How much does it cost to hire a dancer
How to hire a Dancer or Dance Act for your event, including how much does a dancer cost to hire, how much space do they need and more.
When it comes to live entertainment, Dancers and Dance acts bring an energy and excitement like no other. There are many different types of Dancers for hire, and that makes this type of performance highly adaptable – with the perfect dance act available for nearly any occasion or age group.
This guide will help you find exactly the right kind of Dancers for hire for your party, wedding or event, as well as covering how much it costs to hire a Dancer or Dance Troupe, how much space they will need, how long they will perform for and more.
You can search now for Dancers for hire in your area, or read on for ideas and inspiration.
What type of Dancer or Dance Act is right for my event?| Hiring a Dance Act for your Wedding | How much does it cost to hire a Dancer? | How long will a Dancer perform for?| Space, Venue & Set-up requirements for Dance Acts | How to book a Dance ActWhat type of Dancer or Dance Act is right for my event?Ballet Dancers
Nothing can rival the romance of Tchaikovsky’s sweeping violins in Swan Lake, or the timeless choreography of Marius Pepita. Classical ballet is filled with lavish sets, sumptuous music and rich theatrical dramatisations of dark fairy tales. Ballet originated in Renaissance Italy and developed into a fully-fledged art form in France. It remains hugely popular, with productions of classic and modern ballets filling theatres and opera houses across the world to this day.
Ballet dancers train from an early age, working tirelessly to perfect pliés, jètés and arabesques until they can float effortlessly across the room, the embodiment of grace and beauty. Although they make it look easy and may be slight in frame being a ballet dancer requires enormous strength and control.
For sophisticated evening events, cocktail parties and receptions, hiring one or more ballet dancers will provide a spellbinding performance, captivating the audience with elegant routines. Many ballet dancers can also perform more edgy contemporary dance or jazz styles, so just let them know if this would be a better fit for your event.
Ballet dancers can wear the standard tutu and ballet slippers or pointe shoes, or more contemporary dancewear and possibly bare feet, depending on what they will be dancing and what the booker would prefer. They can perform their own choice of routines, or tailor their costumes and music to encapsulate your chosen theme.
When you hire a ballet dancer they will add sophistication to a fundraiser, gala dinner, corporate function, VIP event or award ceremony and will certainly bring sparkle and romance to a wedding or anniversary celebration. For young dancers, a professional ballerina dancing up close will be a dream come true and make any birthday magical.
Take a look at our talented Ballet Dancers for hire. On their profiles you will find details of their experience and video showreels. You can also use the Contact form to ask them any questions you have and request a free, no-obligation quote.Ballroom Dancers
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you can’t have escaped the enormous rise in popularity of ballroom dancing, thanks in large part to the success of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars. These TV dance talent shows have literally swept viewers off their feet and are watched by millions every week.
The appeal has a lot to do with the romance of partner dancing. Ballroom dancing is danced in pairs and involves structured routines that can take many years of training to master. Traditional ballroom styles include the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Polka, Bolero, Paso Doble, Cha-cha-cha, Samba, Rumba, Merengue, Salsa, Jive and West Coast Swing.
These dances are full of drama and energy and are performed to wonderful music that will fill your venue with an electric atmosphere. Many ballroom dancers are happy to invite guests onto the dance floor after their performance, and some offer short, friendly classes where they teach a few basic steps and get everyone dancing as if they’ve been doing it forever!
Ballroom dancers are the epitome of elegance, they wear only the most exquisite, richly coloured costumes. The women’s dresses are typically adorned with feathers, flowing skirts, rhinestones and sequins, adding more than a touch of glamour to any occasion.
Hire Ballroom Dancers near you by searching and contacting available acts on Entertainers Worldwide
If you’re looking for upbeat entertainment for an Arabian-themed party, celebration, festival or PR campaign, why not add a dash of mystery to the occasion with an exotic Belly Dancer?
The essence of Belly Dancing, which originated in the Middle East, is sinuous and sensuous movements with swaying hips. It is both a folk dance and a performance art. Basic moves include percussive hip drops and twists, fluid hip circles and shimmies and fast repetitive movements. The whole body is used to create dynamic and dramatic routines and the dance requires great control, particularly of the abdominal muscles.
