Her name is a mouthful—Simone Danalustrous. Her reputation precedes her—high-energy shows with a rock-and-roll attitude. Simone has had ebbs and flows in her feature career, including a previous nomination for ED’s Entertainer of the Year in 2014 and a gaggle of industry contest titles. But over the past few of years, Simone has taken her game to a new level. She’s twice won well-earned “Hottest Body” titles at the EDI contests, as well as multiple top three EDI finishes (she took First Runner-Up honors at the recent EDI West at Centerfolds Cabaret in Las Vegas).
She also won ED’s “Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year” in 2017, won the Monroe’s Feature Tournament for the second year in a row (2017 & 2018) and had yet another big win at Nudes ‘A Poppin’ where she was crowned Miss Nude Entertainer of the Year. It all culminates with her second ED’s Entertainer of the Year nomination in 2018, garnering her a chance to perform in front of the industry at the ED’s Awards Show on Tuesday, August 21 during the Annual ED Expo at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.
The ED Pub had a chance to catch up with Simone to find out what inspired her devotion to having one of the industry’s most rocking bodies, as well as what she “rocks out” to via her own customized Spotify playlist, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com.
video by Daniel Montoya
ED PUB: You’re nominated for Entertainer of the Year for the second time. What does this year’s nomination mean to you as opposed to your previous Entertainer of the Year nomination in 2014?
SIMONE: As a feature, it’s your dream to win Entertainer of the Year. As you get further into your career though, not only are you (hopefully) getting better, you are also realizing that your window of opportunity to win is getting slimmer and slimmer. I say that since many features typically start to hang up their heels around this time. Clearly, that’s not the case with me, haha. I was super excited to have been nominated the first time yet, I won’t lie, it felt very undeserving at the time. Especially since I was up against my best friend (Lacey Rain) who truly deserved to be up there and won, as she should have. This year, it feels like I have finally earned my place up on the big stage. Whether that will translate into me winning or not, well, I guess we will see. Yet win or lose, I am proud to be up there representing my industry and I look forward to continuing to push positive change and growth for myself and all features in the coming year.
ED PUB: You’ve become known as having one of the “hottest bodies” in feature entertainment today. How hard have you worked to get and maintain such a great physique? Any tips for the girls out there looking to get as fit as you?
SIMONE: Are they saying that now? LOL. I won’t lie, I am very flattered. I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am. This has been nearly a two-year process and was actually something I started for my mental health. At this point it is just my lifestyle so it’s fairly easy to maintain. I try to go to the gym every day for at least an hour and make healthy choices when it comes to eating. It’s not always easy to do on the road but you have to be forgiving with yourself sometimes when your options are limited to gas station or fast food LOL. The best tip I can give to girls who are looking to get fit is stay consistent and be forgiving with yourself. The reason my process took as long as it did was because I refused to lock myself into a strict workout or diet regimen. If I only felt I could go for a half hour that day, then I went to the gym for a half hour. If I wanted the cheeseburger so much it was making me sad, I ate the cheeseburger. I didn’t want to force myself into a routine that was bound to make me miserable and that I would eventually quit on. I also wasn’t about to beat myself up for wanting and eating something that wasn’t a “diet” food. Stay consistent and just don’t give up, that’s really the main thing. The results may come slower but they will come and you will be happy in the end.
ED PUB: Your “Predator” show at the EDI West contest was one of the best shows of your feature career. How long did it take to put that show together, and how hard was it to get it just right?
SIMONE: I actually created that show about five years ago where I super bombed with it at the second EDI. Right after that, I had probably one of the lowest points in my career so, to me, that costume was just bad luck and I put it on a shelf never to see the stage again. When this year’s EDIs came around, I decided that instead of creating a brand new show like I do every year, that I would instead go back to the shows I had already created and see about revamping one into a potentially winning show. Lacey Rain was the one who actually talked me into using Predator again. With the help of her and Dane Hansen, I was able to create the show you all got to see. It was two month of rehearsing, crying, training, building, scrapping the whole damn thing a hundred times, and starting over again until we got the final product. Even then, I was still trying to perfect it right up until the day of. Lacey finally had to tell me to just relax and trust myself so I did and well, here we are!
ED PUB: You’ve been coming to Expo for several years now. What do you look forward to most about attending the convention each year?
SIMONE: The thing I most look forward to at Expo each year is seeing everyone again! I am so close to so many people scattered across America and Expo is one of the only times the majority of us are in the same place at the same time. Some of these people I only get to see once a year, some I haven’t seen in a few years since some clubs have stopped doing features since I was last there. So Expo is like a giant strip club family reunion and I really cherish that part of it. I love ED for bringing together all the people I love for an industry I love each year. It’s the best!
Where do you hail from: From sunny Long Beach, California
How many years have you been dancing: Altogether with my burlesque and go-go background, nearly 16 years. I’ve been involved in one form of dance or another for most of my life.
How many years have you featured: It is now going on eight wonderful and glorious years in this industry.
Favorite type of music: I won’t lie, I am an EDM head. This stems all the way back to the old school raver days though, LOL. I am open to and enjoy all genres of music though. Music is life!
Favorite recording artist: Can anyone honestly have just one?! I am a Def Leppard fan for life, though an artist who’s music I am currently interested in would be Bebe Rexha. That girl has a voice on her.
