I encourage other dancers to expect and request a consistent, minimum rate for teaching and performing. I only provide referrals to teachers and performers who do so. This is our livelihood, not just a hobby or past time. There are often very talented hobby dancers and troupes that will perform at community events and fundraisers for a discount or for free. Many professional dancers, including myself, will also book a number of discounted or free shows for charity and community causes we support.
If you are booking for your staff party, private event, business promotion, or wedding, expect to pay the full rate. I discourage the dancers who work with me to dance for free or a reduced rate in a venue where other dancers have been getting paid the going rate. This is essentially undercutting, and is a big no-no. It creates bad feelings, puts dancers out of work, and is unfair. When dancers charge the same rates, people can and will choose to book them on the basis of their talent, not their bargain-basement price. In my experience and in my opinion, patrons get what they pay for.
Some dancers might tell a patron that they dance “for the love of it” and that those of us who charge are “just in it for the money”. I like to argue that all of us who dance love it. I am sure professional chefs love to cook, but they don’t work for free. Nor do doctors, plumbers, or carpenters. This is our profession. Just as with any other trade, we provide a specialized service and we deserve to be paid fairly for it.
Anyone who expects to make lots of money as a dancer, or who thinks dancers are profiteering, please reconsider. (Many of us also work day jobs.) Professional-calibre dancers spend many years and many thousands of dollars to become trained and talented performers, and perhaps also, instructors. Dedicated, disciplined dancers reinvest much of what they make back into their dancing, to stay current, keep costumed, get ever-better, and raise the art form further. Many provinces’ local associations are now posting standard rates as a guideline.
Current minimum rates are:
Teaching (class, private or semi private) ~~ $25 / hr
Performance ~~ $110 / 15 – 20min set ($80 / each additional set)
Transportation for out of city ~~ $0.30-$0.35 / km return
Copyright: © 2005 Nicola
Last updated: 2012/02/08