How much do background dancers make

How Much Do Backup Dancers Make On Tour?

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Music videos, movies, and most media content would be empty without backup dancers. They add flavor to the video by providing rhythms for some of its more boring moments like in Hollywood blockbusters where they act as an extra pair of eyes that provide emotional context when necessary or even just break up long stretches between dialogue scenes with interesting choreography sequences on top.

Do you dream of being a backup dancer on tour? How much do backup dancers make on tour? What are the qualifications to be a backup dancer? Find out in this blog post. 

As a backup dancer, you spend your days rehearsing and performing to the best of your ability. You may feel like it’s not enough, but did you know that many backup dancers make over $1 million dollars on tour? I’ll go into more detail in my blog post.

How Dancers Make Their Money

Dancers are in high demand these days, but not everyone knows how they make their money. This blog post is for anyone who wants to know more about the financial side of being a backup dancer.

We’ll cover the different ways backup dancers can earn money and what it’s like when they’re on tour with an artist or group. If you want to find out what it takes to become a dancer, keep reading.

The world of dance can be a very competitive one. It’s not uncommon for dancers with degrees in this field, like Peter Chu and Cat Cogliandro to face an uphill battle when trying to make it big time – even though they’re doing quite well as professionals today.

Dancers are professionals, but they may not have degrees. If you’re talented and skilled enough to be one of the elite dancers in this industry then it’s possible that your payment could go up even higher than what is offered by promoters or entertainment companies per show hour – according to an agreement reached between them with the proposed dancer.

So, how do dancers make money with their dancing skills? Well, there are big companies that hire the best of them. They pay these professionals as salary earners and sometimes give work on a contract basis too! Why am I telling you this? To prepare for what’s ahead of an aspiring dancer like yourself who wants some guidance before taking such a big bet into something so new (and possibly risky).

I’m going to elaborate about casting call details because knowing these beforehand can help us plan better or know if we’ll fit somewhere without wasting time trying out when it might not be worth our while after all.

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Dancers hired by a company

If you’re not ready to be tied down by a company, then consider heading to the more established and financially stable companies that hire dancers. You’ll get your chance at building up an impressive resume while still enjoying some high demand working with them.

Lately, we’ve seen this trend in corporate America: talented young professionals who want careers on both sides of the stage- they can dance for hours but know when they need business expertise too  This is good news if any aspiring dancer wants longevity because these outfits have resources like no other organization out there; plus when someone joins their ranks.

In this article, I’m going to talk about how some companies hire dancers and place them on salary. One example of these is the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (based in New York). Another prominent company that hires dancers from all over the world for its shows or videos is ABT – The Official Company Name Here!. As you can see they both have a history of employing people who perform artsy dances during live theatre events.

Do smaller performing arts groups/or individual performers ever get paid by dance instruction only? Yes but it’s rare because most artists want income coming out of their pocket so if there isn’t any other form available then earnings will come directly as cash instead which saves tax.

Working as a dance teacher (primary, secondary or college level)

Dance is a competitive field, and it’s no surprise that many people may think they can’t reach the top. However, if you work hard enough to become an academic or company lecturer in dance then your dream will come true.

As part of being one such professor at any level of academia from assistant professor up through tenured associate dean for Arts schools across Canada are expected to teach various courses on techniques related to their specializations–this includes teaching how-to classes as well as discussing plays/ballet pieces onstage during performances so please don’t forget theater arts while looking into job opportunities elsewhere !!! Dance instructors might need more than just knowledge about choreography.

To become a teacher, you need to first obtain certifications and degrees. For those who want the opportunity of teaching full-time or just courses on an adjunct basis (which may include secondary school), professional voices should aim for higher-paying institutions such as universities where tenure slots exist within departments that require it; this will provide them more stability in their careers than working outside schools entirely would.

Work as a freelance (commercial) dancer

Here is the type of dance project that you want to get involved with once your reach commercial status. Commercial dancers are one-time workers, so it’s all about making money for them instead of building up an extensive resume or portfolio over time as some people do in other careers where they have steady work but still need income every month just because their job isn’t stable enough on certain occasions when things slow down too much financially speaking–like during economic slumps.

