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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Companies With 28 Week Contracts or More


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So the ranking seems to be from a dancer's perspective. Factors I think might be of importance here:

* # weeks of employment

* Total pay over the year (pay/week * weeks + benefits)

* # of performances per year (too many can be quite difficult, too few doesn't give much experience)

* Touring (could be a plus or a minus)

* Opportunity to dance something consider exciting to the dancer (this is quite nebulous, hard to pin down).

* Surveys of dancer satisfaction

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  • BW


  • balletbooster


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I wasn't looking to rank the companies at all. I was looking for a list of ALL the companies (in no particular order) that offer their dancers contracts of 28 weeks or more.


My first post stated that we could all easily list the first 10 or so that come to mind, but that it was the second and third tier companies that might not be so easy to come up with. Many companies that are well known do not offer a full 2/3 year contract. So, my purpose in starting the thread was to try to come up with a list of companies that have the potential to offer our children (since this is the Moms and Dads forum) gainful employment, for 7 months of the year, or greater than 1/2 of a year.


If you are interested in starting a new thread ranking ballet companies, it might be better placed on one of the general forums. I think that there was a thread awhile back, on another forum, that discussed the ranking topic. You might try a search and see what you can come up with. :cool:

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Thanks for the clarification. I see your purpose now. I have no interest in ranking companies.


But now that you mention it, I think that ($/week * # weeks) is a useful measure for this thread, since that is the total $/yr made in gainful employment. Pay scales vary widely.


One should also beware of "toxic situations" going on in certain companies. That can change from year to year, of course. But I know of one company in particular that paid well and had a good reputation, but turned out to be pretty bad on the inside. Two of their dancers have since (by chance) ended up in our company, even though our pay scale is so much lower. One quite dancing a few years later, the other seems to like our company. Who knows, if the other company had had a good atmosphere, she very well might still be dancing and enjoying it.


Hope this helps.

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Citibob, I am sure your intentions are the best - however, I need to point out to you that this is the Moms and Dads Forum and, as balletbooster so aptly pointed out - we are interested in pursuing this train of thought in regards to our children's futures...whether they all end up as professionals or not! :D


Generally speaking, the forums that are marked for Young Dancers', Teachers', Moms and Dads, etc., are limited to those who fit that bill ;) unless there is a specific need or request. Not meaning to kick you out so rudely, but I do think your thoughts might be better served on a more general forum in the future. :P Bear in mind that most people do check the other forums as well and respond in kind. :cool:

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I would include Ballet Memphis. I'm pretty sure they have at least 28 weeks of work and good benefits.

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Guest Leigh Witchel

Hi folks -


Off the top of my head, I'm guessing Lexington (KY) may no longer provide 28 weeks of work. I can't recall how long my own contract was back in the Jurassic era ;) but the company has been in flux since the late 90s.


Does Eugene Ballet/Ballet Idaho (they have a dual residency with different names in each town) have a 28 week contract?


Other possibilities not mentioned I haven't confirmed their contract length but at least they are worth looking into:


Festival Ballet of Providence - RI

American Repertory Ballet - NJ

Charleston Ballet Theatre - SC

NC Dance Theatre - NC

Carolina Ballet - NC

Ballet Florida - FL

Southern Ballet Theater - FL

Milwaukee Ballet - WI

Ballet Arizona - AZ

Dallas/Fort Worth Ballet - TX

Ballet Austin - TX

Ballet Oklahoma - OK

Colorado Ballet - CO

Pennsylvania Ballet - PA

Nevada Ballet Theater - NV

Ballet Pacifica - CA

Smuin Ballets: SF - CA

Oakland Ballet - CA

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I did a little internet research (with some help from BW) and came up with a great resource that relates to our discussion.


John Munger, director of Research for Dance/USA (the national service organization for Professional Dance) sent me a listing of all US companies with an operating budget of $1 million or more for 2001. This information was gleaned from tax returns and is a matter of public record. He was kind enough to allow me to share it with this group, so I will include it here:


(I'm sorry about the formatting, but the tab settings get lost in the translation from Excel to the bulletin board.)


