THE MAYBE MOST UNDERRATED SPORT
This Blog article is going to show you the main problems in our growing scene all over the world. Maybe in the US the “urban dance scene“ is on a higher level than in Europe but we have to say that we only see the bright shining TOP-Dancers (Choreographers), not the big picture.
Overall the same problems exist everywhere, in some places more than in others. Let’s start this cause study from the roots.
1) THE DANCER
The urban dance scene is one of the most underrated sport categories of all time. Some people even don’t accept it as a sport at all. Maybe in some cases they are right cause dancing is even more than a sport, it’s art, too. Not every kind of athlete can also be an artist. A dancer combines both. Beeing on stage in costumes which are totally uncomfortable, always giving attitude and 100% energy combines a few struggles in this growing scene.
Dancers are a mix of competitive sportsman and stage actors. A lot of them can also sing and play instruments pretty well. It’s a sport where everybody is accepted and less judgement existing on personal things than anywhere else. It’s possible that this scene has the highest rate of gay people compared to other sports (we don’t have information about the exact rate).
But why? Cause the acceptance between dancers ist very high and prejudices are hard to find. The person behind is more important than the shell everybody can see at first appearance.
Same problem we have for the payment of dancers. The most popular ways a dancer can earn money is by teaching or doing commercial jobs on stage. Overall they earn maximum 3000-4000€ per month (the average is way lower), which is not compareable to other TOP-Athletes. Also they have to work way more for this amount of money. By competing with other dancers, you always loose more money than you earn. The struggle of finding a “cheap” travel and accomodation included.
This combination of struggles is the only reason why most dancers are good people, openminded and positive beeings but don’t understand business at all, which is not a bad thing. Therefore we need more, we call them supporters (in other sports they are called agents or managers), which think more “business” but also know the scene. Only together and with a helping hand we can grow and reach the level of TOP-Sport Events.
Let’s compare for example the “SUPER BOWL” (Football) and “KOD” (HipHop) or “Battle Of The Year” (Bboying): For the last SUPER BOWL every single player of the winning team earned 67.607€ + a SUPER BOWL ring which has a value of 3.811€ (loosing team 33.800€ each player). There are some more Bonus-payments of the NFL for the Wild-Card Round, The Divisional Play Off Game and the Conference Championship Game.
Overall they can earn around 156.000€ just by the NFL except their regular salary and advertising contracts.
For example the avarage salary of one player of the “Green Bay Packers” is 2.861.000€ per season!!! Each team has maximum 53 players so the maximum salary for the TOP Players is way higher.This is a amount no dancer will earn in a lifetime.
Now let’s compare it with Dance Contests and Battles. KOD is the event with the highest price money ever for a winning crew (100.000$). But if you share it between all the dancers that participated for their crew (winner 2016 korea had 15 members) less than 10.000$ are left for each. When you subtract other costs they have like travel or accomodation (maybe they get sponsored, therefore we have no exact information) there is not much left to live. Also the RedBull BC ONE event has a price money of 7500$ for only one winner.
All others have only expenses. RedBull allready started paying dancers monthly for beeing a BC ONE Allstar. They represent RedBull and do jobs and commercials for them which is a step into the right way.
There is another BBoying Event in the USA called SILVERBACK Open where you had total prize money of around 90.000$ in 2015 (Bboy Victor won 15.000$ in the category last man standing). This event is also sponsored by MONSTER ENERGY, so slowly it gets possible to win higher prize money. But at the end only the best wins and all others not. So we have to find a way to support and lead all high level dancers,
doesn’t matter if choreographer or freestyle dancer. The whole urban dance scene needs a business revolution to achieve their goals, the most important one: doing dancing as a job not only as a hobby.
Every dancer knows this case of getting a booking and the client wants to pay you for example 200€ for 4 shows a day including preparation time.
If we count the payment down on hours of work there won’t remain anything. It’s not just a money thing, don’t get us wrong. The acceptance and appreciation is way more important but these two things are shown by the money the client is willing to pay.
So money is just a medium to interpret the appreciation on your work, to give your work a higher or lower value. Art isn’t countable in numbers but we have to find a way to give this scene the feedback it deserves.
5) PREVIEW PART II
In the second part of this Blog we are going to show some ways, how we think this problems and struggles can be improved in future. It’s about a long-term solution, not one big event that makes dancing more attractive than it was before. We hope you enjoyed our first own article and spread it out to the world that dancing get’s the attention it deserves.