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salariesNYCB and BT for example


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#1 jimmattimore

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:11 AM

To all-------

I wonder what dancers earn.??

They're so great, and they work so hard.

Here's what I hope-----principals 100K, soloists, 80K, corpsmembers 60K

I am hoping someone will know.



Thanks, JIM

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:41 AM

Thanks for posting that, Jim. I'm sure someone will. The salaries should be on line somewhere, I think, from the unions, but I don't have the URLs for those. If someone does, I hope you'll post.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:46 AM

Here's the entrance page for the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA):

http://www.musicalartists.org/

#4 Tiffany

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:18 PM

Reading through Boston Ballet's agreement (under agreements on the AGMA website, URL posted above by Major Mel), provided this information on page 25 (if you go by the Adobe Acrobat page numbers and not the numbers printed on the pages):

Boston Ballet, Pay per week:
New Dancer $697.52 (lowest pay)
3rd year principal dancer $1300.56 (highest pay)

and to quote the mastercard commercial-living your dream-priceless!

Salaries for all other levels of the company are posted as well.

Houston Ballet, pay per week, from AGMA website, p. 13 of HB agreement:
First year corps $685
Principal dancers $1125

Both companies also include extra pay for extraordinary risk, which is defined by each.

NYCB, p. 10,11
Pay by week:
level A corps $956
principal $1743 (rehearsal week)
principal $2060 (performance week)

ABT is not listed.

#5 jimmattimore

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:21 PM

Reading through Boston Ballet's agreement (under agreements on the AGMA website, URL posted above by Major Mel), provided this information on page 25 (if you go by the Adobe Acrobat page numbers and not the numbers printed on the pages):

Boston Ballet, Pay per week:
New Dancer  $697.52 (lowest pay)
3rd year principal dancer  $1300.56 (highest pay)

and to quote the mastercard commercial-living your dream-priceless!

Salaries for all other levels of the company are posted as well.

Houston Ballet, pay per week, from AGMA website, p. 13 of HB agreement:
First year corps $685
Principal dancers $1125

Both companies also include extra pay for extraordinary risk, which is defined by each.

I just posted companies that I'm interested in, not the specific ones mentioned.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Wonderful wonderful. Thanks you

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:33 PM

ABT has a separate union, similar to, but different from, AGMA.

#7 ltraiger

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:30 PM

I don't believe that companies hire dancers for an entire year (52 weeks). They are typically contracted for a season, which could amount to considerably less than 52 weeks, depending on the company home season and touring season. Please correct me if I am wrong.

#8 emhbunhead

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 06:09 PM

keep in mind, those are for union companies, in non union companies, dancers make VERY little... trust me, i know from experience... its not enough to live on and some work for free

#9 Anne74

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 07:43 PM

It's true--- the AGMA companies whose contractual salaries are available online represent only the small (and VERY lucky) minority of ballet dancers in the US. Non-union companies typically pay their principal-level dancers about the same as (if not less than) what new corps members earn in NYCB, ABT, or any of the other AGMA companies. True, NYC cost of living is much higher than the cities that many regional companies are located in, but the difference in pay is not proportionate. Couple the salary differences with a lack of other benefits (not health insurance, which virtually all companies provide) such as physical therapists on staff, unlimited pointe shoes, travel expenses, reimbursement for physical maintenance costs (massage, chiro, etc.), built-in seniority pay, exit pay when a dancer retires, and you've got a whole lot of dancers in this country who really DO do it for that priceless joy of doing what they love.

#10 Anne74

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 07:45 PM

And another thing is indeed the number of weeks they're employed per year--- I don't think any dancer in the US is employed year-round, but the bigger the company, the more weeks they can offer their dancers. A good contract in a regional company would be around 30 weeks. The rest of the time they're collecting unemployment, which is a tiny fraction of their normal salary.

#11 Marga

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:20 PM

Just for balance, in Estonia the corps salary is just under $500 U.S. a month. The soloists do not earn much more. The contract year is 12 months with two months off (mid-June to mid-August). The dancers have class and rehearsal 6 days a week, with an average of 2 performances a week.

#12 Marenetha

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 11:12 AM

Houston Ballet is guaranteed a 44 week season, which means that (barring any exceptional risks) :

First Year Corps Salary = $30,140

Principal = $49,500.

#13 bart

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 11:37 AM

The gap between the top, unionized companies and the employment terms described by emhbunhead is sad and dispiriting. Income inequalities (gap between top earners and median earners) are increasing generally in most job descriptions in the US, so I guess it's not unique to ballet.

This may be of-topic, but I wonder how job termination is handled legally and contractually in ballet companies. Must contracts be renegotiated each year, or is there some sort of seniority-based job security? How (if at all) are dancers protected from frivolous termination due to personal discrimination, personality conflict, etc. How are issues like age, weight, technical and aesthetic concerns, etc., handled?

I raise the issue because I'm aware of several dancers -- former soloists and at least one principal in large regional companies frequently mentioned on Ballet Talk -- who have come to smaller and (I assume) less well-paying positions in this neck of the woods. Age and performance ability do not seem to have been an issue in these terminations. I'm also have read (on Ballet Talk) about charges of anti-union hiring/firing policies in at least one major regional company.

#14 Anne74

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 12:53 PM

First of all, I must say that the scenario described by emhbunhead has become more and more rare these days. Interestingly, it seems that the smaller the company, the more direct and tyrannical control the management tries to wield over the dancers. The larger, unionized companies obviously are restricted by union regulations on working hours, travel conditions, etc., but I dare say there's more to it than that. This is verging onto another topic, but I will say that I feel psychology has a lot to do with it---- the need of a management to assert control over their employees to make them feel more substantial, or something like that. Anyway...

Getting back to salaries and bart's query about job termination: Again, unionized companies provide dancers with greater job security, to a certain degree. A non-union dancer has literally no recourse if their contract is not renewed for the following season. (Yes, they are offered--or not-- on a yearly basis, though the opportunity to "renegotiate" is, for the most part, not an option). The artistic director's opinion is the final word on hiring and firing, and law suits claiming discrimination are rarely successful. "Artistic standard", and really the whole nature of the ballet business, is hugely subjective. An aging dancer is, yes, aging, but their technique may also be slipping as a result--- who's to say, other than the artistic director, which is the reason they are not rehired?

Union companies require that the director answer to the union when someone is not rehired. This may help prevent intimidation of dancers, or obvious cases of "spite" terminations, but the whole issue of job security is still a big and scary one for most dancers. One final note, which is that most non-union contracts have a clause that gives the company the right to terminate anyone's contract without notice for various (vague and unspecific) reasons having to do with changes in appearance, performance, attitude, or financial hardship of the company. I don't know if this is standard in the business world.

#15 Cabriole

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:00 PM

Not a ballet company (though many members danced for ballet companies): Hubbard Street Dance Co. is a 52-week contract! :clapping:


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