There is a uniting mentality amongst the dance community: everyone is frustrated by the unfair pay and treatment of dancers within the industry. In Toronto, there is a cyclical life to this conversation. First, an instigating event (ex. The MMVAS), followed by public outcry (Anger! Facebook rants! #HASHTAGS!), mellowed out by attempts at rational discussion (“the community must unite; say NO!”), then it fades away and rests dormant in the quiet of inaction until it is awoken again. And so the inevitable happens: nothing. The problem is not with what the community is saying. The anger, the frustration, the passion behind the debates, and asking why, is all warranted and necessary. The issue is that it is just talk. Everyone talks. But who changes their behaviour?
On Saturday, May 28th I will be a speaker at INTERPOSE, a FREE seminar organized by Thomas Colford for dancers along with my fellow ladies from Booked Caroline Torti and Bree Wasylenko. We will be discussing the systemic issues behind low pay and what action YOU can take to influence progress. As far as I’m concerned that is the most important piece of the puzzle: YOU. If you or I do not take responsibility for how our actions impact the industry, set the example and stand up for ourselves then who are we to complain? There is no unification of “us” or path to just treatment and payment unless the behaviour of each individual backs their words and supports the foundation of positive change.
The seminar will be formatted in the style of TED Talks with presentations by Jon Drops Reid of Equity Canada and The Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists with the intention of informing and unifying dancers to improve the welfare of our community.
Date: Sat. May 28th
Location: The Underground Dance Center 220 Richmond St West
For more information check the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1684286145122446/?active_tab=highlights