B-town film Industry is one of the biggest and profitable industry in the world. Our Bollywood films are synonymous with dancing and singing, so much, so that Bollywood dancing is a a separate dance form altogether.
The song and dance routine in our films is unimaginable without a group (read highly trained dancers) of people dancing behind the lead actors. They were once seen as just a group of people wearing the same costume, mostly just acting as crowd-fillers behind the lead star.
But dance has come a long way since then. So has Bollywood. Their costumes, make-up, and treatment are second to none. In fact, background dancers are not struggling artists anymore and you can’t call them ‘extras’.
If you have seen Rangeela movie, it has all good background dancers, who were professionals in dancing. It was the first time when we have seen professional dancers in Bollywood movies. Soon after that, producers start spending a good chunk of money on background dancers. And, now the background dancers even perform better than the front hero or heroines.
Even though the Bollywood background dancers don’t get much limelight but they actually get good payment. A talented, hard-working dancer earns quite well and you’ll be quite surprised to know the amount.
High-skilled and seasoned backup dancers earn up to Rs. 1 Lakh per month. They can also charge anything between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 90,000 per stage show and film. With such a huge amount, they cannot be called as extras anymore!
Generally, the choreographers have their own dance groups who are paid per month to perform at stage shows and Bollywood songs. These passionate dancers travel the world with their troupes, and are living quite an enviable life.
Even for the most basic dancers, the monthly allowance varies from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 35,000. It mainly depends on their level of expertise. However, for serials, it is not this high since the scale of performance shrinks when it is the silver screen. The actual figures remain under wraps. But, based on the remuneration received by junior artists, it is safe to assume that the background dancers receive their daily income on similar lines.
One thing that has come to the fore is that now background dancing is not just a part time job; it has become a full-fledged industry and continues to dominate the way we make and perceive songs and dances.