Friday, August 23, 2013

Taxi Dancers

So I was watching Peter Gunn and there was a scene where elder men were buying tickets at this dance hall.  They would then give the ticket to a lady and she would dance with him.

I personally couldn't believe this happened in that the demand to dance is higher among women than it is men, but it was such an outlandish, but well-organized set up I was viewing on the show that I presumed it must have been true.

Sure enough, it was - Taxi Dancers.

Back in the day men would actually PAY to dance with women. And we're not talking the naughty types of lap dances and strip teases.  We're talking ballroom dancing.

Regardless of its history, this is a great example of economics where the suppliers and demanders switched.  For whatever reason men no longer cared to dance with women. The demand dropped, and Taxi Dancers went extinct along with the industry and employment that came with it.  But (oh cruel, twisted, ironic fate of economics!) just because male demand for dancing vanished, didn't mean women didn't enjoy dancing themselves.  They did, it was just that at the time men demanded dancing more, making women the default supplier and allowing them to charge for it.  Now with male demand below female demand, it is men who supply the dances and women who are demanding (nay) desperately clamoring for male ballroom dancers.

I should know!  I billed out more than once at $100 per hour to dance with clients!


VegasChris said...

Still goes on today. A couple of girls I knew in college were Taxi Dancers for side money while they were in school. This was in the LA area and the clientele were primarily older Mexican or Latin guys.

Anonymous said...

I had a male locksmith (!) try to convince me to join his dance class because there were so few men they were losing women.
I'm married, so saw no personal benefit in going along, even though he was offering my wife and Ia whole month free.

BA said...

I'm taking a salsa class now. The ratio of men varies from half to twenty five percent. We are never out-numbered.

And every new women I mention salsa dancing to gets excited about it.

Now if I could just figure out how to do the turns without elbowing my partner in the face.