Anyone who’s seen Steven dance at clubs such as The Abbey will know he’s a fine dancer, so have two talents interlinked? “It definitely helps with modelling confidence having to be on stage in my underwear all the time,” Steven says with a cheeky grin.
International travellers will be aware of the WeHo tradition where fine male specimens sexy dance on tabletops in bars and patrons can (respectfully) tip a dollar bill. Sadly it’s less common and polished in Britain. Perhaps our cold, damp weather has something to do with it, and whilst our sensible American cousins have retained the dollar bill, tipping a pound coin raises all kinds of issues. So, come on then Steven, for the benefit of the uninitiated, what are go-go dancers?
“We’re not strippers,” Steven says, wanting to clear up what’s evidently a common misunderstanding from the off. “With strippers, you go to see a show, and they come out and put on a performance and take off their clothes. Go-go dancers are the atmosphere for the club. The DJ plays the music for us and we create the energy for the crowd. You have to have some skill at dancing: you’re not hired to look pretty and stand on a box – you have to have charisma. We all have tricks.” He’s talking about the breath-taking routines the boys use in their performances; often hanging upside down from sturdy metal rods that run the length of the high-beamed ceiling (cynical locals have spread the rumour that they were installed as ballast against earthquakes).
So for anyone tempted to jack in their day job and head to WeHo, what does it take to be a go-go dancer? “You have to stay on top of your game. People have been let go for losing their physique – but I guess that’s our job, to be in really good shape.” It must get competitive between the dancers, then? Steven doesn’t see it that way. “We’re like a little family, we all hang out, we’re friends and we get along. Elsewhere, in other clubs, I’ve experienced dancers who try to upstage you to get more tips. We’re usually on separate boxes, but when we dance together we dance with each other, not against.”
With his modelling career winning him admirers from all over the world, we ask Steven how he’s enjoying being increasingly recognised. “Last week there was a couple from Australia who asked to take photos with me. They knew me from my Andrew Christian days. I’m still not used to it. I’m just doing what I like. It’s nice that it’s received really well, but the concept of fans is something I’m still getting used to.”
We suspect that’s something Steven will come to take in his stride.
Photos by Paul Boulon via Instagram