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  1. #31
    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
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    There is one thing that would help professional level belly dancers receive equitable pay- a union. Having said that, I know it is very difficult to get all dancers to join, and all employers to recognize a union, so that every job where a dancer is paid is governed by a union contract.

    I belong to the American Guild of Musical Artists, which governs any work I might do with larger companies, or with ballet companies. There are other unions concerned with the movie industry (SAG), live theater (ACTRA) etc. However, I wouldn't turn down a non-union job that pays, if it were the only job available, or the best job available for one reason or another. Therein lies the difficulty in creating and maintaining a universal union for dancers. I employ dancers myself, as independent contractors, and pay them relatively well for rehearsals by most accounts, but to have to work under a union contract, pay them benefits, etc. would prevent me from having a dance company, at this point.

  2. #32
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    First of all dancers are the stars, people don't care who is drumming. They want to see dancer X. If we have famous singer like Madonna, we don't expect them to get same money as rest of the crew. She takes more. Same with dancers here.

    It costs to be dancer too. New costumes all the time, choreographers, lessons, new music, taking care of the appearance: "normal" clothes to go to the work, make-up, jewelry. All of this is expected and necessary.

    The wages here are very low in the first place. Cleaning or similar job can pay something like 2$/hour. Even less if we take the traveling time etc. The employment rate is VERY high. Any person with a work is lucky to have one.

    As for musicians, there is plenty of them. So there is always someone ready to work. They don't need to put any money to buying new instruments etc. all the time. Even with training they expect to paid a little. All other costuming, for example similar ties or shirts, dancers are expected to get.

  3. #33
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dancers, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donya View Post
    First of all dancers are the stars, people don't care who is drumming. They want to see dancer X. If we have famous singer like Madonna, we don't expect them to get same money as rest of the crew. She takes more. Same with dancers here.

    It costs to be dancer too. New costumes all the time, choreographers, lessons, new music, taking care of the appearance: "normal" clothes to go to the work, make-up, jewelry. All of this is expected and necessary.

    The wages here are very low in the first place. Cleaning or similar job can pay something like 2$/hour. Even less if we take the traveling time etc. The employment rate is VERY high. Any person with a work is lucky to have one.

    As for musicians, there is plenty of them. So there is always someone ready to work. They don't need to put any money to buying new instruments etc. all the time. Even with training they expect to paid a little. All other costuming, for example similar ties or shirts, dancers are expected to get.


    Dear Donya,
    HHMMMM.... sounds very similar to how dancers are treated here, except nobody buys our "shirts and ties" for us!! I still think muscians and dancers ought to be treated equitably, even if one or the other is a dime a dozen! Here we have a plethora of dancers that are "always ready to work" and this means often before they are ready, whether or not they know their job, etc. There are plenty of people here who want to work without knowing what in heck they are doing, and they do nothing but make it harder for legitimate dancers, because they will dance for cheap or free, and do whatever it takes to get on stage.

    Regards,
    A'isha
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #34
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donya View Post
    The wages here are very low in the first place. Cleaning or similar job can pay something like 2$/hour. Even less if we take the traveling time etc. The employment rate is VERY high. Any person with a work is lucky to have one.

    As for musicians, there is plenty of them. So there is always someone ready to work. They don't need to put any money to buying new instruments etc. all the time. Even with training they expect to paid a little. All other costuming, for example similar ties or shirts, dancers are expected to get.
    Musicians get normal monthly wages - what ever it is. They have to live and support family like the rest of the people. Many musicians work even with couple of dancers. They start the evening with one and later go to work with somebody else.

    To be honest I wouldn't/couldn't survive with the money, if I had same money as my rest of my team. The money I have to pay every month for dancing is more than many people make here during that time. Plus of course my normal living: rent, food, traffic etc.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by belly_dancer View Post
    before I say more.... I must state that CHARGING students to perform (esp $!50 is totally jaw dropping!!!!!!) I would NEVER even consider that! (I have charged at haflas, & then used that money to pay the drummer!!!!!)

    however.... as a teacher, I am NOT ever able to put on shows in a venue where I can fit in 600 people because I cannot afford that size venue, nor can I afford to take a loss if I do not cover expenses/etc..... so I do NOT put on big shows, because I would not ask other dancers to share in the expense/risk

    I AM curious as to
    *what kind of show this was (with the students, it sounds like a "student night" w/ maybe some professionals.... cause for just a student night, how did she get away with charging $15 per head.... )
    *what were her expenses??? (halls that size are usually WAY expensive/ plus advertising, & if it was a more professional show with several professional dancers in addition to the students.... she would (HOPEFULLY) be paying the pros!!!..etc...)
    anyhow... not defending this odd behaviour in any way,,, but also realize... that she may NOT actually be making TONS of money after all is said & done!!!
    (& of course with ALL the other stuff you listed, it sounds like the correct decision, to change teachers!!!)

