The ABDC 2015 is accepting teacher applications

The Austin Belly Dance Convention is super thrilled to announce that we are now accepting teacher applications for the ABDC 2015 in Austin, TX: May 29-31, 2015!

We are looking for workshops and presentations that are associated with all styles of Belly Dance performance, for example Middle Eastern dance, folk dance, tribal dance, sword, veil, zils, dumbek, music, make-up, costuming, history, culture, and production. We mean any topic!

For the application form and details please visit: www.theabdc.com/want-to-teach. Deadline is Sept. 1, 2014.

We can’t wait to see what you have to offer and create an exciting schedule for the ABDC 2015!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading: in return for $150, a teacher is to provide a two hour workshop with props, handouts, and music; a professional performance, and personal promotion of the event, including distribution of post cards. She pays her own travel costs, hotel, meals, and transportation to and from the event site. Furthermore, she grants ABCD the right to use her image and videoed performance for any purpose they see fit without further compensation or input into how said image is used. She also agrees to shoulder responsibility for anything up to and including personal injury incurred due to negligence on the part of ABCD or the Holiday Inn.

ABCD essentially provides materials telling teachers what to do, sound system for musical/other equipment provided by the teacher, a tee shirt, and a downloadable video file of the apparently uncompensated professional performance.

Are you serious?
 
“Maybe I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading...”
In regards to your confusion Shanazel....

1. “in return for $150, a teacher is to provide a two hour workshop with props, handouts, and music; a professional performance, and personal promotion of the event, including distribution of post cards.”

An instructor has the ability to make up to $305 for a 2 hour workshop and performance, which can include their student dance company. They also have the opportunity to increase revenue through selling their merchandise on a vendor table provided for free and staffed by the ABDC. There is also space for instructors to give private lessons during the convention.

Bringing your own music, props, and handouts is standard, e.g. If I am teaching a veil workshop, I do not expect the producers of an event to bring me a veil to use and nor am I going to teach to music that the producers brings for me.

Asking a teacher to handout postcards (provided for and mailed to the instructor by the ABDC) for an event they are participating in, is a way for the instructor to promote herself, as well as the event. In addition, the ABDC is promoting the instructor in multiple forums and media.


2. “Furthermore, she grants ABCD the right to use her image and videoed performance for any purpose they see fit without further compensation or input into how said image is used.”

In regards to image rights, the instructor is only granting usage for promotional materials, not commercial purposes. This once again is a standard part of workshops contracts. If an instructor does not agree to this, it can be included in the contract, as noted several times in the ABDC teacher policy: “additional responsibilities are negotiated with individual contracts.” In addition, the ABDC usage of peoples’ images for promotional materials is a great way to promote the person in the picture.


3. “She also agrees to shoulder responsibility for anything up to and including personal injury incurred due to negligence on the part of ABCD or the Holiday Inn.”

Agreeing to a liability statement is also standard with any contract, albeit taking classes at a dance studio or producing shows in a theater.


4. “She pays her own travel costs, hotel, meals, and transportation to and from the event site.”

At this time, we are asking applicants that if they choose to apply, they will need to pay for travel, hotel, and food. We decided to implement this system, as have several events, in order to help support instructors not only in our community but also those who are breaking into the workshop circuit. We are offering opportunities for instructors to teach and for students to take from a variety of instructors while not going into the red in order to do so.

And of course, any instructor who decides that this financial arrangement would not work for them does not need to apply.


5. I am not sure what you mean “ABCD essentially provides materials telling teachers what to do...” Are you alluding to the fact that we will give instructors information letters and checklist with important deadlines as organizational tools?


6. And I am not sure what you mean “ABCD essentially provides materials..., sound system for musical/other equipment provided by the teacher....” We provide all sound systems. We are asking if an instructor needs special equipment, e.g. strobe light, disco ball, scrim, or video screen that they would provide it.


7. “ABCD essentially provides materials... a tee shirt, and a downloadable video file of the apparently uncompensated professional performance.”