Costumes are brightly coloured with lots of chiffon, scarves, beads, coins and jewellery. Some dancers also incorporate veil and sword shows into their routines! Belly Dancers often perform solo, either on stage or working around the room entertaining small groups, providing great walkabout entertainment. This will be an instant talking point and great for photo opportunities.
Dancers will often provide interactive entertainment, inviting guests to join in and have a go. This is a brilliant ice-breaker and creates a wonderful party atmosphere. Colleagues, guests, friends and family members will leave with a sway in their hips, a bounce in their step and a huge smile on their face.
Belly Dancing is an exotic and sensual dance form, but can also be suitable for children’s birthday parties. Many performers offer family-friendly shows and fun taster classes. This is a great option for young dance fans or if you’re looking for entertainment that gets the kids moving.
To fill your event with fun, glamour, colour and an authentic taste of Arabia, hire a bellydancer near you and make your event unforgettable.Bollywood Dancers
Bollywood is the name of the Indian popular film industry, in which Indian classical and folk dancing is widely used, along with belly dancing and western styles of dance. Bollywood dancers usually dance in a group, with numbers ranging from three to thirty including a live band, and they bring an irresistible element of fun to many celebrations.
While this form of dance remains popular at Indian weddings, it has become increasingly popular around the world for all kinds of events. Many Bollywood dancers will get guests involved too, with some even offering taster classes and workshops, guaranteed to liven up any event!
Wow your friends, family or clients with a flamboyant display of authentic Indian dancing, perfect for bringing glamour and sparkle to an after dinner party, product launch, VIP event or birthday party. Bollywood Dancers are popular at Sangeet nights, Mehndi parties, Diwali events, weddings and large scale corporate events.
Colourful costumes, infectious rhythms and high-energy dancing will bring the magic of Bollywood movies to life in front of your very eyes, adding energy and zing to any occasion and creating a vibrant atmosphere that people of all ages will enjoy.
You can find Bollywood Dancers for hire near you by searching on our website. Transport your guests to the wonderful world of make believe and romance that is Bollywood!Flamenco Dancers
For fans of Spanish culture, what could be better than hiring a Flamenco Dancer for your special celebration? Expect full, resplendent Spanish costume, dramatic hand clapping, percussive castanets and plenty of emotion with this powerful dance act.
When you hire Flamenco dancers they will perform solo or in duos or larger groups and will dance either to backing tracks of traditional Spanish music, or live Spanish musicians and vocalists. They can dance on stage or work around the room providing exciting walkabout entertainment. Their raw energy and lively routines are guaranteed to capture the imagination of guests young and old and create a fantastic party atmosphere.
If you’re looking for authentic Spanish flair and passion to ignite an engagement party, birthday, anniversary, festival or trade fair, check out our fiery Flamenco Dancers. You can find all the information you need on their profiles and even take a look at video clips of them performing.Female Dancers
Female Dancers cover the whole range of dance styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, jive, Irish, burlesque, latin and ballroom, to name just a few. So whether you want a beautiful ballet performance of the Darcey Bussell variety, a jazz number in the spirit of Ginger Rogers or a commercial Beyoncé-style act, a professionally trained female dancer can deliver the exact entertainment your event needs.
Not only will a female dancer know their routines backwards, they will also look the part, dressed in authentic costumes complete with hair and make-up of the era, enhancing the theme of your event beautifully. Dancers also enjoying meeting guests after the show, providing mix and mingle entertainment and photo opportunities as well as encouraging people on to the dancefloor to really get your party swinging.
For a celebration with a 1950s theme, what could be more perfect than a female dancer with the Olivia Newton John moves of Sandy in the movie Grease? For a 1960s night, it’s got to be Go Go dancing. Get down and funky with boogielicious 1970s disco struts, or go Hammer style with a bit of 1980s body popping!
