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  1. #1
    Official BHUZzer LILI GAMAL's Avatar
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    Very nice article on gilded serpent

    very helpful, well explained and useful in my opinion..........

    http://www.gildedserpent.com/art39/M...how2charge.htm


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    VERY helpful, excellent article. Good job, Michelle Joyce.


  3. #3
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Fabulous article on charging what you are worth. I think I'll post this to our local yahoogroup.

    Samira


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    Agreed, that is an EXCELLENT article - taught me a couple of things!


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer SummerSahar's Avatar
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    Michelle and Sandra taught me everything I need to know about handling potential clients and how they try and weasel their way into lowering your prices. It was SO hard to be able to walk away from gigs when I was first starting out as a pro dancer! But after slaving away in restaurants and taking some cheap gigs (regrettably) I realize it is a complete waste of my time to even consider doing a gig for cheaper than the going rate. I also recently put up my prices on my website, and ever since doing so the number of people trying to negotiate my prices with me has dropped dramatically! It's been wonderful!!!
    And hey, Michelle put a few of my pics up from various parties! Sa-weet!

    -Summer


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer weese17's Avatar
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    Everything she said is absolutely true, especially silence as a tactic in negotiation. I figured that one out courtesy of my day job, when I had to negotiate title insurance coverage. If you're silent, the other party will perceive that as power, get nervous/anxious, and speak first. He/she who speaks first, loses.

    This is why I prefer booking gigs through email, frankly. Even though I've gotten comfortable with silence as a tactic in my day job, it's still something I have trouble with in terms of gigs (annoying, but true). It's much easier to give a price and then stop "talking" when you're dealing through an electronic medium than with a live human being.

    Lucy


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer vilia's Avatar
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    Great article and one that should be compulsory reading for all pro-dancers just starting out!


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer michellejoyce's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks so much, everyone.

    If it isn't too forward, I would like to request that people send these sorts of responses to be posted on the GS Letters to the Editor page. I want people to see that there is a critical mass of dancers who believe in walking away from low paying gigs. And that we are not btches if we strong and assertive about what we are worth.

    I really believe that if we all become better negotiators, then the prices and treatment of dancers will improve everywhere. What a wonderful world it would be if that total jerk customer found it impossible to find a dancer who would dance for cheap and put up with abuse!
    Last edited by michellejoyce; 05-08-2007 at 12:39 PM.


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer michellejoyce's Avatar
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    summer, i am so freakin' jealous of your photo with the bride where they are throwing money. it really is the perfect photo. grrrrr.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer SummerSahar's Avatar
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    I totally lucked out with that party's photographer! But if you like, I say we all make a huge reservation at a restaurant and take turns wearing a nice costume as the dancer and the rest of us can pose as the wealthy, happy patrons with tacky, gaudy jewelry on and we'll all throw money at the dancer and have someone get good pics. That way we can all have a cool money shower photo!


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer vilia's Avatar
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    That one bill, mid air, dead center is the perfectly timed photo op!


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer SummerSahar's Avatar
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    I should photoshop that into a $100 dolla bill....
    :-)


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer michellejoyce's Avatar
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    we should photoshop it to be a $100


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer latriamou's Avatar
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    i have pics of myself covered in bills.. i should photoshop those puppies too... hmmmmmm...


  15. #15
    Ultimate BHUZzer artemisia_danst's Avatar
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    wauw, great minds do think alike...


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer shadagirl's Avatar
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    I just wanted to give serious gratitude to Michelle for such a well-written and helpful article. I'll reserve the opportunity to smother you in praise and compliments by email at an undisclosed date :))

    Even after such a great message to the community, someone in Marin undercut me for a private party tonight by $100 to get the gig.

    Hilarious.

    The "exposure" line really gets me. An event planner using that line surely has no idea what they are doing. Exposure can be great, but you can also die from too much exposure. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for your great article and making me feel better about weeding out bad gigs. There are already better ones on the horizon!

    thank you thank you thank you.....

    S


  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer michellejoyce's Avatar
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    thanks so much!!


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    I really appreciated reading this article. Very very practical and useful information--not just for belly dancing, but for negotiating all sorts of things.

    Thank you! This is especially important where I live. We don't have many "professional" dancers aside from Zaheea and some of the people she works with in town.


