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Haitian, Jamaican dancers clash - Girls 'fight' for customers at exotic clubs

A confrontation is brewing between local and Haitian exotic dancers, who have been getting increased attention from patrons at several night clubs in the island.

On a visit to a number of exotic nightclubs, THE STAR learnt that the local exotic dancers are not pleased that the Haitians have been taking away their customers and offering their services at cheaper rates. While a local dancer charges about $2,000 to dance for the night, a Haitian will accept as little as $700 for the same duties.

One club operator told THE STAR that since the Haitian women have been at his club, his business has improved. He pointed to a 100 per cent increase in the number of people, who visited the club. But these women, are not being welcomed by the Jamaican women. "Nuh Haitian gal caan come tek ova mi Jamaican turf," one exotic dancer told THE STAR.

She also cursed the men, who patronised the Haitians saying that they would not gain anything from these women and Jamaican dancers are still the better ones. "Mek dem gwaan cause nobody nuh betta dan yardie," she said.

Mounting tension

Although both groups have not had any physical confrontations, the tension between the two continue to mount as, at some of the clubs, the Jamaican dancers have refused to perform on the same stage with the Haitians.

In a story yesterday, The Sunday Gleaner, reported that the Haitian women, received more attention from the men than the locals. According to the article, on a visit to a nightclub, the news team observed that the local dancers were the first to go on stage, and despite a variety of sensual acts, they failed to create an impact on the capacity crowd. However, when the Haitian dancers went on stage, the crowd loved the gyrating, teasing and stunts they used while trying to dance to the reggae music. Although the Haitians found it difficult moving around in high heels, the crowd still loved them.

THE STAR understands that the Haitians, some of whom were brought here as part of the guns for drug trade, and some who paid US$1,600 ($113,600) to be brought to Jamaican, have been in clubs in St Ann, Portland and St Catherine for the past five weeks.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds, head of Operation Kingfish, which has been investigating the guns for drugs trade between Haiti and Jamaica confirmed that Haitian women have been coming into the island as part of the trade. However he said he could not confirm that some of them were actually working in exotic clubs or in other jobs. He said that the police were interested in making sure that those Haitians that are here came legally. He is also urging Jamaicans, who have seen foreign nationals living in their communities and are not sure if they are here legally, to contact the police who will verify their status.

July 7, 2008

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