Fans of the 90s pop scene will not be able to resist joining in with Madonna-esque vogueing or the ultimate party dance, the Macarena. For the urban hipsters among you, bring your party bang up to date with the latest hip hop and street dance moves.
Lovers of musical theatre will relish performances from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cabaret, Momma Mia or Chicago, while movie fans will go crazy for Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Step-Up, Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance or Hairspray. Whatever the theme, when you hire a female dancer, she will bring your favourite routines to life and lead the way to the dance floor in style. So kick up your heels and check out our versatile and multi-talented Female Dancers for hire.
If you’re looking for something a bit more edgy for a trade show, store opening or product launch, a female contemporary dancer will bring just the right mix of energy, artistic flair and originality to the event and is sure to draw the crowds. Or you could go all out and hire an entire troop of female dancers to portray cheerleaders and make a real song and dance about your company!
Are you looking for alternative entertainment for your hen do? Dancing is a great way to keep fit and to learn some fab moves along the way, so hiring a female salsa dancer or belly dancer will be great value for money and a lot of fun for everyone involved. The more daring among you could even give pole dancing a go!Male Dancers
For slightly more unusual entertainment, why not hire a Male Dancer?
A Male Dancer can perform a hip-shaking Cha-Cha or Michael Jackson’s Thriller. He can transport guests back to the 1940s with vintage jazz routines and swing steps, bust out hip-hop moves from the latest music video or lead The Loco-Motion. With a professional Male Dancer on stage, anything could happen!
Perhaps you’d like to try partner dancing and learn how to Tango. A male dancer can teach you how to dance like a pro. If you have two left feet and you’re looking for a way to impress your partner or your friends, a male dancer will improve your dancing skills, your fitness and your confidence.
A male jazz dancer can enhance the theme of a vintage event, bringing the romance of Fred Astaire or the infectious energy of the jive. For a disco or 70s event, how about bringing your theme to life with John Travolta strutting, Saturday Night Fever style. If the 80s is more your time, evoke the era with some Michael Jackson moonwalking or a bit of break dancing.
Let a professional take over and show your colleagues how to dance at a work party, leaving do or end of year party. Looking for the perfect ice-breaker to wow your clients and customers? Hire a male dancer to do the twist and shake a tail feather at your corporate event. They will pull the crowds in at a product launch or trade show, dancing away to a backing track or a live band. Once the public are relaxed and having fun dancing, theyStreet & Break will be queueing up for your product!
If you’re hosting a private party or birthday celebration, a male dancer can add excitement and loosen the atmosphere. They can be set up on stage to put on a real show, dance on a podium or strut their stuff in among the audience. Guests will get the beat in their feet and before you know it, everyone will be up on the dance floor. Check out our Male Dancers for hire to find the perfect act near you.Street & Break Dancers
Break dancing originated in New York in the 1970s but it is now everywhere. The charts are filled with music acts that incorporate hip hop, street and break dancing into their live shows.
Break dancers perform a mixture of choreographed routines and freestyle dancing, often competing with each other, showing off their best and most physically demanding moves. Feel the buzz in the room as they spin, jump, turn, twist and roll, their moves getting ever faster and more intricate.
Many commercial dancers have performed at big venues, on TV and in pop videos. They know all the latest choreography and if you’re putting on birthday entertainment for a teenager or young dance student, your dancer can even teach a few moves!
Street and break dancers can bring their own selections of old school hip hop or the latest music tracks, or create song lists of your choosing, tailored to your event.
For up-to-date, energetic entertainment that will appeal to younger customers at a product launch, exhibition, or shopping centre, take a look at our Street & Break Dancers for hire.Dance Acts
This category covers dancers and performance troupes specialising in all styles, from Ballet, Belly Dancing, Bollywood and Burlesque to Contemporary, Jazz, Street, Latin and Irish dancing. Not to mention Hawaiian hula, Chinese fan veil, Cheerleader pom squads and LED dance acts!
Whatever your event or chosen theme, you can find a Dance Act to match, whether it’s a vintage or cabaret-style celebration, an 80s night, a Christmas party or a commercial video shoot.
