Saskatoon woman says she was targeted as exotic dancer

Saskatoon woman says she was targeted by police because she was dancing alongside exotic dancers.

Melody Sterner was dancing for pleasure, not profit

Melody Sterner (left) was wearing this outfit for a night of go-go dancing at Rock Bottom Nightclub. (Britainy Robinson)

It was supposed to be a night of fun with the girls, but it ended in a debate about appropriate dress and dance moves.

Melody Sterner was about to go-go dance alongside some of her friends who are exotic dancers at Rock Bottom Nightclub. Two nights a month, the club features striptease by Tiger Lilly Cabaret dancers.

Sterner says she and her friends were dancing just for fun, and were not being paid. Even so, the group was approached by vice squad officers and asked to show their adult entertainment licenses. 

"What I was told was I needed to have a license to be able to dance the way I was dancing," Sterner explained. "(The officer) did consider the way we were dressed provocative, which I thought was pretty ridiculous." Sterner was wearing a t-shirt, short shorts and fishnet stockings. She was given a warning.

Jacqui Daniels was exotic dancing at the bar that night. She says Sterner was unfairly targeted.  
Exotic dancer Jacqui Daniels says the city needs more clarity when it comes to its adult entertainment bylaw. (Britainy Robinson)

"She wasn't doing anything that girls at nightclubs would do anyways. She was actually doing a lot less," said Daniels. "She wasn't gyrating in a provocative manner. She was just embracing her femininity and just dancing the way a girl wants to dance."

Police say its officers were following regular rules of enforcement. They were checking on dancers for age, dress and their compliance with the bylaw. Police say if anyone disagrees with their treatment by police, they are free to file a complaint with the force.

Both Daniels and Sterner say there needs to be more clarity when it comes to the City of Saskatoon's adult entertainment bylaw, and hopes they will do it soon.