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  1. #91
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Brie, you have a perfectly lovely idea and hope you don't become discouraged. I have faith that you can work the bugs out, and wish I could join you for the occasion.

    I think also that pro bono for lawyers is usually much more of an emergency situation than pro bono for belly dancers!!
    No, not at all. It is true that people require legal assistance at times while they rarely require belly dancers, but the vast majority of legal situations are not emergencies. The clients often do not see it that way, of course. Some attorneys do pro bono work regularly through various legal organizations, some offer their services privately. Members of the professional association of legal assistants do a good deal of pro bono work as well. I suppose one could look at it as if we are undercutting other legal professionals by doing work for free, but no one views it that way. And lest you think that we can afford to do it because we are so well paid, I probably should mention I make more per hour teaching dance than I do as a CLA. Go figure.

  2. #92
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Pro bono

    Dear Shanazel,
    In any case, I would say one's need for a belly dancer, as opposed to one's need for a lawyer is pretty much two different things!!
    I think Brea's idea is a good one as well and I am anxious to see how it progresses. I am the Big Mouth who dared to throw the idea of why the professionals on the forum might not be responding, but I bet many of them were thinking along the same lines as me. I felt it needed to be said when she said that she only had one for sure person so far. I thought that might be one reason, in the case of the instructors/performers on the workshop circuit. I was actually trying to HELP, no matter how it might appear....
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #93
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Sponsorship

    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    A'isha-

    I do understand what you are saying about sponsorship. I am quite aware of how this is normally done...but then it is also normally done by people who are not themselves dancers, but event planners and the like, and they usually have a lot more money to throw around than I do. The purpose of this thread was to suggest the general idea of people on the forum who might be interested in doing a festival, and since I have no money I can't pay everyone's plane tickets. I am hoping to find sponsors willing to provide lodging, but a lot of it will be unpaid work for me just in setting it up. I personally feel that we all should try new things in order to make this dance more worthwhile as a career, and this (as well as the Oriental dance exchange) was just a suggestion in that direction. As I said previously, if there is no interest, there will be no festival.
    Dear Brea,
    Actually such festivals ARE often put on by dancers. I have sponsored people many times and there are several festivals in the Northwest alone. Talia is planning one in Spokane in June, with, I think 5 different teachers from out of the area. And yes, since I have sponsored people for the last 30 years, I know it is expensive and there is a LOT of unpaid work that goes on that people know nothing about if they do not do any sponsoring.
    I think there is a lot of interest. Perhaps you could do a smaller scale event for the first one and personally invite the instructors, so that people will at least have some idea of who they are paying to take classes from etc. One of the problems right now from a marketing point of view is that people have no idea what they are getting, and everything seems tenuous because of that, no matter how clear the picture in your own head might be! Here are some ideas, and I am sure other people have some, too.

    Tentatively decide on who you might like to sponsor and announce it to the forum. Keep in mind that plane fare will influence your decision. Or,ask people to email you privately and tell you who they might like to study with at such an event in order to choose instructors. Either way would give you an idea of what kind of interest there really might be. Choose just 1 or 2 for a first event.

    Take a survey and see how many people are willing to travel to attend the event based on whatever instructors you might choose to sponsor.

    Decide on what incentive you can give forum members and inform the instructors of it in advance, such as, if a person is a forum member, will instructors be willing to give them a discount on the workshops? Are you willing to make the event open to non-forum members in order to make it more financially successful?

    Decide what your budget is, based on the realities of room rentals, plane fares, putting people up, advertising, etc. and stick to it as closely as possible, and be sure to tack on your expenses into the price for the performance and workshops.

    Decide whether or not the belly dance community in your area is supportive of you and your events, or if you need to count more on outside attendance.

    I do not mean to be pushy, here. These are just some suggestions. I think it is a viable idea. It IS very scary to finance events. I know, having done it over and over again.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #94
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha,

    Now there is a new angle for one of those troll messages:

    Attention Belly Dancer! I have an emergency need for a belly dance teacher for my wife. It is imperative that she be able to perform for King Ozymandias in six weeks, and unfortunately she has no prior experience. I will pay for your travel to Outer Slobovnia, your lodging and meals, and for three lessons a day for six weeks. Name your price for lessons! Please reply by return e-mail. Serious inquiries only. Signed, the Sultan of Swat

    Shanazel

  5. #95
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    Hahaha Shanazel! I think that guy already wrote me once...

    To A'isha, and all who may be hovering, and such:

    There are a few more besides Mya who have shown interest. I am just trying to figure out a way to do it that won't destroy my pocketbook or anyone else's, and hopefully be beneficial to all. I am working on it as we speak and I am hoping to have solid dates, news, etc, for this festival, as well as information on lodging and travel. I'm a professional bus driver, for god's sake, I'll rent the bus and go pick everyone up that lives somewhere connected to the United States via road if I have to.

    Seriously, I am very sincere in my desire to put this on and make something of it if possible. I have hosted a number of events, all of which took more out of my pocket than I ever earned back...but everyone in attendance had a great time and loved it. I am hoping this event, though it is my most ambitious project to date, will go over the same way. I only deeply regret that it cannot be held in Hawai'i, because there's really nowhere like it.

  6. #96
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    OK! Date and place have been decided! Please see the website for information. Venue is on its way!

  7. #97
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    that's good news brea! i think a'isha's suggestions are useful as well. thanks a'isha!

  8. #98
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Site

    Dear Brea,
    Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #99
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post

    I'm a professional bus driver, for god's sake, I'll rent the bus and go pick everyone up that lives somewhere connected to the United States via road if I have to.

    Seriously, I am very sincere in my desire to put this on and make something of it if possible.
    Brea that is so sweet of you to think of hiring a bus and driving everyone!!! I am sure you are sincere in your desire too. The reason for mild reaction is, many professional teachers/performers usually have their schedules full for atleast 6 months to year. Hope it will all work out for you.
    Last edited by Viv; 01-02-2008 at 05:04 AM. Reason: fixed quote coding

  10. #100
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    Hi janaki,

    Yes, I understand that people are quite busy. I still have had quite a good response (mainly via PMs) so keep an eye on the website for more information! Again, anyone wishing to be involved in ANY way, please write to me, leave a comment here or on the site! I am very excited about this festival and hope it will go over really well.

    Aloha all! I hope to hear from you.

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