Dance Acts perform at a wide range of events, including corporate functions, birthday parties, festivals, community events, galas, award-ceremonies, charity fundraisers, shopping centres, product launches, exhibitions and trade shows.
They will dance choreographed routines to music, adding bags of energy and a dynamic element to your event. Many also offer taster classes, which are always fun and are a great way to break the ice and get people interacting; perfect for parties, workshops and team building days. Lots of laughter is guaranteed and even less coordinated, novice dancers are made to feel at home on the dance floor.
For dramatic impact and an element of surprise, you can hire a Flash Mob. This is a group of dancers who will create a routine perfectly suited to your event. Just when your guests least expect it they burst out of the crowd and start dancing!
Flash mobs are available in all dance styles and can tailor their costumes, music and routines to enhance your particular event theme. They work extremely well at trade fairs and promotional events, where they always draw a crowd. They can even wear branded clothing showing off your logo or message.
Check out our range of Dance Acts for hire here at Entertainers Worldwide and find talented dancers in your area.
Still not found what you’re looking for? Check out our Other Dance Performers.
Imagine a highly-trained, professional performer dancing an original routine to your favourite ballad or jazz song, or a ballet dancer performing graceful moves to beautiful music, specially selected for your ceremony or wedding breakfast. What could be more romantic? And what better way to entertain your guests. A vibrant, stunning dance show will bring magic to your celebrations, making your day one that you, your friends and family will cherish forever.
For a classical, elegant addition to your special day, you could hire a ballet dancer. They can perform well-known set pieces or their own choreography, accompanied by either a high-quality backing track of your chosen music, or live musicians. If you would prefer a more contemporary feel, there is the option of a more modern style of dancer. Without the traditional pointe shoes and tutu, they will bring a more earthy, artistic feel to your celebrations.
Perhaps your wedding has a glitzy Gatsby theme, in which case how about flapper dancers or a performance troupe busting out the Charleston, or a tap dance, to your favourite jazz numbers? If your budget doesn’t stretch to a group of dancers, hire a solo Male or Female Dancer. Individual dancers all offer their own ranges of dance styles and each will make a strong impact at your wedding, whether it’s graceful and timeless ballet or contemporary performance, a jazz routine or an Irish jig!
Belly Dancers and Bollywood Dancers are hugely popular at Middle Eastern, European, Indian, Arabic and Asian weddings as well as hen, mehndi, henna and kina parties. With vibrant routines, colourful outfits and sensuous moves, they never fail to liven up proceedings and get everyone dancing.
A male dancer or dance duo can perform romantic ballroom or slow dancing, to ease guests into the evening reception after the first dance. For a rip-roaring atmosphere during the reception itself, a troupe of party dancers would inject some serious energy! Whatever kind of dancer you chose, they can take song requests and tailor their performances to your special day.
Some dancers offer private lessons ahead of your wedding day, to teach you the perfect routine for your first dance, so if you’d love to amaze your friends and family with moves they didn’t know you had, enquire about this option.
To break the ice and give your wedding guests a real treat, how about hiring a Flash Mob? Flash mobs prepare high-energy routines in any style, from jazz to hip-hop, appearing out of nowhere and surprising the crowd with electrifying performances, sure to get your party started!
Find out more about the wonderful possibilities for adding enchantment and romance to your wedding day and take a look at our dazzling Dancers & Dance Acts for hire today.
And if you need more inspiration take a look at our Home of Wedding Entertainment page, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration and ideas, and everything from Wedding Inspiration Videos and Wedding Checklists to Wedding Ceremony and First dance Playlists.How much does it cost to hire a Dancer or Dance Act?
Dancers are trained, skilled professionals who have studied for years to master their craft. They provide high-quality entertainment and when setting their fees, they have to factor in creative preparation, costumes and rehearsal time.
