Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poll Result- How Do You Pay Your Teaching Staff For The Hours That They Put In At Dress Rehearsal And Recital?

The results for the May 2009 poll question were very interesting. The results showed that there is a very wide range of how dance studio owners pay their teaching staff for the time spent at dress rehearsal and recital.

24% stated that they pay an hourly wage.

32 % pay their dance teachers a separate bonus.

20% pay them in another way.

24% do not pay their faculty for those days.

Clearly, there is a wide range of ideas and methods on compensation for working dress rehearsals and recitals. Most teachers have probably found what works best for them and their employees in their unique recital situation.

Please leave comments if you have any thoughts or suggestions involving compensation for the time spent on the stage putting together a show.

If you have a poll question that you would like to see posted, please comment.


  1. At our studio, we are in the midst of having this same discussion possibly. We have hundreds of students and split them into 5 rehearsals/recitals. Their dress rehearsal and recital each count as a class and are part of May's tuition. Currently, our teaching staff is paid an hourly "office" wage during this time, which, for teachers who only instruct a couple class, is fine bc they are already getting paid more than usual. But our teachers with several classes feel that if the studio is still charging it as two classes, then they should be paid their normal "dance" wage for those classes in additon to the hourly "office" wage pd for any additional time spent setting up the stage and breaking down, an extent, I somewhat agree. But not fully. It would definately have to broken down for each instructor which equals EXTRA time/work for our owner. It's hard to accomodate and keep every employee happy(especially a bunch of females,ha ha) so I empathize.

    good topic! take care!

  2. I teach more classes at my studio than others. Since I have the most classes, I am usually still dealing with parents, checking out students, and picking up crayons while the other teachers with maybe one class begin to strike at the end of the show. Since the teachers with one class step up and deal with striking and loading things into the car, we all work an equal number of hours. Everyone is paid an office wage for their time, because it is not a class! I don't have to lesson plan. The students should already know their dance when they get to the theater. The only corrections I make relate to spacing on a stage. If I'm still teaching them the dance then I failed in my class time and in my choreography. At best I am a babysitter and a cheerleader at rehearsals and shows, not a teacher that needs a teacher salary.

  3. I worked at a studio where we were 'expected' to work backstage at rehearsal and recital -- no pay, but a 'bonus'. In looking back, I realize that the bonus barely covered my time at minimum wage for rehearsal, let alone recital! And although I do it because I love dance and love to see the students blossom in their performance, I don't think that should mean I do it for free! Studio owners should realize that there is a value to the services their staff offers; otherwise, don't have them working backstage! I now have my own studio, and I work my -ss off backstage and my staff IS paid for their time (office hours), plus I give a gift to show my appreciation for their work. If your employees are valuable, you need to compensate them or risk losing them.

  4. This is a very good question. I wish as a studio owner I had the correct answer. At our studio (anonymous) we compensate by giving the instructors as many free recital tickets as they wish for family and friends to come watch the show. My instructors have children that dance as well so that leaves about 8-9 tickets per instructor, otherwise I would give them their hourly teaching wage which in turn all balances out in the end. They have a choice at the beginning of the year what they would prefer.

    I do have to comment, many studio's especially small studios do not make a lot of profit from their recitals and it is an excellent way for all instructors to show case their piece, which in turn brings in more students especially returning students who may want to try another dance form that, that instructor may have taught.

    Which will fill that instructors class for the following year. If that instructors class does not fill, they may not have a class to teach. It all goes around and if all owners and instructors can work together and make things happen together everyone benefits. BUT MOSTLY the KIDS and isn't that why we have a recital is for the kids? That is why we are here and doing what we all love to do... So I appreciate this website and appreciate your question regarding recital pay as that has been a question since I've opened the studio. thank you!!!!