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http://www.examiner.com/list/best-paying-theater-dance-jobs-for-dancers/theater-dance-job-2-principal-ballerina-guest-artist

Theater dance job #2: Principal Ballerina/Guest Artist
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Theater dance job #2: Principal Ballerina/Guest ArtistLONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Anais Chalendard of the English National Ballet performs during a dress rehearsal of Swan Lake(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

While the average classical ballet dancer in New York City can earn an annual salary of $72,000 this represents a combined average between rehearsal, performance and any earned overtime pay totaling $1500/week as dictated through the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) contract.

In comparison a Principal New York City ballet dancer can earn over $2,300 for performance weeks, and approximately $1,900 for rehearsal weeks. Since dancers are also eligible for overtime compensation per AGMA contract, an additional $22 -$88/hour can be earned depending on the number of overtime hours and whether it is a performance or rehearsal week. All of this can bring a principal dancer a combined annual salary in New York to over $100,000.

A more famous ballet dancer, who guest-stars with major companies, may earn even more: between $3,000 and $5,000 per performance.

New York Times: What New Yorkers Make,Salary of a New York Principal Dancer

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An acclaimed ballet dancer earns more than a dancer who is not recognized. "New York Magazine" reports that as of 2011, experienced dancers in the New York City Ballet earned around $1,500 per week. A more famous ballet dancer, who guest-stars with major companies, may earn between $3,000 and $5,000 per performance. Also, dancers receive higher pay for performances than for rehearsals as performances pose extraordinary risks. As of 2005, a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet earned $1,743 for a rehearsal week and $2,060 for a performance week, according to Ballet Alert and the American Guild of Musical Artists.

http://www.ehow.com/info_11384173_much-money-principal-ballet-dancer-make.html#ixzz2xsagZdrH

If guestimated calculations are accurate, $1500 divided by near 72 hour work weeks (12 hour days, multiplied by 6 days) that would average at $21 per hour for the experienced dancers.... maybe someone else can do a better job at math. For those principals who have been sent elsewhere to guest-appear, I would be curious to see what kind of financial compensation they really get.....especially if it is Europe, Asia, Russia, etc.

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There are rehearsals up to the minute the curtain goes up, if someone is learning a new role to substitute. Just about every recent dance memoirnhas memoir has a description of it.

That's in a critical situation. In an everyday situation, dancers are grabbed in the hall during lunch "for just a minute" and who wants to be seen as one who puts himself before the team?

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I'm not speaking specifically about NYCB, but in general, injuries tend to accumulate toward the end of a season -- directors may have had certain people in mind for particular parts (indeed, they may have been preparing for a role for quite some time) but if that individual is out of commission directors need to make other choices. Sometimes they have understudies available, but other times they don't.

One example: last year, during a run of Romeo and Juliette at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Benjamin Griffiths was cast as Benvolio, and did not have an understudy. He's a very reliable performer, but the morning of a performance he injured himself in class, with only a couple of hours to teach the part to a cover. There's a great deal of tricky ensemble dancing and partnering for the character in this version (Maillot) of the work. Luckily, a member of the Monte Carlo company who knew the part was scheduled to come to Seattle that day, but he wouldn't arrive in time for curtain -- they wound up teaching the opening section to a young dancer at PNB, and the guest got there in time to make the second entrance. He did a great job, dancing with a group of people he didn't know, but his version of the choreography had a few changes (mostly stage business), so that everyone on stage with him was particularly attentive that day. There was, as you might imagine, a group sigh of relief when the curtain came down.

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Thanks.

I wonder about the operational/logistics expenses for this week trip. Hotel, travel fare, insurance, etc. that goes into a week long series .... Salaries are the same regardless of performing at this prestigious venue, correct?

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Thanks.

I wonder about the operational/logistics expenses for this week trip. Hotel, travel fare, insurance, etc. that goes into a week long series .... Salaries are the same regardless of performing at this prestigious venue, correct?

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I wasn't there, but I remember reading about a performance at PNB of A Midsummer Night's Dream where the first Hippolyta got hurt and switched costumes with a second Hippolyta who finished the Hounds scene.

Oh, I saw that one -- Ariana Lallone got injured during Hippolyta's big scene with the dogs -- she got herself off stage and they had to strip her tutu off fast and get it on Brittany Reid, but there was no time to do the headpiece (it's held on with a million hairpins) so when Reid, who is already shorter than Lallone, came out without the helmet I first thought that Lallone had been shrunk. That was the season that Reid said she was retiring, and she was scheduled to do her last performance as Hippolyta later in that run -- I wasn't sure I'd be able to get there to see her last show, so I was kind of glad to see her as an emergency replacement.

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