In this competitive world, it is important to be serious about what puts food on your table. Some days you will have dry spells where the only cash in your wallet comes from tips and other times when bills are paid comfortably with advances from employers who want nothing more than for their dancers’ careers not to fade away after just one project or job offer but instead flourish across many opportunities (this can happen).

A great way of ensuring longevity while also helping yourself financially-Dancing professionally guarantees an income; however, whether it’s because you impress them time after time again by working hard at building up networks that could help land bigger gigs down the road.

As a commercial or freelance dancer, you might end up auditioning for the sake of landing one gig. Working in this industry also has plenty to offer like working with different choreographers and building your skills; however, there is no guarantee that these opportunities will come about every time so it’s important not only to be flexible but always ready!

You could choose between going solo (on their own) as well as having an agent who helps land projects after negotiating how much commission they receive once successful-in which case we recommend doing some research first before getting into any agreement upfront just because dancers deserve fair compensation too.

How Much Do Backup Dancers Make On Tour?

Backup dancers are like the backup singers in a band. They’re freelance and often work on shorter-term projects than those of Broadway performers, so their role as a full-time job is auditioning for jobs left-right, and center.

A backup dancer’s location is not limited only to the entertainment mecca of America where music videos are filmed, but they must also give up performing altogether if their job requires them to tour. All dancers belong to the Union and set pay standards so no matter what part you travel in as a backup dancer there will always be some kind of protection for yourself.

If they stay put and work on music videos, their income is broken up into two categories: rehearsals (which take place during the day) and shoots. This way you know if an artist has a midday shoot or not without having to check what time range says in between 10 am-1 pm because those hours would be taken as part of morning/evening sessions rather than afternoon ones.

Rehearsal Time FramePay
8-hour day$250 per day
4-hour day$175 per day
Overtime$46 per hour
Overtime after 12 hours$65 per hour

An $80-per-hour job that only lasts one or two weeks of the month? Sounds too good to be true. But it’s not! That pay scale is fair and negotiated by an active union, so if you can land any gigs in this time frame your earnings will soar high into six figures per year (depending on how many jobs come up).

Touring backup dancers are paid a flat rate of $500 per show. They’re also given food and hotel accommodations on tour days, as well as the standard 150% pay increase for rehearsals or performances– meaning those who work with them can expect to be compensated between 50%-150%.

Travel costs vary depending upon how far from home each day’s performance/rehearsal site is located; these locations receive either an additional daily stipend ($35) OR reimbursement up until staying puts their own lodging bill at less than 30 dollars.

The Different Type Of Dances

The dance started many centuries ago, and it is still going strong. It represents togetherness to this day with its original intent for victory in battle or feats of strength-backed up by a confidence that comes from being content at home too.

There are hardly any music videos you will see on TV without seeing some kind of dancer moving their body (or parts!) according to rhythmically against the beat; whether slow or quick-paced doesn’t matter because both types have been choreographed so well into each song’s melody line.

  • Ballet: How can we talk about dances and not say a word about ballet? It would be an injustice to do such. Ballet originated in Italy, where it later became popular way back during the 15th century when they first began performing this art form for audiences across Europe. Excitingly many other dance styles were influenced by what’s called “the classics,” which shows just how important these movements really are.
  • Jazz: With roots in Africa, jazz is a primarily American dance style that combines elements from different cultures and time periods. The music has been around since the early 1900’s when African rhythms were first put to instrumentation like guitar or clarinet for example; at one point it even had its own category within popular culture as evidenced by this famous scene from “Singin’ In The Rain”.
  • Hip-hop dance: Hip Hop’s transformation into a more entertaining dance style was in part due to its jazz roots. This began in the 1970s with Puerto Rican and African communities, who developed this step for their own enjoyment but found that others enjoyed it too – eventually they passed on these moves via word-of-mouth like any other oral tradition before them so today we have krumping.
  • Latin dance: Latin dance is still trendy today. It’s a style that has deep roots in Europe and Africa, but the modern street-style of it began during the 19th century when people started to mix different types together for fun – not just one particular type like ballroom or salsa dancing.

