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  1. #31
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Oh I'm exaggerating, you know but I am truly disillusioned by some of the BIG NAMES who seem to enjoy talking trash about everyone they perceive is against them.

    Okay so hate is too strong a word ... how about "seriously dislikes"



    And 30 is a fab size for a workshop! But I wonder if sponsors can easily make back their investment when so "few" participants come. One instructor we looked at bringing in wanted a guaranteed 75 minimum.

    Me, I'm thinking, at 75 people, we'll just be a crowd of torsos.

    P.S.
    So when is A'isha coming back to the cornfields? Hmm? hmm?????!!

  2. #32
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default TEachers etc.

    Dear Aziyade,
    I know that a lot of people feel that they can't make enough money if they only sign 30 people for a workshop, but in all honesty, it has become about money instead of about learning in many ways. Yes, the money is nice, but in good concience, I can't let sponsors overbook classes and have people leave feeling like they got very little. I charge the sponsor $25 per student, plus expenses. If they charge $45-$50 per person for the workshop, they can still make money and meet expenses. Plus, I only charge a small courtesy fee to perform in the show and there is money to be made for the sponsor there as well....
    Mostly, when my dance company and/or I sponsor instructors, we look forward to seeing a great performance and studying with that person. If we make money above and beyond our expenses, we are really happy. Usually there is enougth for us all to collect a small wage and pay for our workshops, and add to the company coffers as well. that's not too bad for 6 people.

    I would love to come back to the Midwest any time!! I had a great time when I was in Illinois and met some really wonderful women, as well as being able to renew my acquaintance with Sedonia, whom I adore.
    (I have some coffee that I have been meaning to send Ms. Sedonia for about a month now...if she reads this, she should forgive my slowness in this matter and she WILL forgive me as soon as she drinks a cup!! )
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #33
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    Default False accusations hurt ethical sponsors

    I would like to speak in defense of Tambra, Isis and Johara who are mentioned in the article. Tambra is a good friend of mine and when Little Egypt scheduled over Tambras event she offered to postpone her event and even let Little Egypt use her venue- the Best Western motel in Carlton Tx- and was turned down because her venue was "too small". With Tambras blessing I sent out an email to hundreds of Texas and regional dancers calling on them to support both events so that neither sponsor would lose money and I personally know several troupes that attended both events.

    Isis has a large studio and a very large number of her dancers attended Little Egypts events for years until Little Egypt started to schedule their events one week away from Isis's. In addition Little Egypt had numerous ads published in The Chronicles magazine until the one issue when Habibi went out of business and The Chronicles was flooded with sponors who bought up all the advertising space.

    Three weeks ago I called Johara- who I have never met- and she told me that she had never had any contact with Little Egypt. Not an email, phone call or personal meeting and she was astounded that Little Egypt would claim that she had demanded half the profits of their event!

    Sponsoring workshops and seminar shows takes a lot of work and money and good relations with other sponsors really helps. When I did my 'Master Sunday Series' I made sure I contacted all other local and regional sponsors and and checked the dates for their events. With 13 seminars over three years my events were never within a month of a local event or two weeks of a regional event.

    Little Egypt started out by scheduling over Tambras event and continued this bad habit not only in Texas but in Florida as well! After so many times can this even be described as accidental? If Little Egypt is having money problems I suggest they look at their destructive business pratices and leave ethical people who have never harmed them alone.


    Sincerely, Rick Fink

    www.zhelene.com
    www.orientalistart.net
    www.medancecertification.org
    ***

  4. #34
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Wow, I was away from this thread and look what I've missed..

    Dear Rick, I think you are right there. If that were to happen once it would seem like probably there'd been some mistake, or like Aziyade explained clearly, there COULD be a mix up of some sort, though this is taken the wrong way by the other parties involved most of the time. "accidentally" scheduling over someone else's gigs so many times is not coincidental anymore. Hell how can one even do that..
    If word were to get out into the dance community about any teacher undermining others, that would IMO only harm THEIR reputation in the end. Causing problems for anyone else might cause them problems in the future.. Why risk that? (why undermine others anyway?) Beats me..

