Everything you'll ever need to know about booking a dancer or dance group. Find out what a dancer will do at your event, how various types of dancers differ from each other, what type of dance they'll perform, how much space they will require, how to ensure quality, how much it costs to hire a dancer or dance group and much more.
From belly dancing to Bollywood, acrobatics to dance troupes, all you need to know about booking dancers, dance companies and dance troupes.
What is a dancer or dance troupe and what do they do?
For entertainment that really gets your party started, it's hard to beat a professional dancer for sheer energy, visual impact, and more than a touch of glamour.
Dancers and dance companies perform choreographed routines that combine music and movement into an energetic and elegant form of entertainment. Most dance groups offer a range of traditional, classical and contemporary dance styles, including elegant ballroom dancing, street dance, Las Vegas style showgirls, traditional Irish dancing, Latin American tango, Spanish flamenco, and the more risqué charms of burlesque.
Most dancers and dance troops offer either a standard show that can be adapted to your venue and event, or as bespoke option to create exactly the mood and feel you require for your event.
Whether you're looking for a solo belly dancer to surprise guests at a birthday party, or classical ballerina to add grace and elegance to your product launch, dancers and dance groups provide an energetic, engaging, and ultimately highly entertaining show for your guests.
What to look for in a quality dancer/dance group
Dancers can be formally trained at dance schools, ballet schools and performance academies, or some may just be naturally good at dance. So, it's not always a measure of quality to look at the training each dancer or members of a dance troupe have received. The exceptions are, of course, classical ballet and ballroom dancing, both of which involve many years of training, and there are definite advantages of years of training for dance forms such as jazz, tap and Latin American dance.
So, also look for the levels of professional experience dancers and dance companies have. If they have performed at major venues, in professional dance shows, ballet companies or West End shows, or have performed for global brands, chances are they are of high quality, have relevant experience, and deliver a great show.
Most dancers and dance troupes are extremely versatile, often offering a wide variety of dance styles for your event. Chances are, if a dance troupe focuses exclusively on one or two dance styles or forms, they will have a high level of expertise in these forms and therefore put on a more authentic show.
Some of the dance companies featured at Alive Network will create bespoke shows just for you, and bring in dancers and performers with the correct level of skills required. So, just because they don't specialise in Street Dance for example, they can probably call on some very good performers if you require a bespoke urban style performance.
Take a litle time to look at the Profiles of dancers and dance companies here on Alive Network. All companies will feature photographs of their dancers, and some offer video, a great way to see what they look like in action! (Not every dancer or dance company will have video available, simply because you can't always film a client’s live event, for example.)
What formats are offered by dancers and dance companies for hire?
With professional dance companies, there really is no set format for their shows. A belly dancer, for example, will usually work alone, a Bollywood dance troupe may come with 3 or 30 performers, and a ballet company will be just as happy to provide a single ballerina or as many dying swans as you require!
The Bespoke Dance Company offer a standard format of six dancers, but are happy to bring as many as you wish and as required the nature of your event. The Twilight Players, who specialise in American dance crazes and ska, usually bring three male dancers for their high-energy show. The Belle Beauties are professional showgirls who usually perform as a troupe of four and similarly, Cabaret Show come complete with six pro dancers..
One of the most crucial considerations for any dance troupe will be the space available for their performance, which in turn would usually dictate both the format of the show and the number of dancers performing. (More on this below.)
What equipment will my dancers or dance company require?
Most dance troupes will require, as an absolute minimum, a flat performing surface or stage that is clean and clear of any obstacles, lumps, or bumps! This is crucial as the last thing dancers want to do is trip over something halfway through a routine.
Most dance troupes do not provide their own lighting or PA equipment, although this does vary from company to company. All will provide their own music, as they will perform to a choreographed routine, so do ask at time of booking if your venue has no PA available, as the company may be able to bring their own at extra cost.
Dancing is also physically hard work, and dancers will always perform in costume. So a dance troupe will require somewhere to change out of their day clothes and into their costumes. This should be a secure room where they can leave their belongings while they perform, have enough space for all performers and should NOT be a toilet! If you are able to offer your dancers access to showers after their show, most will be extremely grateful.
What space will my dancers or dance troupe require?
The space required by your dancer or dance troupe will vary greatly according to the type of show they present. A solo belly dancer for example will have different requirements to a solo ballerina or jazz dancer. Equally, a large troupe of showgirls will probably require a wider space than a street dance group. In all cases, they will require sufficient space to move freely and without obstructions, such as pillars or posts.
Your dancers or dance company will need to rehearse in the space before they perform, so you should allow time for them to get in, check the venue, work with any lighting or PA staff, and generally get the feel of the venue. Be prepared that your dance troupe may request furniture to be moved back, or other alterations made to the room when they arrive, for the safety of their performers and your guests.