Prices will vary depending on the level of experience of each act, travel time to your event, the event and show type and the number of dancers performing. Here is a rough guide to the basic price ranges for standard packages:
Solo Dancer: £150 – £300+ in the UK ($150 – $300+ in the U.S. and 170 € – 340+ € in Europe)
Dance Duo: £300 – £1500+ in the UK ($300 – $1500 in the U. S. and 340 € – 1700+ € in Europe)
Dance Trio: £450 – £1500+ in the UK ($450 – $1500 in the U.S. and 500 € – 1700+ € in Europe)
Dance Act 4-5 Dancers: £1000 – £2400+ in the UK ($1000 – $2400+ in the U.S. and 1100 € – 2700+ € in Europe)
Dance Troupe 6+ Dancers: £1500 – £2500+ in the UK ($1500 – $2500+ in the U.S. and 1700 € – 2800+ € in Europe)
Like most entertainers, Dance Acts tend to charge more at key times of year such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Equally, bespoke performances tailored specifically to your event and longer performances will cost more than standard shows.
As with booking any act, it’s worth paying for a reliable performer who will turn up on time and deliver a great evening’s entertainment. See our Essential Tips below for information on booking terms and conditions.
Our entertainers’ directory is the perfect tool to help you find the right Dancer or Dance Act for your budget. You can easily search for the best acts in your area and message them directly. Some acts even include a rough price guide in their profile. Since prices do vary widely, depending on the act and the event, we recommend getting in touch with your chosen performer for a completely free, no-obligation quote.How long will a Dancer or Dance Act perform for?
Dancers can tailor their performance times to suit your event, whether it be a short and fast-paced 15 minute set or longer and multiple sets for bigger events and weddings. Here are some examples of single dance set lengths:
Solo dance performance: 3 minutes to 20 minutes
Group dance: 2 x 5 minute routines
Full cabaret or troupe production: 45 minutes to 3 hours
Taster class: 1 hour
Sets may be split into two or three short performances. Longer packages will typically involve more routines, mix and mingle time with guests, time for guests to join in, and possibly more dancers.set up & stage requirements for dance acts
Dancers will need a smooth, flat surface area on which to perform. It should be free from furniture, pillars, cables, low overhead beams and other obstacles. Ideally there will also be some wing space at the sides of the stage for high-speed entrances and exits.
Vinyl or sprung floors are ideal for dancers as they absorb impact when landing on the ground. If the floor is wooden and your performer will be dancing barefoot, the area should be checked for splinters and protruding nails.
The amount of performance space required depends on the style of dancing, the number of dancers and the type of show. Here is an outline of minimum performance space required:
Solo Salsa or Tap Dancer: 4m x 4m
Solo Ballet or Contemporary Dancer: 6m x 4m
Dance Couple: 7m x 6m
Dancer Trio: 8m x 6m
Four or more dancers: 9m x 6m or more
If your guests will be dancing, they will need sufficient space to move safely and comfortably. You should allow 1.5m x 1.5m per person and 3m x 3m per couple.
Hired dancers may require access to the performance area ahead of the show, in order to check the space and make any necessary adjustments to the performance.
Most dance acts do not provide their own lighting or PA, although some do. Dancers will usually bring their own music, so make sure there is a facility to play it. As with any entertainment booking, any electrical equipment used should be PAT tested and operated by trained technicians.
Dancers and dance troupe captains will want to hand music to the DJ or sound technician (if this has not been arranged separately) and go over how to cue the set.
As always, the best advice we can give is to ask your act or acts about their set-up requirements before booking, as space, equipment and set-up requirements will vary from act to act.
For more practical information on how to book a Dancer or Dance act through our site and information on contracts, insurance, cancellation and more, read our Booking Information FAQs.How to book a Dancer or Dance Act
Booking a Dancer or Dance Act is easy with Entertainers Worldwide. You can search through dancers for hire, view their profiles and read their all-important reviews. Some of our listed acts also include video samples of their performances.
Once you’ve found the act you want to book, simply use the contact form on their profile page. We are not an agency, so you can deal directly with your chosen group, with no booking fees or commission to pay.
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Professional Dancers for Hire - Top Dancers for EventsSkip to content
Professional Dancers for HireLarry2022-06-23T19:49:50+00:00
Kym Johnson & Dmitry Chaplin: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Are you hooked on Dancing with the Stars? If you like world-class dance entertainment, you’ll love Green Light Booking’s professional dancers for hire. If you want to hire dancers for your special event, we offer some of the most recognizable dance celebrities in the world.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire Dancers?
