In a DragStarDiva exclusive, Jake Smith The Dancer sat down and talked the truth.
This Georgia peach is more than just a pretty face, and more than just a rock-hard body. We have to admit, at first glance, we were just charmed by his dashing looks and delicious sculpture, but the longer we sat with this Adonis, the more we fell in love with his wit – his sense of humor – and most definitely his appreciate of his industry sisters. MORE PHOTOS BELOW!
DSD: How long have you been dancing? Do you dance just locally, or travel around?
JAKE: I started dancing in clubs in February of this year, so you can imagine my surprise of how things have turned out for me. I’m a very lucky guy. When I first started, I had no clue what I was doing but I knew it was lots of fun. I love to dance and always have. When I was younger, 12 and 13, I went through modeling school and did runway jobs. They noticed I was always goofing off and dancing around when music was playing so they put me on stage and had me dancing in sportswear. I loved it. I later went to take hip-hop dance lessons and ended up one of the instructors after a week. And yes, I travel a lot these days. I work in Austin, Dallas and Tulsa mainly. My normal week is Austin on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then either Dallas or Tulsa on the weekend. I drive so much. I have danced in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas so far.
DSD: Favorite club to dance at?
JAKE: Oh that’s a hard one. Each place is so much different than the other. I go-go dance, pole dance (although I’m not near as good as many dancers on a pole) and stage perform. I love the people at Oilcan Harry’s (OCH) so much. The dancers are so nice and everyone that works there is amazing. When I moved to Texas, Austin was my first stop so I met people there first. I love the people that come in OCH, so I’ll have to say that club is my favorite.
DSD: How did you start dancing? What inspired you to move in that direction?
JAKE: The way I got started is very random. I was a hairstylist for years. One day my boss and I were saying that if there was a dancer bar around, we would go dance there. We thought it would be fun. He is a very funny guy. He used to talk me into cutting hair shirtless on occasion and he did the same. It was funny and always good for a laugh. So that conversation stuck in my head for good I suppose. Then one day I was clicking through Craigslist, and I ran across an ad for male dancers wanted in Tulsa. I emailed them and then the next night I was in my underwear and on stage. Still makes me laugh thinking about it. He has been up to see me dance. I still visit him every time I’m in Tulsa.
I try and help when I can and I work very hard on being a good person. And I think it shows. I love what I do.
DSD: I know that you are close with Kelly Kline. Are you close with a lot of the performers?
JAKE: I absolutely love performers. I always have and now I get the opportunity to work with them. That is something I never saw coming for sure. But I am so happy about it. I am relatively new to this field so I don’t know near as many as I would like to. But yes there are several that I consider good friends.
DSD: Explain the relationship between the male dancers and the drag queens? Would you say you all are a close family?
JAKE: I can’t speak for all of the dancers but I would like to think so. I know my best friend Jay and I are both huge fans. And I’m going to explain why they are so important to me. When I went through cosmetology school, I had a couple of best friends I made. They were both performers and I spent most of my time with them. I watched them learn to do makeup, hair, and we would even shop for stage clothes together. I would go to all of their shows and show my support. I would even help carry the giant bags they needed for a performance. Wow! This went on for years. One of them moved away to further her career. Sadly my other friend Scottie was killed. I was devastated and stopped going to see any shows at all. I just couldn’t do it. So to my surprise when I started dancing, I was thrown in the mix with shows again. And I am so happy about that I can’t even explain. Instead of hiding from things that reminded me of loosing her. I get to be reminded of how amazing she was. If you see me at a show, I’m always watching with a smile on my face. From time-to-time a song will come on that I used to watch her use and I get kind of emotional but not in a bad way anymore. And that’s why drag has such a big place in my heart.
DSD: Who is your favorite drag queen? Why?
JAKE: My favorite drag queen? That’s a tough one to answer. I’m a huge fan of Kelly Kline for many reasons. She helps so many performers and has a great heart. Helping others and being genuine while doing it is a big deal to me. I like good-hearted people.
DSD: Whom have you been most excited to meet? Why?
JAKE: I am excited about meeting them all. Everyone has their own style and personality while performing and that interests me. And don’t get me started on Texas. This state has some amazing performances. I am looking forward to seeing Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act. I’ve heard so many good things about them. I hear Bianca is hilarious and Courtney is known for being an absolute sweetheart. They both look like they are happy in their photos. I’m planning on watching them as soon as I’m able.
DSD: How often do you work out to stay in shape?
JAKE: I just started working out again in March and love it. I go to the gym six days a week, and then there is dancing – which serves at a pretty good workout also.
DSD: What is the nightly routine that you go through before taking to the stage?
JAKE: This question makes me laugh. I’m always joking with the girls about how easy it is for me to get ready. They have so much to do. The makeup, the clothes, and not to mention the TAPE… ouch! I just have to take some clothes off. Now, if it’s a performance on stage, then I have the costume things, also. But for the most part I have it easy.
DSD: Where (which clubs) can fans find you most often?
JAKE: I travel pretty often between cities, but I have my regular clubs. OCH in Austin. The Tin Room, Zippers, The Brick, and Marty’s Live in Dallas. Area 18 in Tulsa. The times vary and the dates, as well. I also am lucky enough to perform alongside of drag shows at times, which is probably my favorite type of dancing. Kris Kohl from Tulsa got me into this. She is amazing and I love her to pieces. I have traveled with her on several occasions to different states doing shows. I consider this a privilege and I am always happy to do it.
DSD: So, are those underwear magical? Tell us some tips about how dancers get and keep those bulges.
JAKE: It’s all about the underwear. Some cuts enhance the front. My favorites. 😉 And I use a ring to keep everything in place. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
DSD: Manscaping? Yes or no?
JAKE: Yes, definitely.
DSD: Biggest pet peeve from fans while you are dancing?
JAKE: This one is easy. My nipples are pierced and I dislike it when someone grabs them and pulls on them roughly. They are sensitive. Ouch!
DSD: Plans for the future?
JAKE: My future plans are hard to think about right now. I moved to Texas to spend the last amount of time with my grandmother. She has dementia and is in the later stages of it. So you can imagine my surprise when I came to Texas and found so much work here. My life is pretty much focused on her. When she passes I will go from there. I have had so many doors open for me in areas I never even knew were possible for me. And they continue to come. Like I said, I’m a lucky guy.
DSD: Strangest encounter with a fan?
JAKE: Strangest thing that happened was at Martha’s Vineyard in Springfield, Missouri. I had danced there once before and I was coming back again for a show. I had met many people the first visit and became friends with several on Facebook. When I pulled in, there was a small group that were outside waiting to see me in the parking lot. They said they had been waiting out there for almost an hour to see me. That was so flattering to me.
DSD: Biggest tip received?
JAKE: Biggest tip happened on Halloween at Area 18 and it was $200 from one person. He asked me when my biggest tip was that night and I had actually been tipped $100 less than an hour before. So he reached into his wallet and handed me 2 one hundred dollar bills and said now this is your biggest tip tonight. It was very nice of him. I’m always happy for any tips I get because to me that means they are being entertained.
DSD: Closing thoughts?
JAKE: I have an idea on why I have been so fortunate in this field. I honestly think it’s because I am nice to everyone. I never talk bad about people. I try and help when I can and I work very hard on being a good person. And I think it shows. I love what I do.