What performance length will my dancer or dance group offer?
Most dancers and dance companies recommend a performance time of between 10 and 20 mins for a dance show, for maximum impact and variety for your guests and maximum energy output from your dancers!
Longer shows are available on request, but will usually involve more dancers as they will need to alternate who is dancing on stage at any one time. The Chicago Dance Show, a tribute to the world of jazz swing and Charleston from the 1920s, includes three routines for example, but also the option to have the dancers mix and mingle with your guests as they arrive, to extend the experience without the need for more actual show time.
What options do dancers or dance groups offer?
Some dance companies offer the option for your guests to join in, always a great way to break the ice at corporate events, especially if you can get the boss up on the dance floor! The Brazilian Carnival Dancers offer an authentic taste of Latin American and Brazilian dance including the samba, salsa, cha cha and lambada, and positively encourage your guests to get up and join in on the dancefloor. The group can also provide a singer who will entertain your audience either with up-tempo numbers or smooth background music in between dance sets.
An Aerial Dance Artist takes dance to a new height, by performing dance routines with trapeze, ropes and silks. Suspended up to 5m above the floor, this act clearly has detailed technical requirements, to do make sure your venue is high enough before considering this!
The Professional Entertainment Company will create tailor-made performances to your exact requirements, and are very much on top of what is popular/trending in dance. (For more details on bespoke dance shows by this group and others see our article “Why dance shows are awesome for corporate events.”)
Dance can bring an exotic touch to your event, whether it be Arabian dance or the exuberance of Bollywood dancers. Bollywood Live offer the option to add dholl drummers and fire dancers to their show for added cinematic excitement!
Dancers can also give your event a strong contemporary feel, whether it be Contemporary Rock Dancers will have worked at many award ceremonies, or the electro pop world of Cyber Burlesque.
How much does a dancer or dance group cost?
Costs for a dance troupe vary considerably according to how many dancers are involved, and how elaborate the show is. Prices for a single belly dancer start at a very reasonable £155, or a duo of professional ballerinas can delight for under £400. Prices are very much aligned to how many performers are on stage and most companies work on at least four dancers in their group, with others added as required: see the Profiles on Alive Network for the costs of adding extra dancers.
Bespoke performances, tailor-made to your event and to your venue, will usually cost more than a standard show. The Fly High Girls offer the show focusing on exotic locations of your choice, while the Bespoke Ballet Company will create a classical or contemporary ballet performance to your exact requirements. If you have any questions about how many dancers or what type of dance performances are suitable for your venue or the space available, please do not hesitate to call one of the Alive Network team during office hours; we're always happy to help.
Anything else I need to know?
As we all know from our own experience, dancing is much easier on a flat floor, and not on a slope! So, always ensure that your floor or stage area is suitable for the type of dancer who is coming. Also, don’t assume they will be happy with a temporary stage. Stages built out of segments or sections are not always suitable for dance as they can move during performance. If this is the only staging available, please check with the Alive Network team that yours is suitable before booking your dance troupe.
As anyone who's ever tried to dance after midnight as a New Year's Eve party knows, it is incredibly easy to slip on discarded napkins, party poppers, or even confetti on a dance floor. We’ve all at some stage hit a sticky patch too where someone has spilt their drink and nearly gone over!
So, make sure that your dance floor or performance area is completely clear of all debris and litter, swept thoroughly before the performance and if possible, washed. However, and it's a big however, some dance troupes actually prefer their floor a little sticky and may wish to treat the floor or bring their own dance floor with them. Again, they will inform you if this needs to be done.
Many dancers and dance troops are happy to perform in unusual spaces, from shopping centres to your front room! Often, if they know that they are performing on carpet or a stone floor, for example, they will adjust their dance routines accordingly. It’s often just a case of asking what your dancers or dance groups require well in advance, so nothing takes you (or them) by surprise on the day.
How to book your dancer or dance troupes
To book a dancer or a dance troupe from Alive Network, simply click on the link in the left column marked “Dancers, dance shows”. Browse through the acts on offer, take a look at their photos and videos if they have them, and add the ones that tickle your fancy most to your Wish List. You can click to request a free quote and availability check on any of the artists, or send a bespoke request via the form.
Once you've chosen the ideal dance troupe for you, and checked on their requirements, you simply pay a deposit, and then the balance in advance of your event. You'll receive a contract from Alive Network signed by the artists, so you know your booking is secure, plus an emergency telephone number for the day of the event should require it. You don't need to worry about paying the artists on the day either; Alive Network takes care of all that on your behalf. So, all you needed to relax, enjoy the show more importantly, watch your guests loving the show!
After your event, if you provide feedback on your dancer or dance troupe, it’s really helpful for other customers when searching for the right act to book for their own event.