Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 | 5 p.m.
Robin Leach has wound down his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin gets ready to pick up pen, notepad and tape recorder to resume his Strip coverage, we continue today with Jennifer Aleman, who is the company manager of those fabulously sexy topless temptresses in “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera.
What does the word “dancer” mean? If you look it up in the dictionary, it says “a dancer is one who performs dance.” If you ask a dancer in Las Vegas, you are likely to get a wide variety of answers.
The first type of Las Vegas dancer who comes to mind for most people is the classic showgirl. These are the girls who wear elaborate costumes with feathers and rhinestones weighing as much as 40 pounds! Can you imagine having to glide elegantly down a set of stairs while wearing these costumes?
In order to be a showgirl, you typically must be 5’8” or taller. Most showgirls have had years of dance training and must be comfortable performing topless. To see a classic example of a showgirl, I’d recommend going to “Jubilee” at Bally’s.
Another type of dancer in Las Vegas is a go-go dancer. These are the girls you see in most nightclubs, usually on a platform or stage, freestyle dancing. Some of these dancers have dance training, but many just have a natural ability to move with the music.
The main job of a go-go dancer is to get the crowd excited. They normally wear sexy lingerie, fishnets and knee-high boots. However, the new craze is having go-go dancers wear costumes and perform choreographed routines. These dancers are not to be confused with strippers dancing at gentlemen’s clubs.
On the other end of the spectrum, the more conservative type of dancer is the company dancer who performs several times a year. They’ve typically been training since they were young, many times at their company’s own schools. Nevada Ballet Theater is an excellent place to find talented company dancers.
Finally, you have the traditional dancer. These girls have been taking dance classes for years and can be seen performing across the Las Vegas Strip in production shows and at events. They’re well balanced, as their training usually consists of several styles of dance, such as ballet, jazz and hip-hop.
Traditional dancers perform choreographed dance numbers, many times topless, wearing anything from a rhinestone costume to feather boas to just a G-string. Come to Riviera and see “Crazy Girls,” running for nearly 27 years, for great examples of traditional Las Vegas dancers.
Of course I also must mention the hard-working male dancers who work in Las Vegas, including “Men: The Experience,” who share our Riviera showroom. The men fit the above categories for the most part with the exception of being called showboys instead of showgirls. There are a lot fewer male dancers than female dancers in Las Vegas, but they are just as talented.
Now you understand what being a Las Vegas dancer is all about. No matter what type of dance entertainment you’re looking for, Las Vegas is here to please. You just need to know your pleasure, and the “Crazy Girls” proudly serve that up in our Riviera show.
Be sure to check out our other guest columnist today, singer Franky Perez. On Thursday, we meet up with downtown D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens and his primetime variety show star Frankie Scinta.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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With its glass, star-lit exterior, visitors can't miss the Riviera when driving down the Strip. As the first high-rise to open on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring a nine-story hotel, the Riviera has seen more than 50 years as an entertainment destination in Las Vegas. Top bill acts like Liberace, Dean Martin and the long-running Splash revue (closed in 2006) have graced its showrooms over time.
The Riviera still offers its share of entertainment options with topless revue "Crazy Girls," a comedy club and "Illusions," starring Jan Rouven.
The 100,000-square foot casino has been featured in many films like "Casino," "Austin Powers" and "21." Although the hotel has passed through a long list of owners over the years it has always held on to it's unique theme (for Las Vegas) in that it lacks any particular theme. It also features a William Hill Race & Sports Book walk-up betting window right off the sidewalk on the Strip.
The Riviera has dining options well covered, from seafood and steaks at R Steak and Seafood, a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare at Banana Leaf Café to an international cuisine at the R Buffet.