Friday, 03 April 2015 09:18

Our Side of the Mic … What am I paying for (23-9-2014)

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What Am I Paying For?

Hi all,

Have you ever (or always) thought caller fees were a bit high for calling a two hour dance? When hiring guest callers most clubs do not realize the expenses that are involved for the caller other than just calling your two hour dance. So, here are some items to consider when booking an out of town caller or in some aspects your local callers as well.

1. Travel Time – Travelling to & from your dance is an expense for the caller. How does the total time spent equate to the fee paid? Examples: A trip up & down the Front Range can easily equal a 7-8 hr. day for your caller! How about a trip to the western slope? Basically takes almost two days of the caller’s time for a two hour dance!

  1. 2.Lodging
    1. In most cases if the caller has to travel more than 4 hours (one way) or more the caller will probably need lodging. Please consider a lodging expense when your caller has to travel a long distance to your dance.
  2. 3.Meals
    1. Please take sustenance into consideration when your caller has to go some distance to your dance. Travelling and eating is costly.
  3. 4.Wear & Tear
    1. It costs the caller about .50 -.60 cents per mile to run their vehicles to your dance and fuel prices….well you know. A considerable amount of a caller’s fee goes right into the gas tank!
  4. 5.Other Fees & Expenses
    1. Your caller has to pay several fees in order to call your dance.
      1. BMI/ASACP – Annual - required license fee to play music at your dance.
      2. Association Fees –Annual, Local & International
      3. Music – Continual - Costs $7.00 – $10.00 per recording?
      4. Equipment & Maintenance – Continual - $3,000 & up! Calling equipment is specialized and an expensive investment as well as costly to maintain.
      5. Convention Fees – Annual-$1000 & up. Expensive but provides education, inspiration, & comradery.  The dancers will benefit for sure.
      6. Educational Fees – Occasional – $1000 & up. Expensive but pro-active & good for a more intimate educational experience. Again, this will benefit the dancers too!

I hope this information provides a better understanding of what you are paying for when you hiring a caller. The fees charged by the caller do don’t all go to the caller. Square Dancing is a very inexpensive form of entertainment and is way behind the “entertainment value for the dollar” curve so; don’t be afraid to charge more at your dance for a guest/special caller or callers. Also, don’t forget the caller’s expertise & entertainment value as well. If you enjoyed a fun dance the caller has spent countless non-paid hours honing his/her craft for your entertainment.

Thanks, happy dancing & see you in the square,

Jeff Palmer

Last modified on Friday, 03 April 2015 09:21
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