Some other notable dances

  • Modern dance
  • Swing dance
  • Contra dance
  • Folk dance
  • Flamenco dance
  • Country and Western dance

How Much Do Backup Dancers Make?

Are you one of those interested in the question, “how much do backup dancers make?” If yes, then you are in the right place. Dancing is a profession that is gaining the traction it deserves. Without dancers, you will agree with me that music videos, movies, music tours, TV commercials, and most media contents would be empty and boring. So, backup dancers add flavor to videos, particularly music videos. Anyway, they are not doing it for free. Anyway, let’s go back to the question;

How much are backup dancers making? 

Firstly, you cannot expect big stars like Jay-Z, Beyonce, and even Ariana Grande to pay their dancers an amount similar to what an upcoming artist would offer. These are already big stars that are well-established financially and otherwise. Therefore, there is a high tendency for their tours and even music videos to make the headlines. However, the average amount dancers, particularly in the U.S make, ranges from $28,640 to $43,068. Other factors can also influence how much a dancer can make annually. These include education, skill levels, experience, and certification.

So, that is it about the amount dancers make, but there is more you need to know. So, continue reading!

How Dancers Make Their Money

Dancing is a professional career, only that most people don’t treat it as such. There are dancers with degrees. In other words, this set of people went to a higher institution. Examples of dancers with a degree include Peter Chu, Cat Cogliandro, and Miguel Zarate.

Also, most dancers do not possess degrees, but that doesn’t mean they cannot or do not get paid for their work. If you are talented and skilled, you can go higher in the industry.

Dancing is a means of livelihood for many individuals and has been so many years ago. Individuals who dance, treat it as a job, and get paid for their work. The payment could be per show, hours, or according to the agreement reached between the promoter or entertainment company and the proposed dancer.

So, how do dancers make money with their dancing skills? Well, there are big companies that have standby dancers. They hire dancers and pay them as salary earners. Furthermore, the smaller-sized companies also hire dancers. And being that they have limited resources, they only pay per show or on a contract basis.

Anyway, I am going to elaborate on how dancers get paid. The details provided will help wannabe dancers to plan, make an educated decision, and also know what to expect before embarking on this journey.

So, here are the four types of dancers and how they make their cash.

1. Dancers hired by a company

As I mentioned earlier, some companies hire dancers and place them on a salary like regular office workers. And companies that promote such arrangements are well-established financial and in popularity.

These companies have the resource, high demand for dancers, and know the business inside-out. They are more interested in hiring dancers that would work with them for an extended period, not one that is not ready to be tied down by a company.

So, if you are serious about building a career in dancing, then you should consider heading to such companies. The good thing about them is that dancers have the opportunity to progress in their positions, which means more pay and popularity over time.

Most of these companies hire dancers to teach dance lessons or perform in music videos, shows, and so on. Examples include the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. The company started in 1958 by dancer and choreographer, Alvin Ailey, and based in New York.

Another prominent company that hires dancers and places them on a salary is ABT. And as I said, these are established and large companies that have the resources for such an arrangement. The smaller companies don’t have that kind of money. So, they prefer to hire and pay dancers on a per-show basis.

2. Working as a dance teacher (primary, secondary or college level)

If you plan to make dancing a long-term career, you should be aiming for a top academic position or to work as a dance lecturer in a college. But truth be told, becoming a professor or senior lecturer in dance is not a day’s job. Nevertheless, if you work harder and pursue your goal with passion, you will get to the top in no time.

As a dance professor, your duty will be to teach the various dance technique, as indicated in the curriculum. You will be teaching different courses related to dance. Dance is usually under the department of theatre art. Plus, individuals who wish to become dance teachers at the college level are required to possess a Master’s degree.

You can also choose to become a full-time professor, where you will continuously receive your salary- a professor-grade level salary. Or you can become an adjunct professor, where you will only get paid per course or hours taught.