In addition to payment, vending space, and promotion, we are also giving a t-shirt (which costs the ABDC money to produce and which many events expect instructors to purchase at their own cost) and a professional video of their performance, which she or he can use as they would like.

I hope this clarifies the ABDC Teaching Policies for you.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
So I didn't misunderstand: you are offering "opportunities for instructors to teach" in return for a small fee, a tee shirt, and "think of the great publicity."

I've been a national teacher in two disciplines for forty years. I've read many contracts; I've written many contracts. The terms offered by ABCD are substandard for teachers who must travel to the venue: standard terms include room, travel costs, and meals. What you've done is keep the standard contract clauses that benefit ABCD and the venue and eliminate any standards that benefit contract employees.

If you can't afford national professional teachers on professional terms, hire locally and be done with it. Taking advantage of those desperate to break into the workshop circuit may be legal but it is not ethical. You probably would object to an amateur dancer undercutting a professional; why then is it okay to set up a system by which professional teachers are undercut by amateur teachers? Amateurs are likely to be the only people who apply for these positions; professionals expect to be paid properly.

Do your headliners agree to these terms?

End of rant. Have a good weekend.
 

Samira_dncr

New member
I have zero issues with the way that the ABDC is organizing their workshop teachers. I suspect it is very much similar to what I do at the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive. I hire nationally recognized headliners, and they get all the bells and whistles: travel, accommodations, baggage, food, and fees. The whole shebang. They also get tons of advertising, since I plaster their names all over the place and spend close to 10K a year on promotion.

That said, there is no possible way for the event to pay lodging, travel, and food for 40+ instructors. So we have another option for instructors who are looking to build their name and their following. For instructors coming from out of town, we pay them for their workshop and give them a full package to the event. For local teachers, they just get paid to teach--end of story. These are not typically instructors who have a "name" or would be a "draw" to the event. Yes, the instructors pay their own hotel, food, and travel, but they still are getting compensated for their teaching time. It's entirely up to them if they choose to accept these terms or not. Some of the professionals I have worked don't feel this works for them, and that's totally fine. If they reach a point in their career that they would be a strong draw, I'll consider them as a headliner. Meanwhile, this is a way that instructors can build their name while attending an event for free that they'd likely be attending anyway.

You totally don't have to agree with this approach, Shanazel. I'd agree that the terms would be substandard for a NATIONALLY KNOWN TEACHER; however, these spots are not geared towards nationally known teachers. They are opportunities for up and coming local and regional people.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
The terms are substandard for any teacher in any field who has enough professional training and background to teach classes in a public arena. If a teacher does not have professional training and background then the venue is doing event attendees a disservice by offering sub-standard instructors

In my mundane life, I am an internationally known teacher of needlework. Even in my early days, I never accepted a job at a foreign venue that did not pay travel, room, and per diem for meals. In fact, I was never offered a job that didn't provide these things in addition to quite a decent teaching fee. Ethical organizations do not expect teachers to pay to teach any more than they would expect professional dancers to pay to dance.

If an "up and coming" teacher believes that teaching as an all but uncompensated no-name among 40+ other no names while overshadowed by well-paid headliners is going to give her or his career a boost- well, as Mr. Barnum noted, there is a sucker born every minute.
 

Samira_dncr

New member
This isn't about the quality of the teacher. It's about the quality of their draw. And, for the record, I've hired many many regional teachers that used teaching at my event to springboard into bigger and better things. I've even re-hired some of these same teachers as headliners once their names were established.

This all boils down to the ability of the event and/or teacher to DRAW vs. DELIVER.

Draw is the ability to attract people to the event.
Deliver is the ability of the event to satisfy the attendees.

Headliners have DRAW.
Regional teachers have DELIVER.

I hire headliners based on DRAW. I hire the rest of the staff based on DELIVER. To even be considered to teach at my event, you have to have 5+ years experience. So, these aren't baby teachers. They are experienced teachers who want an opportunity to be seen, get recognized, get paid, and attend a large event for free. For the record, my full package is close to $600, so it's not like they are merely getting a tee shirt.
 
