ to manager, and in a competitive city like Las Vegas, no less! What are the unique challenges of being a manager, as compared to your years as a DJ?
DANE HANSEN: Being a DJ you get to see things from several different angles, so I think it prepares you for management better than most positions in the club. I think the biggest challenge is changing your mindset from the girls to the bar sales. Focusing on the bottom line instead of the bottom, I guess.
ED PUB: You’ve worked in clubs across the country. What makes Las Vegas such a unique market for adult nightclubs, especially as it relates to the entertainers and the customers? There are a lot of clubs there, but there are also a lot of tourists and conventioneers. Is it easier or harder to have a successful club in Vegas, as opposed to other markets?
HANSEN: Las Vegas is different because locals are not your main source of revenue in the clubs. Being so tourist dependent makes everything from liquor orders, to promotions, to scheduling all more difficult to anticipate.. Also the payouts and kickbacks cabs, uber, lyft and limos receive to bring customers to your club, make your break even point so much higher than other cities.
ED PUB: Of course this is a difficult question to answer, but as someone who worked as a club DJ for a long time, how do you balance the music that the entertainers want to hear versus what you believe the customers in your club want to hear, or what the club’s owner wants the DJ to play?
HANSEN: It’s a fine line to walk of course. Staying on top of new music, talking to and getting to know your entertainers and forming a trust with them is always important. You can’t say “NO’ to a song without attempting to give an alternative to what you’re able to play. Without knowledge of your music format, the charts and your entertainers this will not work. As far as owners/mangers, they need to be educated too. They are managers because that’s what they are good at. DJs are hired to be DJs because that’s what they’re good at. Open lines of communication, calmly explaining and listening to music with them and sharing charts and trends are a good way to do this. Teamwork.
ED PUB: What’s your favorite four or five “strip club songs” that you’ve heard in the past few years? Meaning, what songs have remained popular over the last few years and are good for the strip club environment?
HANSEN: There are so many, here are a few that stick out:
Aluna George “You Know You Like It”
Calvin Harris “How Deep is Your Love”
Neyo and Pitbull “Time of our Lives”
J Balvin, Willy William “Mi Gente”
ED PUB: How long have you worked as a strip club DJ, and what is your favorite thing about working in the strip club industry?
HANSEN: I started as a DJ in 1990. My favorite thing about being in this industry are the people. We are a melting pot of talented and unique individuals and a lot of us would have no one and nowhere to go without the love and acceptance of our adult entertainment family. I am very proud to be a part of this industry.
ED PUB: You’re also the President of PANDA. Please talk about where PANDA is today, how it’s evolved, and where you want to see it go in the future?
HANSEN: Well in 2011 we never imagined PANDA would have close to 1500 members. We are continually striving to educate and share resources with our fellow industry professionals in hopes of continuing to raise the standard. We are going to continue these efforts moving forward as we try to grow our PANDA Family.
ED PUB: What are your favorite bands or styles of music to listen to in your private time? If you could see any concert by any band, past or present, who would it be and why?
HANSEN: I listen to a lot of jazz and blues or 90’s R&B. If I could see any concert it would be Frank Sinatra, hands down. His effortless control of a room and the silky smooth voice were unmatched.
More about Dane!
Where do you hail from: Detroit Michigan
Current Club: Manager at Centerfolds Cabaret Las Vegas
Years employed at the club: 1
Years in the industry: 27
Favorite recording artist: Stevie Wonder
Industry hero: Dennis DeGori. He gets things done and he believes in and supports his employees
Favorite feature entertainer: I’m a little biased but my beautiful love Lacey Rain, of course!
Favorite DJ: James Boucher because of his effortless talent
Favorite part of your work night: When it’s so busy you don’t have time to think
Pet working peeve: Laziness
Advice for new strip club managers: Lead by example, you’re not too good to get your hands dirty
Check out Dane Hansen’s own Spotify playlist right here!
The playlist comes courtesy of Concrete Marketing and StripJointsMusic.com.