If you are aiming to teach in primary or secondary schools, then you must obtain a college degree and certification to do so. It will also be best to learn about the requirements in your state before applying for jobs.

3. Work as a freelance (commercial) dancer

Here is another category of dancers. When you become a commercial dancer, it means that your only interest is to work on a per-project basis and nothing more. Even if the project is for a year, you are in. Once it ends, you are out there seeking the next dance project to jump on and make some money.

So, the best description for these sets of dancers is “freelance dancers.” That is how freelancers enjoy working. Once they are done with a project, they move to the next one and then the next.

Without a doubt, being a commercial dancer comes with a hefty price. In some days, weeks, and months, your wallet would be filled up with cash, and you can pay your bills comfortably. In some days, you will encounter dry spells.

It is important to note that dancing is highly competitive. So, it is essential to growing your network and be serious about what puts food on your table. When you impress your employers time and time again, you may likely get a call to partake in other projects.

Furthermore, as a commercial dancer, you may have to jump from one audition to another for the sake of landing a gig. Additionally, one thing that makes working as a commercial or freelance dancer attractive is the opportunity to work with different choreographers, build your skills, experience, and portfolio.

You can also choose to work with an agent or go solo. Most people want agents because they help their dancers get paid what they are worth and do the job hunting on their behalf. When they succeed in landing a project, they usually demand commission once the dancer gets paid.

The Different Type Of Dances

The dance started many centuries ago. It represents togetherness, victory, confidence, contentment, and sexuality. For the records, there is hardly any music video you will see without dancers moving their bodies to the rhythm of the beat.

Let’s look at some popular dances.

1. Ballet

How can we talk about dances and not say a word about ballet? It would be an injustice to do such. Ballet became popular way back in the 15th century, which was the year it also began. It originated first in Italy and later in France. Excitingly, many other dance styles were influenced by ballet, which shows how important it is.

2. Jazz 

Jazz has a firm root in the African continent and made its way into jazz clubs back in the 20th century. It’s one of the lively dance styles, which requires a great deal of improvising, dramatic body movements, and originality.

3. Hip-hop dance

From clowning and krumping to juking and jerkin, Hip-hop, a dance step considered a jazz descendent, has passed through a series transformation to become more entertaining to watch. This dance style started in the 1970s in New York, particularly from the Puerto Rican and African communities.

4. Latin dance

Latin dance is still trendy today. But then, it means several street-style and ballroom dancing, not one particular style. The dance started during the 19 and 20th centuries and has deep roots in Europe and the African continent.

Other types of dances include;

  1. Modern dance
  2. Swing dance
  3. Contra dance
  4. Folk dance
  5. Flamenco dance
  6. Country and Western dance

Making Money As A Dancer: 4 Ways To Increase Your Earning Capacity

Have you been thinking about quitting your dance career because of high bills and little or no dance jobs coming your way? You are not alone. But before you call it quits, I would like to inform you that you can increase your earning capacity and make extra money on the side. Here’s what you can do to achieve that;

1. Promote your services: 

Don’t always wait for the next call to audition for a music video or dance project, start promoting your services. You can join platforms like GigSalad, to gain more exposure.

2. Start private dance classes: 

Rent a space and run an advert on your social media pages or via other means to attract clients. You can target kids or adults. However, the beginning might be challenging, so get ready to apply some creativity and initiative to make the business work. You can teach your first students for free, create videos, and upload them online to inspire and attract other paying clients.

3. Sell stuff online: 

Dancing requires costumes, isn’t it? So, raise money from the proceeds of your work and start selling different dance costumes. Your fellow dancers would need them.

4. Become an all-round freelancer:

If you are not working with a company full-time, then it means you have some free time. So, consider offering other freelance services besides dancing. There are many of them you can do online.


How much do backup dancers make is the question, which this post is centered on. You can see that there are different types of dancers, with regards to how they earn money, too. However, besides cash, dancing is a beautiful and highly beneficial activity. It benefits the body and can help to boost one’s health.

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How much do dancers earn and how to become a professional - November 1, 2018

Ivan Slavinsky



It is never easy, but wildly interesting.

