Dancers for some of music's biggest names were being underpaid. They decided to fight back, writes Elias Leight.
'One week before Thanksgiving, Melany Centeno, a professional dancer with a decade of experience, posted a call-to-arms on Instagram. Centeno enjoyed the rapper DaBaby’s new “Bop” video, calling it “super fire.” But after messaging colleagues who danced in the clip, she accused DaBaby of underpaying some of them — as low as $200 for at least 20 hours of work, according to three dancers who participated. “I’m not gonna stand idly by and let other people be exploited and not speak on it,” Centeno declared.
The Dancers Alliance, an organization founded in 1990 that aims to “improve the careers of professional dancers through education and solidarity,” echoed this sentiment last month in a pair of posts. In December, a casting agency put out a call for a new Beyoncé video shoot; a great opportunity, except that the Dancers Alliance thought that the pay rate — $250 for a day’s work — was unfairly low. “Our SYSTEM IS BROKEN,” the Alliance wrote. “This flawed system is never going to change without DANCERS TAKING THEIR POWER BACK!”
This is the daily reality for many dancers: They apply vital jolts of energy to music videos, but may still struggle to pay their bills. Creators’ rights conversations have gained force in the music industry, allowing some artists to get more favorable record deals and own their music, but these gains have missed dancers.' ... Keep reading on Rolling Stone