Ask the Experts: What Do You Pay Your Teachers for Competition Weekends?


I have teachers who are there for their pieces/students only and work hard for them but don't go above and beyond. Then I have a non-competition teacher (a ballet teacher at the studio with no competitive pieces), who came to all of our competitions this year and worked nonstop.

A: It is best to compensate teachers for off-site hours that support any and all studio programs. This establishes the expectation for everyone that work is being done, a level of professionalism is expected and that there is a designated employee representative onsite.

We have discussed with our teachers and agreed on a $100-per-full-day stipend, and a $50 partial-day stipend of pay, plus the studio pays their meal and travel expenses. Our lead teachers who manage our dance teams work out a schedule in advance. As a studio, we oversee a lead parent volunteer per team, so that at all times we have coverage as well as a balance for everyone, and those long hours don't become too exhausting for one person to handle alone. Essentially, everyone is working long days and doing work above and beyond what they would be paid by the hour. However, since we discuss the role and details in advance, everyone is clear on the compensation for the contribution.

Some of our teachers do come to just show their support and watch. In those cases they are not paid, and we have communicated this as well.

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

Keep reading... Show less
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.