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  1. #11
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    If musicians are being paid, dancers should be paid.

    If she's throwing a hafla with recorded music and a volunteer disc jockey and charging just enough at the door to cover the cost of the venue, then fine, invite people to dance just for the heck of it.

    But F*&^ this noise about only paying some of the performers at the expense of the others.
    This. I am not always opposed to dancing for free. I've done it, and there are times when I think it's appropriate (hafla, charitable event, family event). There are several festivals here where the pay is nominal, so in exchange for your performance your instructor comps you a free class or a DVD or something small. No problem. As Anisteph mentioned, a free class seems less insulting than $5, which is what we would have ended up with.

    However, to bring in bands from out of state, pay their performance fees and travel expenses but not pay the dancers? Bull shit.

    We have tried in the past to get everyone on the same page regarding fees. You know, actually charging them and stuff. We tried to establish minimums for various types of performances to avoid undercutting. Of course, you can always charge more (and some do). It didn't work. We still have undercutters and people who dance for free. They just don't seem to understand that the instruction they've paid for and the time they've spent practicing has value.

  2. #12
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    However, to bring in bands from out of state, pay their performance fees and travel expenses but not pay the dancers? Bull shit.
    Hmm. Contributing for a couple of local bands for everyone to amuse themselves with at a special hafla, that I would go for. This sounds more like having big ambitions and effectively expecting dancers to subsidise them. Not cool.

  3. #13
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    This is not mandatory so I don't see why she shouldn't do it. You don't agree with it and by not doing it you put in your vote. If other dancers want to participate and enjoy a day, kuddos for them. Many girls don't and will not get paid or find jobs as dancers so this might be their moment to shine. If she loves to perform and if the only way she gets to do it is for free and she finds way to do it so be it. To her this might be advertisement.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjj View Post
    This is not mandatory so I don't see why she shouldn't do it.
    Because it devalues both the artists and the art itself is why she shouldn't do it. Because professional ethics. Because this kind of crap is not only why we can't have nice things, but also why we not only can't ever hope to make a LIVING with our dancing anymore, we can't even cover our own training costs anymore!

    If other dancers want to participate and enjoy a day, kuddos for them.
    NO, not kudos for them -- instead think "sorry" for them, because a generation ago a quality performer could actually earn what she was worth.


    Many girls don't and will not get paid or find jobs as dancers
    EXACTLY -- because entirely too many people will dance for free!!!

    Back a generation or two ago there was a Dancer's Union, which kept the pay high, the entertainment quality high, and the number of paying customers high -- protecting the livelihoods of those dancers. We don't have that now because there are too many candidates for too small an employment pool, and everybody will dance for free because they want their 15 minutes of fame. It's selfishness, pure and simple.


    so this might be their moment to shine.
    So she should take money out my bank account so you can get a warm fuzzy feeling from being on stage? So my son should have to go without health insurance because she wants to show off a costume? Selfish. If she's good enough to perform professionally, she's good enough to get paid.


    If she loves to perform and if the only way she gets to do it is for free
    This is a recursive cycle. A self-fulfilling prophecy. There are few good paying jobs out there because too many people will dance for free. The only way these people can get jobs is by dancing for free -- because THEY THEMSELVES have destroyed the market for their own dancing!


    To her this might be advertisement.
    Advertisement for what?! "Come see me dance for free so you can hire me for your birthday party where I will again dance for free because no one will pay me because everybody is dancing for free because it's the only gig we can get so we dance for free." ???

    What was the old anti-drug commercial slogan? "I use Coke so I can stay awake so I can work more hours so I can afford to buy more Coke so I can stay away so I can work more hours so I can buy more Coke..."


    What if your Dad or Husband was a plumber, and that's how he put food on the table? What if all the other plumbers in town decided to work for free? How is Dad or Husband going to make the house payment?

    Our dancers don't get subsidies from the government and we don't usually get grant money. If we don't work, we don't pay our gas bill. Our kids don't get food. A lot of hobbyist dancers can afford to do something for free. They have husbands or day jobs. Most pro dancers rely on teaching and gig income. They aren't doing this to "shine" on stage. They're doing it because they wanted to make doing what they loved into their career. And yet every time somebody pulls a stunt like this, they make it that much harder for the real professionals to share THEIR art, or make a living wage. Why is it that somehow we don't care about these dancers?


    If we were talking about Egypt and we were discussing how the regional pro dancers were having to find other employment (maybe even having to take to the streets) because too many students or lesser-known dancers were performing for free, this board would light up like a Christmas Tree or a thread on Shaabi Why the double standard? Why do we continue to disrespect our own professional dancers by advocating dancing for free?
    Last edited by Aziyade; 09-10-2012 at 05:35 AM.

  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Excellent points, Aziyade.

    Too many people regard dancing as "not a real job." Can't make a living dancing? Suck it up, quit having fun, and go get "a real job." Same for most jobs in the arts. I've lost count of the times people have asked "Do you get paid for doing that?" upon learning I am a writer/dancer/visual artist. "Have you sold anything?" "Are you published?" "How much do you make?" In other words: is this a "real job?"

    Oddly enough, no one ever asked me if I got paid or how much I got paid for being a paralegal or a range conservationist or a fisheries biologist. Go figure.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Oddly enough, no one ever asked me if I got paid or how much I got paid for being a paralegal or a range conservationist or a fisheries biologist. Go figure.
    That's because you clearly would only do those jobs for fun because you liked lawyers & fish. Duh!

    Aziyade, thank you for the great illustrations. Just because our chosen profession is in the arts doesn't mean our work doesn't have value. Would you dream of asking Johnny Depp to perform in your local theater's spring production for free? Nope. You would use his name and talent to hopefully draw patrons and put butts in the seats, but you would pay him. You wouldn't ask Souheir Zaki to dance for free at your show for the same reason. Granted, most of us aren't at her level, but we have put in years of training and a lot of money into our dance education.

    As I mentioned before, I think there are occasions when it's fine to dance for free. A full-on stage production designed for the ticket-buying general population is not one of them. Why do the bands rate getting paid for their performance and their travel but not the dancers? Both have spent hours getting to a professional level, so both should be paid.

  7. #17
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreaSTL View Post
    As I mentioned before, I think there are occasions when it's fine to dance for free. A full-on stage production designed for the ticket-buying general population is not one of them. Why do the bands rate getting paid for their performance and their travel but not the dancers? Both have spent hours getting to a professional level, so both should be paid.
    Yes.

    So are these are professional dancers she is asking to dance for nothing, not a bunch of students and hobbyists?

    I think it's related to the lines between the social and professional dance being so blurred. When does a hafla with a little show and maybe a couple of paid special guests cross the line?

    I guess it's your relationship to the audience that switches it from being dancing for fun for like-minded hobbyists to being an undercutter of pros.

  8. #18
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    When students and hobbyists are good enough to be asked to dance in a show with professional musicians and a paying audience, they are no longer students and hobbyists but performers in a professional show. Pay 'em and they are professionals. Don't pay them and they are ripped off amateurs.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  9. #19
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    So are these are professional dancers she is asking to dance for nothing, not a bunch of students and hobbyists? .
    I can't say for sure since the distribution list on the e-mail isn't visible. I am guessing that she sent it to everyone on her list, so it would include both pros and students.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    To me, this sounds like a logistical nightmare. Multiple bands on stage with multiple dancers? Who's going to handle the multiple set lists?

    Maybe the big festivals (TribalFest, Rakassah (sp?)) do this, but it seems like a big mess to me.

    How DO the big festivals do it? I've seen dancers performing with bands there (via YouTube, anyway)...how does that work?

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