Busting Belly Dance Price Myths for Chicago Weddings & Events
From weddings to birthday parties, here at Adonia Belly Dance we LOVE to have fun at our Chicago shows. Even in the booking process we try to keep things light and happy, but what happens when a client doesn't like the price because they feel that either there are 'no costs to recoup' so therefore the dancer should charge less or that it costs to much based on time alone. Well, lets take a look at what goes into your show, how and why the price is what it is, and what Adonia provides for your show that will set the experience apart from the rest to make you both impressed with the spectacular performance given at your event as well as confident and happy that you chose us.
The price of a show is entirely dependent on the needs of the costumer and how far away they are. I once had a client tell me that because I had no 'overhead' and no 'product' that I should charge less than the price I quoted him. This line of thought bothered me deeply. In fact it was this situation along with another that sparked this blog post. If this person feels this way then there must be others who also share this thought, so presto... we are going to bust the lid right off this, and other, myth(s).
So let's get right down to it. We'll check off the easy ones first... topping the list we have the dance itself. No dancer just wakes up as an amazing accomplished dancer worthy of entertaining your guests. She had to train for at least 4-5 years before ever setting foot on stage. Assuming that she took classes at the general rate of $10-15 a class every week for 5 years her training totals $ 2600 - $3900 not including private lessons or workshops. So, well, say an average of about $3000 to be fair. However, when you hire top notch entertainment from Adonia, she takes it to the next level. Ho hum or just good enough doesn't fly here so she continues her training on a regular basis from internationaly renowned instructors to keep your show exciting and high class. The price for that ongoing training averages about $300 a month. So we can easily round over 9 years of training to approximately $6000 in total to include the previous $3000.
Then there is costuming, props, and beauty routine. I know, why does this apply to you? It applies to you because you work very hard to make sure that your event has every detail in order. Why would you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the perfect venue, DJ or band, decorations, flowers, invitations or marketing, etc. but hire the cheapest dancer possible to save money only to find yourself completely embarrassed by either her dancing, terrible demeanor, or terrible appearance. Pretty much your worst nightmare, right?
Even if you are planning something small, quality always tops the list and sadly you can't buy high quality anything for peanuts. WHAT!? Say it aint sooo.... alas my friends, tis true. Seriously though, let's look at the numbers. Quality costuming $300-$1200+ on average. So for the sake of numbers we'll go half way and say the average costume is around $750. Then props... and I am going to just add the average price for those props included in your standard set. This does not include specialty items. Single Veil $50-$100, Zills $40, Balancing prop such as sword or candelabra $70-$200. Total average prop price for a standard set....$250. Then there is hair cut and color which can easily be $200. If you like dancers with long hair, they likely have extensions for about $1200 and professional polished nails (fingers and toes) will run you about $50 a month give or take, depending on your salon.
Of course you want someone who is fit and has some color so she shows up in the photos right? Let's face it, without tanning some of us could be Casper's sister. So, tanning runs about $40 a month and the gym runs about $30 or so a month. Make-up is the most difficult to predict as you can't conclusively predict how much you use for each show but to give you an idea, lashes are $16 and the brushes alone run $40 each and most of us have at least a dozen of them along with hundreds of dollars in powders and creams so that we look perfect for your show.
Not to mention, most dancers spend nearly 3 hours prepping before each show. That 3 hours is just shower, hair, and make up. Depending on how fast you can get it all done, the time will vary, but 3 hours is a good average for most dancers.
Additionally, we spend hundreds of dollars to find the perfect music to make your show dynamic, and trust me that is an expensive and lengthy process. Adonia goes the extra mile to spend what feels like endless hours editing that music so that it all merges together perfectly so your guests walk away beaming, happy and remember what a great time they had at your event.
All right boys and girls.... POP QUIZ. Given the above parameters, how much does your 15-45min show cost before the dancer walks in the door at your event? *Insert Jeopardy music here*
Let's show our work shall we.... Training $6000, Costume $750, Props $250, Hair $1400, Nails $50, Tanning $40, Gym $30, Music $200 (conservatively), Make-up $500 (conservatively)... please note that this does not included the cost of the marketing required to help you find us, gas money for the trip or wear and tear on the vehicle, parking, meals, luggage to get our props and costumes to and from the show, the time included in the 3 hour prep, or the travel time involved in attending your event...... *drum roll please*.........$9220 HOLY MACARONI!!!!
So... Myth #1: Belly dancers have no costs to recoup so should therefore charge less....BUSTED!
Myth #2: Belly dancers charge based on time.....NOT TRUE! And here's why.
As we have shown above, there are specific costs incurred to perform at each show before the dancer even walks in the door, regardless of the length of time of the show. The length of the show is really based on the average audience demographic for each event and the needs of each client to create the show of their dreams. So it is highly impractical to charge by the minute, or even by the hour. This is why we charge by the show and have different packages for different events. Also, there is lots and lots of practice and or choreography time put into each show. The longer the show, the more work there is to be done to create the show, also the more specialty props or requests the client would like to include, the more pre-show hours are incurred to make the show to your specifications. This is why there are fluctuations in the pricing between packages. Those packages have been created so that each client gets charged a fair rate based on their needs.
Having a belly dancer at your venue or event is a luxury, setting you and your wedding, venue, or event apart from the rest. When you hire Adonia for your Chicago wedding, birthday party, or show you get the best in belly dance entertainment. She pays attention to your every detailed need incorporating your theme or color scheme into her performance attire, along with a wide variety of specialty props, and professional images for your marketing or invitations. She also (if requested in advance) incorporates your favorite music into the show or would be happy to connect you with fabulous top Chicago middle eastern or greek bands to complete the ambiance of your event. As you can see, the better the bellydancer, the classier you look and the more impressed your guests will be with you.
Thank you so much for reading this and I hope it has helped bring to light why quality dancers charge what they charge and how you get your money's worth from hiring a belly dancer. If you have any questions or comments please message me below. If you do not see a comments box below please click here to join the conversation. I would love to hear your feedback. Visit www.vintagebellydance.com to hire Adonia Belly Dance at your next Chicago wedding, birthday party, or special event.