Recruiters of teenage strippers may soon be scouring Toronto high schools in search of female students who can be groomed into disrobing part-time as exotic dancers to earn college tuition.
A flyer praising the benefits of the burlesque trade has been put together to target students in high schools, colleges and universities in the Toronto-area, says a group representing dancers and club owners.
The brochure claims working as a dancer pays well, offers flexible hours and makes a “great part-time job to raise college tuition.”
A scramble is underway by the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada to fill a demand for dancers after Ottawa this month stopped issuing visas or extensions for foreign strippers to work here. There are up to 800 foreign strippers in Canada and most vow to go underground and work in the sex trade if they can’t dance legally.
The foreign dancers, many who are from Eastern Europe and South America, represent about 5% of the 38,000 strippers working in clubs across Canada. Most of them dance in Toronto, Windsor, London, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary.
Caroline, 28, and Nicola, 25, have been dancing in a downtown Toronto club for more than a year and have tasted the good life and now don’t want to return to their native Hungary.
“We are not happy that visas are no longer being issued to us,” Caroline said. “I am very disappointed and afraid of what may happen to me in the future.”
The women say they work long hours and send most of their earnings back home to their families.