Being A Panda

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Professional Adult Nightclub DJ Association, or PANDA, is the org. behind the unification of the strip club D.J. nation. I have to say my favorite part of it is the friendship and brotherhood it’s brought along with it. How is it changing the landscape of the industry? Let me explain.

In my last article, I spoke of social media leveling the playing field. And a big part of that is the new relationships we’ve made. If I’m going for an audition, I know who to talk to. If my friends out of town and needs a club, I can talk to a friend on fb and get them exceptional treatment. A friend has a VIP in Vegas and likes special treatment? Gotcha covered. (Thanks, Charlton Lee. 🙂 And even if you put the business aside, it’s got a slew of merits. It used to be when I planned vacations, I didn’t know where to go. Plenty of places enticed me, but I didn’t really have any insight into what or how to tackle those places. But now I can pick pretty much any major city on the map and contact a fellow Panda for details on the big 5 questions. Where can I stay cheap but in the middle of the action? How do I find the best restaurants? What do I HAVE to experience when I’m there? When’s the best time of year to come? and, my favorite, why the hell didn’t we do this sooner?!

We’re such a close knit group of friends now, it’s really changing how we’re experiencing our lives. Here’s an example:
Last year I had my birthday with Tim Rhodes and *pushes button* BINGER. While I was there, I got to be around for the birth of Strip Club Radio. I also ran into one of my favorite artists, Cee Lo, in the bathroom. How the hell do I top that? Well this past August my 32nd birthday was the weekend before the Exotic Dancer Expo so the question answered itself: Birthday party in Vegas. I’ve got plenty of friends in “The City That Never Sleeps”, but one of them is pretty much the king of the city. He knows everyone, everywhere. Panda VP and SCR Co-Host Dane Hansen. He set up an astonishing deal on dinners and bottles at Treasures. Covered admissions for everyone (if you’ve been to Vegas, you know what that can run a group of 20.) It was attended by more than half of the DJ of the Year nominees. I walked in to some of the my most respected colleagues and friends singing “Happy Birthday.” I wish I had that moment taped, cuz it really meant the world to me. Last year, I was just the kid. This year, VIP treatment. That was just the start to the night. We ended up at the hottest night club in the city, then the soon-to-be-crowned Club of the Year, Spearmint Rhino. To say it was a birthday to remember is putting it lightly. This is just one of many things Dane organized throughout that week. He made his city, OUR city. And I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Thank You.”

The above story is just a sliver, a solitary instance of what my own personal experiences have been and they’ve been many. A Panda DJ can’t go to South Florida without having a “f3ull dance card” and rock star treatment. Shots, dances, shout outs etc while we’re at the clubs. And then they invite us into their homes and give us an honest look at the cities they live and thrive in. It’s like we have 300 brothers spread out across the country. I now have a problem choosing a vacation spot because I have SO many options to see so many places I’ve always wanted to not just visit, but experience. I know my friends will agree. San Fransisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, NYC, Boston…the list goes on and on. Places I can’t wait to go and to really connect with these guys. Best part of it all? Every vacation is a chance to learn. To grow. Every one of these top notch D.J.’s has their own show, their own style. I’ve learned something from every single one of them so far and it’s only benefited me for the better. I come back a better D.J. every time.

I really can’t explain just how important this brotherhood of D.J.’s is to all of us. It takes a certain sort of person to do this job and to say we have a lot in common is a serious understatement. I hope you’ll stick with us over the years as this budding organization grows and finds its legs. I think you’ll be surprised at what this group of unique and free thinking individuals will bring to the table. This industry is always looking for the “next big thing.” Sit down and watch, cuz it’s here. Thanks for reading.

Cheers,
Ron “D.J. Ron James” Sparkman

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Dane Hansen is the current president of PANDA. He’s been nominated multiple times by Exotic Dancer for some of their most prestigious awards, Employee of the Year and DJ of the Year. Dane puts in exhaustive work to bring the dj community to a higher level year after year.