The True Cost of a Performance

Over on Bhuz, they have some regularly featured blog posts that are fun to poke around at from time to time. This particular post I saw today made me want to cheer for all the articulate and thoughtful consideration that went into the topic: a breakdown of what it really costs to be a dancer, and why our rates are set as they are.  Many thanks to Jennifer for her post! A snippet appears below, and a link to the full article is HERE.

"Here is the whole breakdown of why I and other belly dancers in my area, charge what we do. After examining this list it should become very apparent why this is a specialty type of service and the key differentiators between a professional such as myself and non-professionals. The dancing you see in a performance is the fun part, but the behind the scenes work that is put into producing a show is quite a different story:
  • Gas- It just keeps going higher doesn’t it?
  • Car Maintenance- My car is one of my most important assets, if it is not up to shape I cannot drive anywhere! As a belly dancer I put in about 24,000 miles a year driving to all my venues and events.
  • Tolls- Those get higher every year as well.
  •  “Renting” Costumes- All my costumes are high end Turkish designer duds or from my self-made line. All in all, that leads to big $$$$ being spent to make a big impression. Every wear of a costume depreciates its resale value (like a car). In fact we are  "renting” a costume every time we use it.
  • “Renting” Props- the same basic idea goes for props as it does costumes.
  • Custom Music Edits- Hello software! Music editing software costs money and so does every single song we must buy that is not easily available on popular music sites such as I-tunes. Many of the most amazing songs I use have taken months of research to find, and are in languages not familiar to me, so that is a part-time job in and of itself....(continued)"
Read the rest of the list at

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On this blog I share my personal posts about cooking and knitting, travel and other musings; while I will blog about dance-specific topics over on the Deep Roots Dance blog:

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