Art collage, hand with coins on a blue, wet paper background. Concept of finance and economics.

The Economics of Dance—Dance’s Future According to the Numbers

Four years of pandemic impact have wreaked havoc on the lives of professional dancers like Jaramillo, a member of Sydnie L. Mosley’s New York City–based collective SLMDances. Most dance organizations, whether commercial or nonprofit, have been on a financial roller-coaster ride, too, whose tracks parallel ups and downs in the U.S. economy as a whole. Multiple reports published since last summer have shed long-awaited light on the fiscal health of the country’s dance sector. What those numbers say isn’t simple to summarize.

A dancer poses with their back to the camera, arms in a V overhead. A masked audience seated on risers watches.

Findings From Dance/NYC’s Industry-Wide Census Will Be Published This Month

Most dance artists in New York City know certain things to be true: that wages are often unfairly low, for instance, and that it’s usually necessary to do some work outside of dance to survive. But in a vast field consisting of thousands of mostly gig workers performing many jobs throughout the course of one year, concrete data about what it’s like to be a dance worker has been challenging, if not impossible, to come by.