    The performance was at a local private high school in their auditorium which seated just more than 600 people. She sold the tickets at $15 dollars a pop. So if she did sell 600 tickets, that is 9,000 dollars. (The auditorium did look like it was close to being full.) I could not imagine the school would have charged her more than 2 grand. Then on top of the tickets, she charged her students 150.00 per the dance they were in. INCLUDING her lead students. (I do not think they were quite pro level, but close.) Of course, she did not charge her own daughter $150.00 per dance she was in, even though she danced 4 dances.

    The dances were simple: beginners and mid-level dancers doing a veil dance, stick dance and a ribcage dance. About 6 solos were done. Her daughter did a solo to Shakira then another dance to a drum solo. Another woman did who looks to be almost professional level, did a dance with wings which was very beautiful...She is quite talented. Two other upper level women did a sword dance and a basic BD dance.

  6. #36
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi Kutenurse,

    What is rib cage dance???

    Cheers
    Janaki

  7. #37
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuteNurse View Post
    The performance was at a local private high school in their auditorium which seated just more than 600 people. She sold the tickets at $15 dollars a pop. So if she did sell 600 tickets, that is 9,000 dollars. (The auditorium did look like it was close to being full.) I could not imagine the school would have charged her more than 2 grand. Then on top of the tickets, she charged her students 150.00 per the dance they were in. INCLUDING her lead students. (I do not think they were quite pro level, but close.)
    I think it is shameful that she would take advantage of her students in such a way! If the hall was 3/4 full, that would be 450 seats. At $15 each, that would be about $6750 - more than enough to cover one-night rental on an auditorium in a medium-sized city (plus tech crew).

    And to think that she charged $150...not per dancer, but per dance! Just 4 group dances with 10 students each would give her another $6000! I cannot believe that the students paid her that kind of money!!!

    Did she order the costumes for the dancers? I wager if she did, she marked them up, or kept the "bulk discount" difference for herself!

    So if she made at least $6000 on dancer fees, $6000 on tickets, and outlaid $2000 for venue costs, she easily profited by $10,000 or more!! That might be legal, but it's still criminal!

    This is as bad (or worse) than those "modeling agencies" that give classes, or sell photograph packages and "professional representation".

    I wish the Better Business Bureau could do something. Perhaps the dancer grapevine (or local media) would be more effective, though.
    Last edited by da Sage; 05-28-2007 at 01:12 AM. Reason: typo

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I think it is shameful that she would take advantage of her students in such a way! If the hall was 3/4 full, that would be 450 seats. At $15 each, that would be about $6750 - more than enough to cover one-night rental on an auditorium in a medium-sized city (plus tech crew).

    And to think that she charged $150...not per dancer, but per dance! Just 4 group dances with 10 students each would give her another $6000! I cannot believe that the students paid her that kind of money!!!

    Did she order the costumes for the dancers? I wager if she did, she marked them up, or kept the "bulk discount" difference for herself!

    So if she made at least $6000 on dancer fees, $6000 on tickets, and outlaid $2000 for venue costs, she easily profited by $10,000 or more!! That might be legal, but it's still criminal!

    This is as bad (or worse) than those "modeling agencies" that give classes, or sell you photograph packages and "professional representation.

    I wish the Better Business Bureau could do something. Perhaps the dancer grapevine (or local media) would be more effective, though.
    Exactly daSage! I believe the students each paid for their own costumes...I do not know if they were made or bought...However, the instructor is now in Jordan where she is from and is also traveling to Egypt...Wonder where she is spending the money? lol

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by janaki View Post
    Hi Kutenurse,

    What is rib cage dance???

    Cheers
    Janaki
    The instructor called it a ribcage dance. It was all upper body isolations in a dance. Chest slide, chest circle...shoulder shimmies etc...

  10. #40
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    I agree with Donya in many ways. If the show is about a bellydancer, I think she should get paid more than the musicians. The dancer here is selling the show and the tickets and not the musicians. In a music show, backup dancers don't get paid like the singers!!!

    In our dance school, we have a level system for the payment. We provide everything that is required to a put a show , like costumes, props, music, studio, rehearsal etc.,

    Our payment methods are like this.

    1. Junior perfromers: Just started perfroming- they get paid less but we will give them free gift coupon for dance classes so that they can get better.

    2. troupe members,: Already performed few shows and can dance very well - they get paid higher than the juniors. The reason they get paid more is becasue of the money and time they spent dancing to become a professional.

    3.instructors: They get paid the highest. But they have addtional duties like, stage management, helping in the rehearsals, helping with costumes and all other stuff that goes with the dancing.

    In Hong Kong we don't have ME musicans. I just work with one drummer!!!

    I also agree with A'isha. I don't understand why the dancers get paid lot less than the muscians in USA. We have lot more expenses than musicans. You can't show up with the same costume for every show!!!!

    In my opinion equality in payment doesn't exist!!! Even in a work place not everyone gets the same pay!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

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