The price of hiring a professional dancer depends on many factors. If they’re relatively unknown, but still of the highest caliber, they can go for anywhere from $200 on up. If they have won national or international dance championships, some can still be hired at a reasonable cost, but they can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The highest-priced dance stars that you see on TV or in the movies can sometimes be hired for $5,000 or so, usually more, but will sometimes cost up to $50,000 or more. We offer dancers in all price ranges that are exceptionally talented. We hope you enjoy our videos of Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and other dance entertainment for hire from Dancing with the Stars as they dazzle the crowd at a major corporate event in Las Vegas. Also check out our amazing hip hop and break dancer Gev Manoukian.
Dmitry Chaplin & Kym Johnson Rehearsing for a Show
No matter what the event, we offer dancers that will wow your crowd. For important corporate events, nothing beats our celebrity dancers – and for smaller events we have professional dancers for hire that will dazzle your crowd like no other type of entertainment.
Hire Dancers for a Wedding
If you want to add excitement and electricity to an important event, there is no better way than with high-energy dancers for hire. Green Light Booking can help you put together a full dance show featuring some of the most celebrated dancers in the world. Entertain your audience with Alayne’s Professional Dancers or a few of the Kim DelGrosso Dancers who have appeared on Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, in major Hollywood movies, and in top shows on the Las Vegas strip. Green Light’s professional dancers will make your event an unforgettable one.
Famous Dancers for Hire
Whether you want a full show featuring our professional dancers for hire or just one single dance routine featuring your favorite dancers, let Green Light help turn your event into something special. A full show can include dancers performing the tango, quickstep, cha cha, or other high-energy and romantic styles, as well as sparkling costume changes for each dance.
There is nothing quite like flashy and energetic dance numbers, performed by some of the world’s best-known dancers, for adding excitement to a special event. No matter how big your event, we can provide the perfect dance performers for hire that will dazzle any crowd. When you book entertainment from Green Light, you’ll get the best.
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New Gig Worker Law Causes Chaos in California Strip Clubs - Anna Arndt on vc.ru
Tech publication Wired reveals the unintended consequences of California's new AB 5 law designed to protect the rights of gig workers. AB 5 requires an employer to recognize freelancers as full-time employees under certain conditions. It turned out that AB 5, which came into force in 2019, worsened the working conditions of not digital or gig workers at all, but the dancers of strip clubs in the state. They began to earn less, as club owners, who saved up to 30% of the payroll by hiring freelance dancers, shifted the new costs onto the shoulders of their employees. The dancers' union urges politicians not to lump together all the industries where freelancers work, and to think about the difference between different industries and digital gig platforms. It turns out that simply passing a law is not enough to improve the working conditions of freelancers, it is also necessary to make sure that employers do not interpret it solely in their own interests.
Dancers say the law, which protects workers in the gig economy, is hurting their earning potential.
Teddy, strip dancer, CA
Teddy has been self-employed at the strip club for six years. She considered her work a good source of livelihood. There were times when there were no visitors, and wages fell. But nights without visitors were usually accompanied by evenings when there was nowhere for an apple to fall in the club. Teddy didn't make less than the California average hourly rate of $15 an hour.
But all this was before the so-called " era before AB 5". The latter stands for a new law passed in California called Assembly Law 5, which categorizes the self-employed as full-time employees. Under the new law, workers must be provided with legally guaranteed benefits, such as minimum wages and overtime pay. Supporters of the law, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, see the law as a response to the exploitation of workers in the gig economy. But this Law does not yet apply to companies such as Uber and Lyft. Instead, the Law has transformed very different industries, from yoga studios to theater studios to trucking.