1 New York City Ballet New York NY $42,963,000

2 San Francisco Ballet CA $25,226,909

3 American Ballet Theatre NY $25,135,609

4 Boston Ballet MA $17,620,916

5 Pacific Northwest Ballet WA $12,603,513

6 Houston Ballet TX $12,074,506

7 Joffrey Ballet of Chicago IL $10,692,080

8 Miami City Ballet FL $10,496,404

9 Pennsylvania Ballet PA $8,065,245

10 Dance Theatre of Harlem NY $7,933,414

11 Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre PA $7,289,735

12 Ballet West UT $6,391,138

13 Atlanta Ballet GA $6,262,363

14 Colorado Ballet CO $5,270,047

15 Cincinnati Ballet OH $4,923,490

16 Milwaukee Ballet WI $4,843,385

17 Fort Worth Dallas Ballet TX $4,388,006

18 Oregon Ballet Theater OR $4,296,274

19 Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley CA $4,256,849

20 BalletMet Columbus Columbus OH $4,125,913

21 Washington Ballet DC $3,839,517

22 Kansas City Ballet MO $3,747,702

23 Dance Connecticut CT $3,712,833

24 Ballet Florida FL $3,658,489

25 Ballet Tech NY $3,628,518

26 Carolina Ballet Theatre NC $3,585,151

27 Ballet Arizona AZ $3,320,538

28 Richmond Ballet VA $3,217,009

29 Ballet Memphis TN $3,047,972

30 American Repertory Ballet NJ $3,001,991

31 Tulsa Ballet Theatre OK $2,946,691

32 Louisville Ballet KY $2,915,413

33 Ballet Austin TX $2,843,632

34 Ballet Internationale IN $2,750,951

35 North Corlina Dance Theatre NC $2,497,490

36 Sarasota Ballet of Florida FL $2,468,135

37 Smuin Ballets SF CA $2,067,974

38 Nevada Dance Theatre NV $2,000,553

39 Ohio Ballet OH $1,862,465

40 Oakland Ballet CA $1,852,649

41 Southern Ballet Theatre FL $1,734,097

42 Sangre de Cristo Ballet CO $1,656,620

43 Nashville Ballet TN $1,653,550

44 Eugene Ballet Company OR $1,344,326

45 Philadelphia Dance Company PA $1,309,675

46 Central PA Youth Ballet PA $1,295,148

47 Grand Rapids Ballet MI $1,291,287

48 St. Joseph Ballet CA $1,277,637

49 Minnesota Dance Theatre MN $1,140,016

50 Ballet Oklahoma OK $1,136,769

51 New Jersey Ballet Company NJ $1,110,044

52 Ballet Pacifica CA $1,045,510

53 Alabama Ballet AL $1,015,890

54 Columbia City Ballet SC $1,010,858


While he did not have information about length of contract, it is likely that most in this group have contracts of 28 weeks or more. (I know that Ballet Oklahoma, which is 50th on this list, offers 32 week contracts.) Except for CPYB, I believe that all of these are professional, not student, companies.


I've also ordered the 2003 directory that was mentioned in an earlier post. It is supposed to have contract information for all of the companies, as well as the number of dancers in each company. The cost is $39.95.


I hope this is helpful for those of you who have dancers ready to look for a job. For those of us who have a few years, it is good information to use as our dancers decide about summer programs and make plans for the future!

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Guest Leigh Witchel

[board Host Beanie On]


Folks, I'm going to ask before it happens that we don't have a protracted discussion here on How To Conduct a Discussion. I'm not trying to censor, just trying to keep the actual discussion from being derailed.


The Special Interest forums were in fact created to give groups (Parents, Young Dancers, Pro Dancers) a place to talk. We want to preserve this as a place for people within the group to talk freely and control their own discussion. There are certainly times when an outside viewpoint is useful and welcome but I would ask in any situation where one is talking in any of the special interest forums to recognize that in some situations you're a "visitor" and in others, you're a "resident". If you're a visitor, try not to control the discussion.


[board Host Beanie Off]

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Thanks, Leigh. That last line was great. Can I borrow your beanie? I couldn't have said it better myself :)

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Guest Vicarmac

The following are from the Winter 2002 Pointe Magazine Company audition issue so not totally up to date. There were many more companies listed but they either didn't list contract length or it was shorter. Most Biggies didn't list length but we know they are over 28 weeks. Many were NOT union affiliated. And Leigh, Lexington listed 24 wks.



Aspen Sante Fe-40wks

Atlantic Contemporary Ballet-34wks

Augusta Ballet-34wks

Ballet Arizona-30-32wks

Ballet Florida-40wks

Ballet Austin-34wks

Ballet Internationale-38wks

Ballet Memphis-40wks

Ballet Met-36wks

Ballet Pacifica-40wks

Ballet Quad Cities-33wks

Ballet San Jose/Silicon Valley-31wks

Ballet West-38wks

Boston Ballet-40wks

Carolina Ballet-37wks

Channel Island Ballet-30wks

Cincinnati Ballet-33+wks

Colorado Ballet-33wks

Columbia City Ballet-24-29wks

Corpus Christi Ballet-34wks

David Taylor Dance Theatre-35wks

Dayton Ballet-33wks

Fort Worth Dallas Ballet-36wks

Greensboro Ballet-36wks

Houston Ballet-44wks

Kansas City Ballet-35wks

Louisville Ballet-33wks

Minnesota Ballet-29wks

Nashville Ballet-30+wks

Nevada Ballet Theatre-30wks

New Jersey Ballet-30wks

North Carolina Dance Theatre-30+wks

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre-38wks

Richmond Ballet-24-40wks

San Diego Ballet-24-28wks

Sarasota Ballet-34wks

Smuin Ballets-34wks

State Street Ballet-28-34wks

Tulsa Ballet Theatre-34wks

Washington Ballet-36wks

National Ballet of Canada-46wks

There was lots of other info in the listing for some companies but just contact info for others. I'm sure they will do listing again this winter. Either when they do SI stuff or like Dance Magazine the next issue after the SI issue will be a company audition issue.

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Thanks Vicarmac!


I will load this information in alongside the company budget information and put it all together. We are coming up with some very good statistics!

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Oakland Ballet has a 20 week contract, but I believe they have plans to try to expand that as they get back on track.

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