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  1. #81
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Festival, etc.

    Dear Brea,
    No one as yet has brought this up, so I might as well be the Bad Guy and do so.
    Some of us make our living at teaching and performing dance. When we go to teach and perform, usually someone contacts us, wishing to sponsor us. ( Most of us do not offer our services without first being personally asked to do so.This would be a breach of dance etiquette in most dance circles.)
    The sponsors pay our way to and from the event, put us up in a home or hotel, etc. and pay us an agreed on amount for our workshops and performances. The sponsor and featured instructor have a signed contract as far as what is expected of each person, and the event proceeds from that place onward. The sponsor makes money by charging over and above for the classes and show, after the instructor has named a price. Sometimes the price is negotiable.
    Because this is the way we earn our living, some of us are hesitant to become involved. Once the pattern is broken and we start paying our way to places, offering to just trade out dance knowledge, etc. then we will earn no money at all for what we do. We also may not feel too good about other professionals who are doing it for free, so to speak. Perhaps some of the professionals have already been in contact with you privately instead of announcing that they are available on the forum, I don't know.
    There now, I have said it and I expect some repercussions, but that, I think is the heart of the matter and why you might not be getting such a strong response. I think it is a good idea, but it might need some tweaking, with specific teachers asked to teach by whoever is sponsoring the event, and a more solid commitment from all parties concerned in the event. I hope you will take this in the spirit in which it is given. It is meant as an encouragement and not as a criticism.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  2. #82
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    You aren't a Bad Guy, A'isha, you are a Practical Guy. Even so, it would be a shame to hold it too strongly against any professional who was occasionally willing to join in something "just because." Even attorneys do pro bono work from time to time.

  3. #83
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance, etc

    Dear Shanazel,
    In most of our experience, when there is something that we do "just because" usually someone else is making money because of our hard work.
    My dance company usually does two free events a year. One is a community event in which all people, including the sponsors, donate their time and energy. The public attends for free. We also allow ourselves to work for free one other time during the year when we are approached by one cause or another that we think is good. These are our pro bono work.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #84
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Those are perfectly lovely pro bono "just because" events. Just because it benefits the public, just because it assists in a good cause, and just because you want to are all legitimate reasons to donate time, talent and knowledge. It's one thing to undercut another teacher by offering to do for free a job she has been offered for pay. It is another all together to voluntarily forego one's own fee for whatever "just because" seems appropriate.

    (I expected some repercussions when I wrote that post.)

  5. #85
    Member TribalDancer's Avatar
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    I guess I didn't realize this was a "teachers will teach for free" event?

  6. #86
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Is it?

  7. #87
    Member TribalDancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Is it?
    A'isha's post seems to claim so. Maybe I missed that. The thread did grow fast.

  8. #88
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    Um...hello all. I don't know why it is claimed that this was supposed to be 'free'. I believe I mentioned earlier that teachers would be able to teach their workshops at the rates they wished, and that I would reimburse based on the amount of money the show made equally. This is the first time I have attempted a show of this particular type, which was why I asked for advice. If people either are unwilling or unable to attend, or think I am generally not to be trusted, I won't have the show. Believe me, I would not be making tons of money on this...probably spending a lot of my own though. I have done that for many events I have hosted just to be able to have them, and I am quite poor. However, I would like to inform everyone that I also make money dancing and teaching. I am not out to cheat anybody. I just thought it would be a fun idea. I always felt that forums should assist the people involved, help them brainstorm to think of new ways and ideas, to generally find new ways to make this a profitable career choice for everyone. Perhaps I am going about it the wrong way. I had the idea and hoped people would be interested. If they are not, then the festival will not happen.

  9. #89
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Show, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Um...hello all. I don't know why it is claimed that this was supposed to be 'free'. I believe I mentioned earlier that teachers would be able to teach their workshops at the rates they wished, and that I would reimburse based on the amount of money the show made equally. This is the first time I have attempted a show of this particular type, which was why I asked for advice. If people either are unwilling or unable to attend, or think I am generally not to be trusted, I won't have the show. Believe me, I would not be making tons of money on this...probably spending a lot of my own though. I have done that for many events I have hosted just to be able to have them, and I am quite poor. However, I would like to inform everyone that I also make money dancing and teaching. I am not out to cheat anybody. I just thought it would be a fun idea. I always felt that forums should assist the people involved, help them brainstorm to think of new ways and ideas, to generally find new ways to make this a profitable career choice for everyone. Perhaps I am going about it the wrong way. I had the idea and hoped people would be interested. If they are not, then the festival will not happen.

    Dear Brea,
    It is not that I am not interested, but usually when one has to pay one's own way, there is a huge hole in income for the instructor, which is why we are sponsored. It is just about the same as working for free. I did not mean free as in the instructor will not be paid, but free in the sense that if travel is not paid and one must pay one's own hotel etc, then income is eaten away. I don't think anyone here intimated that you are out to cheat anyone. Usually travel and lodging/food expenses are handled by the sponsor and not by the instructor. The sponsor then add her/his expenses onto the price that the instructor charges for the class and performance. Since you make money teaching and performing, I guess I thought you would understand about that. I apologize for any misunderstanding on my part and I do know that you are not out to cheat anyone. That never crossed my mind.

    Dear Shanazel,
    I think also that pro bono for lawyers is usually much more of an emergency situation than pro bono for belly dancers!!

  10. #90
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    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.

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