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Strip clubs offer girls money for tuition, rent

Clubs in Canada desperate for dancers after government rule change.

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Kendra performs at the 2001 Odyssey strip club on August 25, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

Strip clubs in Windsor, Canada are offering young women money for tuition, rent and $500 signing bonuses to become exotic dancers, saying new government rules are forcing them to go on a hiring binge.

Barry Maroon manages Leopard’s Lounge in Windsor, an Ontario city just north of Detroit.

He said a media blitz is underway a week before classes begin, offering girls the chance to begin careers as strippers while studying in the Windsor area.

Girls receive as much as $1,700 in "scholarships" and must maintain a B average.

“We started a social media program this week,” he told Canada.com. “With thousands of students starting (classes) we want to get the message out. We’ve already had two girls call from Toronto who were very much interested.”

They’ll also get travel money and help perfecting their shows — including makeup, hair and costumes.

According to club owners, the program is a decade old, but it’s ramping up because of recent changes to government policy.

In July, the ruling Conservative Party of Canada stopped giving foreign workers visas if they had job offers in strip clubs or massage parlors.

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The change, the party said, was to prevent vulnerable women from ending up in the sex trade.

That decision compromised the exotic dance industry, said Tim Lambrinos of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC).

About 800 foreign strippers work in Canada – or roughly 5 percent of the 38,000 dancers across the country, he said.

“This situation has left a lot of the girls frustrated and stressed out,” Lambrinos told QMI news agency. “They are living day by day and don’t know if they will be allowed to stay in Canada.”

The industry warns the government change will force women underground.

Robert Katzman, who owns Leopard’s and other clubs in Canada and the US, said he stands to lose about a dozen girls when their visas expire.

These are women who pay taxes and contribute to the Canadian economy, he said.

“All of them are returning home,” he told the QMI news agency. “They have no health or other benefits and feel they were cheated by Canada.”

The “stripper scholarships” come after a plan to take stripper poles to high school career fairs flopped.

Instead, the AEAC said it’s working with a lawyer to launch a legal challenge against the government rule change.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/120828/strip-clubs-offer-girls-tuition-rent-money