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Chuck

New member
I have to agree with Shanazel, needlework is mundane. :) Up and coming teachers get loads of exposure from teaching at events with "headliners" . Every headliner has to start somewhere, they are not born at the top, they work their way up. And those that stay on top remember what it was like to be at the bottom and help and encourage the newbies.

If an event has 40+ teachers or even 50+ teachers, not all of them are going to be "headliners" it is a great way for dancers to sample many styles, get new ideas and again, help support and encourage new teachers.

If they do not like the rules on being hired and what is expected of them, they do not have to come, but that just shows a lot about their desire to "make it" if they think that they are too good to "pay a few dues".... But that is just my thoughts and in no way reflects on the thinking of the management or ownership of the people who make Pop Tarts, blueberry ones are the best, really, they are! :lol:
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Shanazel didn't say needlework is mundane. Really, my dear, you need to read things more carefully. Who are you, anyway?

I'm happy your system works for all concerned, Samira. Despite this disagreement, I have great respect for your input on the forum and wish you well.
 

Samira_dncr

New member
No worries Shanazel. I do understand the other side of the coin. I've been a professional dancer and made my living doing that while I was in college. I know it is important to pay artists, and I've always done my best to pay fair wages as much as possible.,,even compensating performers. And I don't charge dancers to perform in the festival either. This hybrid sort of approach that I started using evolved over time and I still refine it. I want to clarify that the "featured" positions at my event are NOT appropriate for true headliners. They really are for up and coming folks who are trying to pay their dues and get established. The actual headliners get all the good stuff and smothered with love.

BTW, Chuck is the organizer of Tribal Fest.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I found that out when I went over to Chuck's other thread. Hope he'll be a regular and not just a drop in advertiser. Hear that, Chuck?

Hugs to you, Samira. If you ever want to take a class in middle eastern embroidery, let me know and I'll waive the fee. ;)
 
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Safran

New member
I taught my first workshop outside my country with a deal, which was something in the lines of that. I had a plan to attend the event anyway, and I found the package offered to "newbie" teachers quite satisfactory. Besides, I know the organiser, and I have attended her events before - she is dedicated to what she does, and she is not out to make money off the new instructors...

However, I know plenty of events, where you are welcome to teach as long as you bring in a certain number of participants yourself. It seems to be a functioning business model, but I am not sure this is something I would aim for...
 

Chuck

New member
More teachers need to help push the events more... Back in the day it wasn't as hard to draw a crowd, now with so many events, and money being tighter, promoters are looking at teachers who will help,,,, Teachers have a built in fan base, they have FaceBook pages, blogs, twitter, Instagram and all that. If you are a teacher and you want to have an edge over others, let the promoter know that you will use all the avenues you have to help promote the event.

If you are working on a % it is really too your benefit. If you have a fuller class, again, the promoter see's that, and promoters talk and word gets out who is a "helpful" teacher and who is not... again, great for your long term lifestyle...
 

Safran

New member
Promoting? Of course! I think it is a mutually beneficial activity - both the instructor and the event get more visibility that way. But what I had in mind were events where you are supposed to show up with your own group of students.
 

Samira_dncr

New member
I taught my first workshop outside my country with a deal, which was something in the lines of that. I had a plan to attend the event anyway, and I found the package offered to "newbie" teachers quite satisfactory. Besides, I know the organiser, and I have attended her events before - she is dedicated to what she does, and she is not out to make money off the new instructors...

However, I know plenty of events, where you are welcome to teach as long as you bring in a certain number of participants yourself. It seems to be a functioning business model, but I am not sure this is something I would aim for...

Yeah, I'd find the tacky. It's my job as the producer to fill the classes. And I work hard to make sure I hire the right people and create a schedule and topics that are attractive to attendees. And sometimes I get it wrong and don't get enough students in a session to event pay the teacher, let alone the room. However, the teacher still gets the contracted pay & trade. It's not the job of the teacher to bring the students with them. IMHO.
 

Samira_dncr

New member
But I do agree with Chuck that teachers should help promote their own classes. I do a lot of promotion and have a fairly hefty ad budget, but it still helps when the teachers appear excited to participate. Win-win.
 
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