By Anthony Rue II, CTFD dancer-client
Dancing to me was about having fun. Before I called any jobs, I started dancing with a couple of friends and we formed a group called AmountBoyz. Back then dance was not at the heights it is now. We danced on the streets for money, joined talent shows, and performed at local block parties in the summer. Once I started to work in the professional world of dance, I noticed a couple things that I wanted to change. Dancers were not getting paid on time.
The challenge of getting paid a decent amount was also presented to me a number of times. This is when I started to think outside the box. Before agents and managers
were a big part of the NYC dance scene, you had to handle your own rates for jobs.
The companies or managers that hired dancers did not care about our rates. You had to be a pest to get paid, so having an agent or manager helped a lot once they were set up in NYC. Being a performer, we look at the business side of things. With a different eye, different ideas filled my head. I knew what dancers and performers wanted, needed, and loved to do, so I started to work on my own projects.
For example when I’m looking for a venue I’m not only thinking how many people can fit inside, I’m also thinking about the sound system at max volume. Does the stage have a sprung wood floor? It’s left to the performer to make the best of it. When doing business I look to please the artist and the audience. It excites me that I’ve been able to learn so much through my experiences of dancing with different artists on tours and that I can help the next generation coming in the door. I can show them how to make choices for both business and artistic development. Dancers need to give both equal amounts of energy to have success.