The debate about the impact of AB 5 on all industries, not just the gig economy, is back in the spotlight. The Biden administration is considering passing a new federal law to protect workers from employers' abuse of classifying them as both full-time and part-time employees. Although the House of Representatives passed the federal version of AB 5, called " Law to Protect the Right to Organize " (Act (PRO)), as early as March 2021, the document has not yet received Senate approval. Last week, the Department of Labor proposed a new bill aimed at recognizing the self-employed as full-time workers eligible for minimum wages.
Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, Professor of Law at Willamette University, Oregon: "The Department of Labor's proposal is not as ambitious as AB 5. The latter assumes from the outset that most of the workers a company hires to do work are full-time employees." The new proposal from the Ministry of Labor includes a checklist that will be used in court to determine whether employees are employees or contractors. One of the checklist items is the degree of control over your earnings and working conditions.
How AB 5 influenced the work of strip dancers in the US
In the meantime, AB 5 has had an impact on strip clubs. And this should be kept in mind by politicians who focus too much on the gig economy. Strip club workers felt the effects of AB 5. The dancers were divided into those who want to become full-time employees and who do not dream about it at all. However, the application of AB 5 by strip clubs has resulted in lower wages and less reliable working conditions. Despite some similarities in the working conditions of dancers and gig workers, the former believe that their work is different from the gig industry and they need separate articles of labor laws. Dancers don't want to be regulated like couriers and food deliveries.
Teddy: “ AB 5 was applied to all clubs in California, in such a way that many left the industry because the working conditions became less attractive and the work itself became less long-term. AB 5 is supposed to protect gig workers, and it was applied to dancers purely formally .
Many clubs have decided to revise the wage system for dancers from 2019 when AB 5 went into effect. Clubs have cut wages for private dances. The dancers say that although they are guaranteed a minimum wage, their earnings have fallen due to the introduction of a new wage system and reduced working hours. When clubs began to hire dancers only on staff, they became more picky about candidates.
Teddy: « Clubs used to evade the so-called hiring standard. Now they are back to him. The club hires mostly white, young and thin dancers .”
Teddy is black and describes herself as an "alternative dancer" with piercings and tattoos. For the first time in years, it became more difficult for her to find a job. “ This is just discouraging ,” she states. Now Teddy is not working as a dancer.
Strip clubs are familiar with the problem of freelancers
The striptease industry is familiar with the problem of freelancers. Dancers have been suing clubs for decades, trying to prove that they are not contract employees, but full-time employees. Although AB 5 allowed dancers to get insurance due to downtime during the pandemic, this is still not the solution that nightclub workers were counting on. " Law does not solve our problem at all."
Strip club workers and researchers warn that the gig economy is distorting the status controversy by lumping the problems of freelancers across industries together.
Keith Cunningham-Parmeter: « Everyone talks about this law as gig worker law. But this law applies to all workers in many industries, not just digital ones. Even today, in 2022, the majority of low-paid workers are not gig workers at all.”
Other industries are divided into two camps regarding AB 5. Some believe that the law had a positive impact on the self-employed, others disagree. For example, writers and typesetters vehemently oppose the law because it prevents them from finding work.
" Following the passage of this law, the transcription service SpeakWrite stopped accepting candidates from California ." Truck drivers are also complaining. In July 2022, truckers blockaded the Port of Oakland to protest AB 5. They said their new full-time worker status did not give them the flexibility they had before.
KeithCunningham-Parmeter: Prior to the new law, the California Department of Labor claimed 500,000 workers who were not registered as employees, although they were in fact full-time employees. The introduction of the minimum wage and workplace safety standards still had a positive impact on most freelancers
Strip clubs pass on increased costs to their dancers
« Our research shows that companies save 30% on salaries by hiring full-time employees. Therefore, it is not surprising that industries such as strip clubs, having registered dancers in the state, transferred their costs to them, reducing their wages .
Salaries for dancers have always depended on the specific club. Many clubs say they are now forced to withhold the first $100-$120 for a private dance in order to cover the minimum wage for all dancers, and still retain a certain percentage of the high salaries of dancers.
Ilana Turner, former strip dancer turned college student
Ilana Turner is doing her thesis at the University of Minnesota. " Politicians did not foresee that strip club owners would use the new law to maximize profits by lowering the wages of workers.