    Dear Aziyade, I don't think the entire community hates one another, but I think you are pretty right on the fact that rivalry is a treacherous thing here. Dance community in itself is very sensitive to this kind of thing, for in all places there are teachers/dancers who will undermine others and screw up dance relations in the area. I think by all means we OWE it to our dance, our art and the (probably biggest) part of our community of dancers and students to try and not get caught up in these things. For the sake of future dance community and simply said "getting along".. What will become of this dance when people get in the middle of conflicts? They will get bigger, spread: not good.

    In the long run the 'rotten apples' here will ruin it for themselves if we stand up and not let competition take over. I've already been hearing stories of students leaving 'those' teachers for being so territorial and competitive. Surely that doesn't make business any better for them.
    Fortunately there are more people like us, and many dancers willing to share and at least TRY to get closer to this thing called dance community sisterhood. We may never get there, but there's no point in not-trying either.

    About the signing up for workshops, I don't see how groups of more than 30/40 people could benefit anyone (I feel 30 is way too much too, but then again if the teacher can manage, why not). What is there to learn from a teacher if they have to pay attention to so many. We have a festival coming up in the area that will host a few workshops saying they've room for up to 500 people :eek: I don't see how this could ever be possible.
    My experience with workshops so far (both hosted by my teacher and others) is that smaller groups work so much better. IMO the whole point of attending/arranging a workshop should be about learning something new, special skills, training skills you already have.. How is this achievable if there's not enough room or time to reflect on what you're doing with instructors carefully watching you? I think close attention and reflection from teachers is essential in learning this dance, if there's nobody to watch everyone at the same time. How can anyone get better from that?

    Dear A'isha,
    I haven't had the pleasure of studying with Shareen el Safy yet, but my guess is there aren't many teachers who can manage a big group of students at once. I prefer being in a small group as well. So many reasons to do so, and I've had the luck of only being in small groups so far (my teacher also being a firm believer in benefits of studying in small groups).
    I'm planning to attend one of the really-huge-workshops though just to see how it goes (and to see how fast I can get close to the teacher to at least be able to see what they're doing )

    Ok, long post ends now before it gets non-sense'ish..
    Last edited by Yshka; 10-08-2006 at 06:29 PM.

  5. #35
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    Dear Yshka,

    You got it. If scheduling conflicts continue in such a regular manner you have to wonder if they are intentional.

    I live in Austin Texas and when I organize events I rely on my allies to make my events successful. These allies are not so much regular dancers but troupe leaders and other sponsors and we all work to support and back each other up. It was through my friendship with Tambra that I was able to bring Mahmoud Reda to my troupe competition and his status and drawing power were a huge boost to my event. In return I give Tambra sole vending rights and support her in her workshops in Dallas.

    These relationships are absolutely neccesary to making our scene work and most sponsors make it a habit to either help or at least not compete.

    The problems occur when sponsors egos take a turn for the worse and they decide to take more than they give. Narcisism is our scenes greatest weakness and can be the most damaging. If a solo dancer gets a big head so what? But when a sponsor decides that no one else matters but them and decide to schedule their event either too close or over another sponsors event there are real problems.

    My experience has been that while most sponsors prefer to work together that perhaps 25 percent can develope a bad case of "Malignant Narcisism" and decide that they are going to take over the scene! This hurts everybody and ultimately hurts themselves the most.

    How can you tell if a sponsor has gone mental? Massive spending on multiple headliners for one event, pie in the sky ambitions and a scary self-regard are all indicators. Eventially reality bites and they either clean up their act or go out of business.

    In spite of these problems I would like to point out that our dance has continued to grow worldwide and really is a wonderful artform.

    Sincerely, Rick Fink

  6. #36
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Fink
    In spite of these problems I would like to point out that our dance has continued to grow worldwide and really is a wonderful artform.
    Dear Rick, You got that right. It's way too good to have it spoiled that way.

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