  19. #19
    tamrahennatx
    Guest tamrahennatx's Avatar
    Michelle, the article is great and has added to an ongoing discussion we're having in our community about professionalism and rates. I could see the "younger" professionals were having real "aha!" moments, thank you!

    The funny part is when someone asks you to refer them to someone cheaper (they get the "ring of fire" here, too) or when they tell you a dancer they talked to previously quoted a cheaper price. (Well, I suggest you call her back then.)


  20. #20
    I could get used to this! helenasdance's Avatar
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    WoW! I really like the article. It must be the season because I have also written an article on the same topic with a different but similar approach. My article is due out in a different publication. Due to the high article submission volume, it will not be published until September or October. ( I am not sure if I am able to say anything more about it yet but it will be printed in a paper publication.)
    I like this approach though. If all of the publications are able to publish articles about this topic, we may be able to get the message out loud and clear to those who either just did not understand, did not hear about it, or thought that it really was no big deal.
    I had written it in response to losing two of my biggest gigs to those who undercut me and others in the community.
    Kudos on the article!


  21. #21
    Official BHUZzer Melinda77's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link and bringing this to our attention--it was very interesting to read.


  22. #22
    Advanced BHUZzer michellejoyce's Avatar
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    Helenasdance - can't wait to read your article. Please let us know when it comes out.


  23. #23
    Official BHUZzer maria_s's Avatar
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    great article, Michelle..! the best one on this topic since the one by Nanna (http://www.gildedserpent.com/art32/nannagigrates.htm)


  24. #24
    Official BHUZzer Slave's Avatar
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    just read Nanna's article, thanks for the link maria_s...and i am making the saddest face ever right now.

    the community i'm coming from is nowhere near 200$ for a private short performance...a lot would have to change for it to get nearer that rate, which i agree is appropriate for how much money we spend our own selves just getting to the place in our careers where we can go present ourselves for private gigs...
    but like...dude, now i am alllllll bummed out for the dancers in this town!
    (i happen to be relocating to Chicago before next month, where i hope it's a little bit better just for being a large city...hope hope hope)


  25. #25
    *maria*
    Guest *maria*'s Avatar
    Slave, I believe you are in Fort Collins? I just did a gig in Greeley for $250. AND, it was only a 10 minute bellygram, because of the drive, 45 minutes, I asked for $200 - and they tipped me $50 in the check.
    My normal rates are $125 for up to 1/2 hour - $175 for up to an hour, and I'm the highest I know of in Boulder/Denver.
    You have to ASK for the rates, and stick to it, otherwise they will never go up.
    Restaurants the same, $25 I heard or $35 for a restaurant in Fort Collins?
    That's pathetic.

    edited to add: I know I've lost bellygram gigs, because people want to pay $50, but you know what, that's their loss, that's the way I think of it.....
    I simply will not dance for $50 or free (unless it's a charity I believe in) AND I only do 2 a year.


  26. #26
    Ultimate BHUZzer sumayasaahir's Avatar
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    Can you photoshop that bill from a $1 to a $20? lol :)


  27. #27
    Official BHUZzer Slave's Avatar
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    maria - so great to hear that at least someone around here is getting paid what she's worth!

    we've never gotten close to finding out about how much the ONE Middle Eastern restaurant in FoCo pays their dancer.
    it used to be Maya (or Amaya I forget) from Loveland, and she was very, very fun to watch, excellent dancer.
    Then I heard recently that they've got a new dancer.
    That's all I'll say.

    The belly gram gigs...that's where we need to ask for more, cuz you are absolutely right - they'll never pay us what we're worth if we're not even trying to ask for it!!! I'll pass the info along on what you were able to ask for and receive to the troupe I'm leaving behind. Still running on 1980s prices, i think...


  28. #28
    Advanced BHUZzer flimflamgirl's Avatar
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    Wow, this could not be more timely...thank you so much, Michelle! What a generous and helpful article.

    - Leela


  29. #29
    Established BHUZzer vron's Avatar
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    Great article! Thanks for posting!


  30. #30
    Advanced BHUZzer eshe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maria View Post
    You have to ASK for the rates, and stick to it, otherwise they will never go up.
    YES!! YES!! YES!! You have to raise your rate in order to get others to raise theirs.

    Restaurants here KNOW that they cannot get a dancer for less than $100. A new one that I know of that just opened is paying $200 for a 20 minute show to ensure he gets quality dancers. The owner wants to be PROUD of the show he puts on.


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