Members of the FAM Factory dance team told Sport24 about the difference between a professional team and an amateur one, how much coaches earn and how long it takes to become a good dancer from scratch.

Our team is called FAM Factory and has been around for a very long time. We regularly perform at the largest dance championships throughout Russia, we work at major events. Our choreographer, Yevgeny Kevler, is one of the top choreographers in Russia, staged dances for "Dances" on TNT, "Dance" on Channel One, and has brought up more than one generation of dancers. Our team is diverse - students, office workers, teachers and coaches, but they all have one thing in common - an unimaginable love for dancing.

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At first, technique is not so important, it comes with experience. It is worth paying attention to physical form, especially if you prefer styles that are characterized by frequent level changes or powerful energy: you may simply not have enough strength. The breather also needs to be developed: fast choreography cannot be danced to the end if the volume of the lungs is not enough. Many dancers take up running to develop their lungs. And for the development of physical strength, functional training or crossfit are suitable - of all training, these will probably be the most useful in our business. If there is no time for this, then you need to at least minimally pump the press, do push-ups, squat. We sometimes conduct physical training classes at team training.

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and year, everything is very individual here. Many schools have their own reporting concerts and parties. As a rule, at such events, students go on stage for the first time.

If we talk about more complex numbers, then it takes a month and a half to set them up with 3-4 workouts a week for 2-3 hours. The mode of training in a serious team changes, especially if the number is complex and many dancers participate in it. A fairly common occurrence is night workouts. As you might guess, they take place at night, and, as a rule, last 5-6 hours. It's not easy, especially at first and if you have to go to work in the morning, but it's also more efficient in terms of the speed of staging the show, and the result is definitely worth it.


In the dance world, the year can be conditionally divided into two seasons - spring and autumn. All this time, championships of various levels go one after another, the most "fruitful" in this regard are April and May, as well as November and December. As a rule, all groups put on a performance a month or two in advance, but it all depends on the level of training and available time for the dancers themselves.

In general, championships are a separate and very entertaining cuisine. Dancers are constantly preparing for some kind of competition, it rarely happens that you just come and hang out aimlessly. Everything is almost like in the movie "Step Up": the whole season is the process of preparing for the competition, and in the off-season, everyone either rests, or pumps, or shoots a video.

At dance championships there is always a division according to the level of training and age: children are separated from adults, beginners are separated from professionals. And within these categories, there is also style: hip-hop, ladies, contemporary.

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Our favorite nomination is best dance show. The name speaks for itself: there are no style bindings here, the main thing is the idea and combination of styles. At some major competitions, the styles used in the show must be declared in advance, at some there are no restrictions, only creativity. Now even in some championships there is a separate Show nomination, and a separate Performance nomination. In the first case, the show should have a story and plot, in the second case, it is important who dances stronger, more powerful and cooler. And there are also solos with duets, which are not limited by styles at all, only by timing. In general, there are a lot of nominations. Beginners or people unfamiliar with dancing can get confused. But as soon as you immerse yourself in this world, everything becomes clear pretty quickly.

Refereeing at championships is always represented by top dancers: sometimes Russian, sometimes foreign, but always super authoritative. The evaluation criteria, like the judges, are also different, but they look primarily at choreography, technique, synchronism and creativity. You can earn money at good status tournaments. On average, you can get about 30 thousand per team for winning such a tournament. But it is not at all necessary that there will be prize money for winning any championship: somewhere the organizers limit themselves to cups and gifts from sponsors.

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Nutrition is a matter of personal preference. Most dancers are ordinary people, so until their legs start to fall off, few people even think about nutrition and injury prevention. Many are killed in training, and few people know how to recover, they do not take care. If you don’t eat normally, you may not have enough strength for the whole season. Protein and BCAAs often help out, but in reality, for some reason, few people use them.

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A: Regular exercise is usually enough to stay in shape. Although, of course, you need to take care of yourself, but adults who have survived a couple of injuries or dancers who work in commerce are already thinking about this.

