We dancers should know our worth. Photo by Alexander Dummer/Unsplash
A couple weekends ago, a friend messaged me about an opportunity to be a part of a new holiday campaign for a major department store. They wanted to showcase various dancers dancing in their fall clothing collection. I asked if it was paid, and when I found that it was not, I immediately wanted to(respectfully) decline.
I remembered reading and resonating with a post on this matter from Dance Magazine's editor, Jennifer Stahl, when she said that "any job that's worth taking for the resumé boost will most likely come from an organization that's big enough to have the money to pay everyone involved."
Instagram tags don't pay the bills. Photo by Andrei Lazarev/Unsplash
Earlier this week, a friend of a friend reached out to me seeking recommendations for a dancer/choreographer to hire. She wanted someone who could perform a solo and talk about their process for an arts-appreciation club. After a few emails back and forth, as I was trying to find out exactly what kind of choreographer she was looking for, it eventually emerged that she was not looking to pay this person.
"We are hoping to find someone who would be willing to participate in exchange for the exposure," she wrote.
Why do people think this is an okay thing to ask for?
How much does your dance job pay? Hopefully more than what's shown in this photo. Photo by StockSnap
How much does your dance job pay? And how does that compare to other jobs in dance?
That's the question Dance Magazine is asking in an upcoming feature about money. Right now, we're looking to collect anonymous information about how much various professionals throughout the dance field make—from dancers and choreographers to teachers, administrators and other staff members.
If you've worked in the dance field in any capacity in the past year, we'd love to hear from you. Please fill out our survey, then keep your eyes peeled for the results in our July issue.