What dancers make in the United States
The US governments projections for dancers is that the industry is growing and there will be a 6% increase by the year 2018. Although the industry is increasing and jobs are available, competition is fierce. Many people enjoy dancing and would like to become dancers professionally. There are always many more dancers than there are dance jobs and it is not unheard of to have hundreds of dancers auditioning for a single role. With so many people wanting to dance and so many applying for coveted dance jobs only the very best and talented will be able to succeed in the industry.
Dance is also a short career. Dancers normally retire early and make a career change early in life. Many retired dancers go on to teach dance.
The statistics from a few years back, 2008 has the median hourly wages of dancers at $12.22. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.03 and $18.82. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.28, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.26.
Dancers with large productions (ballet companies, large shows, etc) and on tours are governed by union contracts that may pay a higher rate and also allow for things like travel allowances
Performing arts companies $15.30
Other amusement and recreation industries 11.56
Other schools and instruction 10.00
Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) 8.01
What Choreographers make in the United States
Median annual wages of salaried choreographers were $38,520 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $25,320 and $55,360. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,160.
Most salaried dancers and choreographers covered by union contracts receive some paid sick leave and various health and pension benefits, including extended sick pay and family-leave benefits provided by their unions. Employers contribute toward these benefits. Dancers and choreographers not covered by union contracts usually do not enjoy such benefits.