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Ballet Talk for Dancers
DancinFeet

Dancer's Salary?

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dbleon

Nice dream vicarious....welcome to my nightmare... :P We also thought along similar lines...little did we know....helps to have a friendly bank manager that really likes your dancer...

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Guest balletandsynchro

Aso, speak with your tax advisor if you are considering using any of those Cloverdell type college funds set up for your dancers for anything other than college. There are some heavy tax consequences that can occur.

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premaballrina

All I am saying is that it is a real eye opening experience. It's not all fluff and pretty pink tutus all the time...that is what this site tends to sound like sometimes. Dancers and their parents need to stray away from that delusion.

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vicarious

Why is it that they don't earn at least minimum wage?

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insidesoloist

I've seen several apprentices and Co. II members support themselves. It wasn't always easy, or pretty. The ones who became proficient at typing and had good customer-service skills or research skills also found temp work and off-season work to support themselves. Those lucky enough to have the skills of an entry-level electrician or plumber, who can do light construction or upholstery or locksmithing are among those who can freelance year-round and fit work around their schedules. I knew some dancers with these skills and they did quite nicely for themselves. Other things that have been favorites of struggling artists:

 

House-sitting. Long-term, this can give dancers a roof overhead, appliances, etc. Often there are simple maintenance tasks that need doing -- watering plants, taking care of pets, bringing in/forwarding any mail, etc.

 

Dog-walking -- This can pay surprisingly well in the right areas, and allows the dancer to keep moving.

 

Concierge work -- For the creative, networking multitasker, not the faint of heart or impatient.

 

Dinner theatre off-season -- For the ballet dancer who enjoys musical theatre.

 

Medical-records clerk positions (and other entry-level hospital positions) -- These are harder and harder to get but there are still some out there with flexible hours and benefits!!!

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Marga
..... Anyway, a lot of directors do not want to talk about money or sallary. :wacko: It can all be very tiering. :sleeping:

ingve

Hi ingve,

I know you meant to write "tiring", but the word "tiering" is apt here as well! A "tier" is one layer of a whole, where the whole is comprised of many tiers (rows or ranks). The dictionary defines "tier" as "a division of persons or things by quality, rank, or grade". So talking about "tiering", as well as salaries for the members of each tier, might, indeed, be tiring for some ADs! :D

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dancemaven
I thought the training we are paying for now, while she's a pre-pro student, was the "college money" and that by High School graduation she'd have her "degree" and be able to support herself. This past six months has been very enlightening as I've watched graduates go to low or no pay apprenticeships.

 

As DD's journey and dream have progressed, we have learned a lot. First, very, very, very few dancers are 'company ready' at the time of high school graduation. Meaning, the chances of a new high school graduate receiving a full company contract is all but nil.

 

A few very lucky and skilled new high school graduates may receive contracts or offers for a Company II position, which may or may not actually provide them with a small stipend or shoes. I may be wrong, but I don't think any Company II contracts actually provide a full living wage.

 

A few more lucky and skilled new high school graduates may receive 'contracts' or offers for trainee or apprenticeships. Depending on the company, these positions may or may not provide a performance stipend or shoes, or the dancer may be actually paying tuition (or received a scholarship for tuition).

 

What we have also learned is that more often than not, a new high school graduate actually needs a year or two of 'finishing work' to really be 'company ready' or to obtain the Company II, trainee, or apprentice positions. So the question becomes where is the best training for that particular dancer---college or post-HS grad training school. Different answers for different dancers. (But, that is where the 'post-grad year of ballet school training is cheaper than a year of college training' comes in.)

 

We have also learned that regardless of whether the dancer takes her finishing year(s) at college or at a ballet training school, they will still be competing for the same entry level jobs: Company II, trainee, or apprentice. The salary (or lack thereof) really isn't dependent on whether the dancer does or does not have a college degree or how old the dancer is. It is solely dependent upon whether the dancer has the required and appropriate skill level, is at the right place at the right time, with an AD who sees in that dancer what he is looking for for that season, and is amenable to working for those particular 'offers', pay or no pay.

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Christina

When I got the position of trainee with a professional company I didn't get paid. The free shoes and free classes were a big plus. Since I was a trainee I didn't have long rehearsal hours, so in between classes/performances/rehearsals I got had a job doing telephone surveys. It was very flexible hours that I could work around my schedule. The pay wasn't much of course, but enough to pay for my rent, food, ect.. I also shared an apartment with 4 other dancers so that helped.

Basically where there is a will there is a way :D

Oh I just remembered I also had a flexible pt job of delivering pizza flyers on doors lol ahh those good ol days.

Edited by Christina

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nmp1014

Dancemaven,

Thank you for the thoughtful insight here. For those of us "getting ready" your input is well received and appreciated!

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2marzipans

As a parent who has put a daughter through college and is currently helping a dd train away from home at CPYB, I can tell you that in some ways the college education was less expensive for us. The big difference is that the student can take out loans for college - there are no loans for post-hs dance training that can be deferred until you get that company job! My college graduate has her student loan debt - we have no college loan debt for her because the balance was taken care of by her scholarships and grants. We paid very little toward her education. Why? Because while she took out loans we had to take our money to finance her sister's dance training, living expenses and SI's. It's not fair, and now we will help her with her loan payments. We checked out college dance programs - this post-grad program was a better fit for our dd's needs.

 

My dd has been able to take a part-time job this year as a waitress. They work around her dance schedule and she makes decent money in a few hours a week. I tell her all the time that this is a taste of how her life will be when (and if) she first makes it into a company - dance and the ever-present part-time job. So far, she's willing to stay in the game. At this point, we would be very grateful for that $100 a week dancer salary!

 

On another note, I must mention my friend's dd's experience. She graduated with a dance degree from a four-year college, and took a dance job on a cruise ship which she loves. She learned that she was the only one hired who had a dance degree. Everyone else had just taken dance classes, mostly in NYC. They all receive the same salary. The big difference is that now she's paying off huge college loan debt while they have none. Just food for thought...

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tsavoie

My son is in a second company. He earned enough to cover his rent,metro and cable. We subsidizd foodand paid for his phone. Compared to the costs of his college going brother, it seemed like a good deal. I suppose it depends on the company whether it works out. Because it is second company, he gets paid as a contractor, so our insurance covers him as though he were still a student which is also helpful.

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dcportrait
Because it is second company, he gets paid as a contractor, so our insurance covers him as though he were still a student which is also helpful.

How were you able to keep him on your insurance? I need tips here, as DD has just signed a contract as apprentice with a West Coast company that has no health insurance. (but I'm feeling lucky, after reading previous posts, that she is getting paid $ 200/ week & has pointe shoes provided!). We will be helping with rent, etc. as well. The good news: she got a paying dance job! The down side - we are subsidizing (with no tax deduction breaks) along with 2 in college - YIKES! B)

dcportrait

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Tiffany

Insidesoloist: great ideas for jobs, I've never thought of those!!!

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tsavoie

Because he is a deferring student, the college has him as a student so the health insurance company agreed that is what he is at this point in time. I did find fairly reasonable individual policies at a website..http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/ They ask a bunch of questions and then offer different plans with comparisons between them. It was a useful place to find what is out there, and then if you want you go directly to the company's website.

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premaballrina

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?

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