"Sneakers kill instantly"

As for clothes, this is a separate topic of conversation, which will take more than one hour. Firstly, the style of dance and what you dance in are very closely related. No one will go dancing popping in leggings or short shorts, twerk in sweatpants, too, you know, I don’t rub, like a strip in a baseball cap. Things are, of course, very important. You can't really train in Chinese sneakers. Not even because they are uncomfortable, they just fall apart in a moment. In general, if you danced at least once in shoes, then you can say goodbye to it - it only kills if you train often and for a long time. Especially for us, jazzfunkers, because a lot of techniques are combined, the foot is actively working. And it’s good for contemporary people in general: they dance barefoot in socks, and with simpler things - they put on something very wide and similar to oversized pajamas - and you are the most fashionable in the class.

Income and expenses

As for the payment for training for teams, it is similar to amateur sports sections: in many teams, participants pay a monthly fee, which includes the rent of the hall and the work of the choreographer.

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Is it possible to make money from dancing? Of course, there is plenty of work. First, dance schools. There are now ten of them at each metro station, a novice teacher, if desired, will quickly find a job. But if you want to get into a top school as a teacher, then you need to work hard, have a name, constantly upgrade, be socially active, shoot videos and shine at the same championships. The main thing is not to be lazy.

There is also such a great thing as commerce - these are corporate parties, working with stars, large events and the like. Such projects are well paid, and it is always interesting to participate in them. We somehow opened with our show a major event of stylists - Wella Trend Vision. There was so much creativity and creativity behind the scenes that we ourselves were inspired by the most do not indulge. It was very interesting to watch all this behind-the-scenes turmoil and the process of creating images.

On March 22, 2022, by a court decision, Meta, the social networks Instagram and Facebook were recognized as an extremist organization, their activities on the territory of the Russian Federation are prohibited.

DWTS Salary: How much do celebrities and professional dancers get paid to dance with the stars?

'Dancing With the Stars' One of the longest running and most popular reality shows in the US. Since its debut in 2005, the show has been gaining momentum. Even today in 2020, Dancing with the Stars remains hugely popular, and it's likely that it's still many years away.

Fans of the show need no introduction, but for those of you unfamiliar with its format, Dancing with the Stars pairs a celebrity with a professional dancer and sees several such teams compete in pre-determined dance performances to win over audiences. . judges and the public. The couple that receives the fewest points from the judges and the fewest votes from the audience are eliminated from the tournament every week until only one couple remains and becomes the champion.

Dancing with the Stars has over the years seen celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather, Kim Kardashian, Denise Richards, Buzz Aldrin, Pamela Anderson, Zendaya and Bill Nye take part. Because getting boxing legends, scientists, and actors to compete in the dance competition is no easy task, many fans have asked how much the show pays. If you're wondering how much celebrities and dancers earn by participating in the competition, we've got you covered.

How much do celebrity members earn?

Dancing with the Stars has been around since 2005, so it's important to note that payouts have changed over the 15 years of existence. Therefore, we will focus on more recent figures; according to Variety According to a 2019 report, celebrities who participate in the show earn $125,000 per person for the rehearsal period and the first two weeks of performance. As the show goes on and contestants drop out, the payouts keep going up for every contestant that stays.

However, it's important to note that as of 2019, the maximum amount a celebrity could take home was $295,000. All three finalists take home the full $295,000 - the winning couple's star member doesn't take home any extra money, but does win the Mirror Ball Trophy and earn bragging rights.

It should also be noted here that the maximum potential payout used to be higher at around $350,000 each for the three finalists. However, in 2019year it was revised and shortened due to budgetary problems. Hence, it also makes sense to assume that celebrities may have to receive lower payouts in season 29 as well, because the world is in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis.

How much do professional dancers earn?

While celebrities can certainly earn a lot by participating in Dancing with the Stars, their competitiveness is ensured by professional dancers who work with them in pairs. However, these pros don't earn as much as their celebrity counterparts, although it's fair to say that they still take home a lot of money after every season.

As of 2019, professional dancers can earn up to $100,000 per season (including rehearsal time) for appearing on shows and helping their celebrities reach the top of the competition.

Learn more