Favorite song to dance to: Again with the hard choices! My current favorite changes sometimes day to day but if I had to pick one that will always be in my lineup it’s ” Solo ( ft. Demi Lovato)” by Clean Bandit, or ” Dirty Sexy Money ( ft. Charli XCX and French Montana)” by David Guetta. These songs get me pumped to dance to onstage and that energy always transfers to the crowd which I love.
Favorite song to listen to: Hmmm… that truly depends on my mood at the time… If I have to put a song on that will always get me happy then it’s ” Superlove” by Charlie XCX. It is just such a bright, poppy, light hearted song I can’t be in a bad mood when I listen to it.
Favorite club manager: Haha ok, now you are just trying to get me in a fight here. I surprisingly have an answer for this though! Even though pretty much every manager I have come in contact with in this industry has been a gem ( no really, I have had no bad experiences in my career, knock on wood, right?), my favorite club manager would be my manager at Cheetahs, Bear. Or, as most people know him, The Godfather from WWE!!!! I am a HUGE wrestling fan, so when I found out that I worked under The Godfather, the pimp of pimps himself, I literally almost died. Even answering this right now I am blushing like a fan girl because seriously it’s like the coolest thing ever to me!!! So yes, Bear of Cheetahs is hands down my fave. I still love all of you, though!
Favorite DJ: See? Again, trying to start fights, LOL. If I’m in the car, DJ Hizzy ( you might know her as Lacey Rain The Hurricane) is my number one! When it comes to the clubs though, there is no one name to give, just one name to use for all of my favorites and that would be PANDA. I love the PANDA DJs!!! And I think they love me back since they voted me their favorite showgirl last year, haha. Wherever I go, if a PANDA is in the booth, then I know I’m among family. For a traveling show girl like myself it’s important to not feel like you are all alone in a new place as the new girl. PANDA has helped to create and push the One Industry, One Love movement among the industry and that love has definitely been felt by me over the years as I have traveled and gotten to connect with PANDAs all across America. Not saying my non-PANDA DJs are not important to me to, but my PANDA boys will always have a special place in the booth in my heart.
Favorite part of your work night: The second my foot hits the stage for the first time. Whether I am on a booking or just dancing locally, my night never truly begins until I have danced my first song on stage for the night. It’s the second I really feel myself slip into the vibe of the club and suddenly I am no longer an element outside of it but a part of it. One of your favorite songs comes on, you hear your name, all eyes are turned towards you, and this is the second where you either fall or fly… it’s exhilarating. It’s only after I do that first show that I now feel completely ready and then… it’s on.
Pet working peeve: Taking your shoes off on stage! Oh my God, I can’t stand this! LOL! Unless you are about to do something crazy like a backflip, or you are belly dancing, or doing something messy where you may get hurt, KEEP YOUR SHOES ON! I finally took my shoes off for the first time in the last EDI and it was so painful to me, hahaha. Yet I had to because I was in a full shower. Some girls have to ditch them for pole, I get that too. Yet if you are a dancer and you immediately come out and get out of your heels to wander around on stage not doing anything but being barefoot, I just cannot get down with that. Maybe I’m old school but the heels and dancing in them are all part of the gig! It’s part of the fantasy! The look! Yeah, clearly you have tapped a nerve here haha but yes, my biggest work pet peeve is taking your shoes off for no reason on stage. Just please don’t.
Advice for new feature dancers: Stay patient, stay humble, and enjoy the experience. You need patience because you will not be successful overnight. You just won’t. You won’t win every contest you enter. You won’t be making a ton of money right away. In fact, you will probably struggle for the first two years as you try to find yourself and how to make this industry work for you, because it doesn’t work the same for everyone else. If you quit every time it gets hard you will never see the success for yourself that probably drew you in in the first place. The women who inspired myself and other features were not the new girls, they were the established dancers who had it together, who you were seeing at the top of their career because they had paid their dues and found their way. It wasn’t overnight success, I promise. Be patient.
I say stay humble because I have seen many new girls get an ego and have their career go from promising to nonexistent within a year. The burn out rate is already high but it becomes higher when the newfound attention leads to an ego boost that seems to just cause some girls to lose their heads. If you win, be gracious. If you lose, be courteous. If someone gives you advice, thank them. If someone gives you criticism, thank them too and go be pissed about it in private LOL. Thinking you are better than anyone else gets you nowhere but out of the industry typically. The greatest features I have known were always the first ones to claim that they were never good enough. They always stayed humble, even (and most especially) when they were at the top.
Last, try to enjoy the experience. Everyone gets so caught up in trying to win this or that contest, or such and such award, or even beat so and so at this event. We go to bookings and make a list of complaints as to why it “sucked” or something … we are just missing out of the joy of this job. This job is cool! You get to fly around the country, meet new people, try new things, all because of your good looks and talent. Like, that’s pretty freaking sweet! Personally, I am really excited to be old and whip out one of my crazy from-the-road stripper stories to entertain future grandkids with at an inappropriate time like Christmas dinner. The stress will always be there if you are looking for it. It will, I promise. Yet these super cool moments and experiences are always changing, always fleeting, and if you don’t think to enjoy them when they are happening you are really going to miss out on one of the best parts of being a feature. It’s the little things.