Why Do Dancers Get Piss Poor Money?
Because there’s many more people who want to be dancers than there is demand for people to be dancers. And then there’s some special cases:
Dancers at the Royal Opera House are being paid less than box office assistants, the union which represents performers has revealed.
Professional freelance dancers in one production were paid just £9.14 an hour for entertaining thousands of audience members each week, according to Equity.
Meanwhile, the income of those selling tickets to customers was £10.70 per hour over the same period.
The wages paid in a market reflect the balance between the demand for those to do the job and the supply of those qualified to and able to do the job. London is flooded with those who would dance upon the stage. With those who would sit in a ticket office not so much. For, you know, dancing upon the stage is rather fun in and of itself. You don’t have to talk to such dancers for long to hear them say “But I just love to dance” and the like. Ticket office workers tend to express the same sentiment rather less often.
And as to why the ROH is paying such shitty wages there’s a clue in the union complaint:
The letter goes on to ask: ‘Why are we not paid above or at least equal to that amount when working for one of the largest, most heavily subsidised arts organisations in the country?
“Most heavily subsidised” also means “losing the largest amount of money”. That’s why wages are low: the value added seem to be low compared to the revenue that is brought in. You know, that market thing again?
All of this is clear and obvious to anyone who has ever spent any time at all around the West End. Why it still befuddles the union is something of a puzzle.