Q: I want to bring in a guest choreographer, but I’m worried about the cost. How can I keep things affordable and give dancers the best possible experience, both while the choreographer is here and after they leave?
A: Guest choreography can be very expensive for both dancers and studio owners. To keep things cost-effective, we take the choreography fee, airfare (if needed), accommodations and food cost, and divide it by the number of dancers involved. From there, we add a small $10 fee per dancer to cover any shortages, like gas and administration fees.
My daughters and I are paid a salary, not an hourly wage, so we run and clean all guest choreography ourselves rather than pay another teacher an hourly rate. We allow time in our schedules to give these routines the same time and energy we give our own in-house choreography. We treat routines choreographed by guests as an opportunity for our dancers to take their training to another level. If the in-house teachers are the “meat and potatoes” of their training, a guest choreographer is the gravy. That being said, unless we give the guest routines the time and care they need, our dancers won’t be getting the full benefit of the experience.