Ontario strip club offering incentives to recruit post-secondary students

Jordana Divon
Contributing Writer
Daily Brew

Management at the Leopard's Lounge and Broil likes their employees young and, apparently, they like them ambitious, too.

As QMI Agency reports, the Windsor, Ont. strip club is offering tuition-based incentives to girls who have no trouble taking off their clothes in a room full of leering eyes then sitting, fully clothed, in a finance class the next morning.

Leopard's owner Robert Katzman told the news agency that as long as they maintained a B-plus average, his dancers would be in line for up to $1,700 toward part-time or full-time tuition at the University of Windsor or area colleges.

A $500 signing bonus and loans to cover first and last month's rent also sweeten the deal.

"The girls can take any class they want to help better themselves… We have girls studying business, finance, to become nursing assistants and one taking chiropractor," he said.

While the offer may seem generous, it's likely steeped in political maneuvering.

Now that the "stripper visa" — a quick-step immigration document that allowed foreign exotic dancers to enter the country provided they had a valid job offer — has been given the old heave-ho, strip clubs have been scrambling to fill their quota of available women.

As many as 800 dancers working in Canadian clubs at any given time held these visas.

An attempt to recruit high school students, viewed as reactionary backlash by the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, was rightfully met with a mixture of derision and scorn. Ottawa swiftly put a kibosh on the idea.

[ Related: Canadian strip clubs set to recruit from high schools due to visa ban ]

That leaves college students. Young enough to be impressionable, cash-strapped and daring, old enough (after first year anyway) to legally enter a nightclub.

Katzman's decision to dangle a golden carrot before undergraduates may stem partly from desperation.

"We have lost about 13 girls so far after their visas expired and they went back home," the owner of numerous adults-only clubs complained.

"A lot of clubs in the border towns and Toronto are suffering because of a lack of foreign dancers."

With thousands of students milling into area schools each September, colleges and universities must seem like virtual goldmines to club owners such as Katzman.

Anyone who's faced the anxiety of juggling tuition, rent, books and living expenses might view Katzman's incentives as an easy way to move a mountain of debt.

A number of arguments in defence of stripping have also made the Internet rounds.

But while some see stripping as a perfectly reasonable way to pay off the high costs of post-secondary education, there's still a social stigma attached to exotic dancing that may interfere with a former dancer's career opportunities in the future.

It's also possible that the strip club impresario's college crosshairs may lead young women down a path they may not otherwise have chosen. Whether that's a good or not-so-good thing is certainly open to debate.

[ Related: Pubs, clubs in B.C. call in exotic dancers to boost customers ]