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Dancer's Salary?

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tsavoie

It means that he gets a 1099 at the end of the year instead of a W-2. I assume he is not covered for unemployment or workman's comp. He has no taxes taken out. For him, at this time in his life, it is not a problem. If he were a few years older, it probably would be. If he made more money it would probably be difficult also. He has no benefits other than use of the PT and his shoes, but he also does not have a binding contract. If something he fancied came along, he could leave with no harm done. I would be interested in hearing how other second companies work their systems if anyone else has any info to share. **also, the ss gets paid on the selfemployment line of the 1040**

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its the mom

tsavoie: Boston Ballet's second company receives insurance and shoes. Salary is $400 per week for first year BBII and $425 for second yeard BBII (I think). $400/week in Boston does not go very far, especially after taxes. Studio apartments in this city range from $1000 (if you are very lucky) to $1500 or more per month. First year corps members are bumped up to somewhere around $700-750 week.

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tsavoie

Thanks-sounds pretty comparable to Washington. Its great that they get the insurance though. I have been horrified by the cost of food in DC. That has been the biggest unexpected expense. IT seems to me that food costs in both NYC and Philadelphia were much less, and I am talking about groceries, not eating out.

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its the mom

Grocery shopping in Boston is tough, too. I am from outside of Philadelphia and for some things here in Boston, I pay not quite double what I paid at home. And, as you well know, tsavoie, growing boys eat enormous amounts of food!!

 

Insurance is a great help for most of these kids, and I think that's what makes it most attractive. Some of the kids supplement with outside jobs, but it's difficult with their schedule.

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stagemere

Here's a series of real beginner, novice, stupid questions: What exactly is a second company? Do they perform? Are they like the minor league baseball teams that are just as dedicated as the pros but make a pittance; and sometimes (only sometimes) proteams pull players from them to play pro ball?

 

If tomorrow's principal is pulled from the second company, how often does this happen? Would they be in second company for several years? How long is someone typically in second company? Is there a guarantee of moving up, or at least a high likelihood? Do they workout with the pros or do they have their own classes?

 

If second company dancers are not paid or barely paid, how much does one make when they are finally given a contract? It is $10,000 a year? $20,000 a year? More, less? I'm sure it varies, but there must be some typical or common salary with the top teir companies.

 

Thanks,

Stagemere

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Momof3darlings

Stagemere you might want to take a peek at the Career forums as well as this one for many different answers to your questions. You'll find several conversations there to help you understand.

 

However, the answers are as varied as the companies themselves. As well, what 2nd company means is varied as well. For some it is still a student company for others it is a bridge company, above a student but not yet an apprentice level. Some 2nd companies are paid and others not. Some are paid decently and others not.

 

Tomorrow's principal will most likely move from corp to soloist and then to principal. Or that principal may be hired directly from another company and not come up the ranks at all. That as well is varied. But rarely if ever will a principal come from the 2nd company one year and skip all the other steps to become a principal. It is generally a process of time.

 

Pay for company members will vary as well. In larger companies there are steps on the pay scale. 1st year corp gets one thing, 2nd another, etc. Then soloists get a higher amount, etc. etc. In a smaller company the pay scale may be more streamlined. The year salary varies as well. Union companies will pay union scale so yes, many of the top companies who are union will have such a pay scale.

 

Enjoy searching around, you'll see many topics related to pay, 2nd companies, etc. that will help you further.

 

vj

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pa07

Are entry level dancer's benefits and salary better in Europe than they are in the US? How difficult is it for a US citizen to find an entry level dance job in Europe?

Edited by pa07

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Swanilda

The benefits are better. Salaries are sometimes better, though it depends on the country. I work in Eastern/Central Europe, and our salaries are lower than in Germany or Norway, for example. But the cost of living is lower here, and so it evens out. It is very difficult to find a job in Europe. We don't really have the apprenticeships and traineeships like in the States. That has both positive and negative effects for dancers. The plus is that if you find a position, you will be paid a living wage. The negative is that there are less "footholes" to getting into a company. There is a bigger gap between student and professional. I've had no problems working as a US citizen, it seems that in the arts, most governments are pretty willing to listen to directors, and working visas are issued with little difficulty. My suggestion for anyone wanting to work in Europe is to research the individual company you are looking for a great deal. There is a huge variety here and many directors, who are looking for many different things.

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pa07

Swanilda,

 

Thank you for sharing your information, Did you train in Europe or in the US? Do many European Ballet companies recruit from there own schools? If one is an American citizen, is there an advantage to spending a post graduation year of training at a European company affiliated school or having professional experience (Job) behind you with a US ballet company first before deciding to audition in Europe.

Edited by dancemaven

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Swanilda

I trained in the States, at well known schools. I had danced with one American company before getting my first European job. Yes, European companies do recruit from their schools, some more than others (just as in the States). It is certainly a good idea to attend the school of a company that does take lots of their own students (Stuttgart, for example, comes immediately to mind). If that is not the case, you are quite correct that it is better to have some prior professional experience. Almost all companies here require you to send your resume and photo before auditioning (both for open calls and company classes) and, unlike in the States, they are not afraid to say "Please don't come" if they don't like what they see! While that can be frusterating, it can save you from using audition funds in places where you have little or no chance of being hired.

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stretchdance
I've heard things are bad these days as far as obtaining contracts, but Apprenticeships without health insurance? I can understand this for trainees, but for apprentices?

 

Many of the small to medium regional companies do not provide health insurance for the dancers. OB has a unique solution they have a network of doctors, dentists and PT's that have agreed to provide care for the dancers free of charge as a donation to the ballet. It's a win win, the docs get a tax deduction and the ballet gets to provide health care for the dancers. My dd is in her 2nd year as a company member after one year as an apprentice, fortunately she had a 3/4 scholarship to attend college and completed her college degree last August, but I empathize with all of you as I had to help support her dance habit and pay the difference on the college eduction....at least the college burden is now off, and because she has more time she is able to teach at a local studio one day a week to supplement what the ballet pays her. Dance isn't cheap, but be thankful we are paying for a healthy activity ....cheaper than jail, cheaper than drug rehab.

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dbleon
cheaper than jail, cheaper than drug rehab

this is a fabulous comment...will be my mantra as I yet AGAIN re-mortgage everything I "used to" own!! :P:green:

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Solnishka79

Dancer's Salary varies greatly in non-union companies. A regional "professional company" I performed in paid dancers between 25-100 per week, no insurance, no workers compensation, no shoes. 1099s. We were expected to be there six days a week, four-five hours per day. At least classes were free. Most of us supplemented our incomes by teaching, waitressing, part time receptionist work. Several friends of mine have moved onto union companies (or better run non-union) and can't get over the difference in pay and benefits. It's scary to be in that situation-if you get injured, you have no insurance and have to pay out of pocket. Then if you are injured, you have no pay. I really advise young, "innocent" dancers to read the fine print before signing contracts and ask questions to protect themselves. Plan ahead of time for insurance and supplemental income, etc.

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tutu123

Just out of curiousity, which ballet companies typically pay the most?

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Clara 76

Here are some links that contain the information you are looking for:

AGMA Contracts

 

Click on the links of the companies you are interested in learning about, and their AGMA contract will come up.

 

Also, from our sister board, Ballet Talk: Ballet Talk Salaries

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