Us Against Them

Ahhhh auditions. We all know how they go. Last Tuesday, however, someone held a..Not..audition. Okay, I know that doesn’t make sense, but it was a good thing, I promise! I’ll explain later…

I often times have to remind myself there was a lot I was exposed to at a young age that many just weren’t. That, coupled with the fact that (once again) common sense is not common, usually helps me be silent when I come across anything that makes no sense to me. While silence can sometimes be a negative way of dealing with certain situations, I find that in cases of ignorance, it’s really the best thing to do…at least until you can get to your computer and blog about it. More recently, for some reason, I’ve been feeling this “Am I in the twilight zone?!” type-a-way about dance. Well, really I’ve been feeling this way about dancers. Are they not aware just HOW much of a demand there is for dancers??? Is this not evident to everyone but me??? Am I alone in this world??? Will Jane the Virgin ever get her happy ending…

I’m just saiyan…

Get it while it’s HOT!

“The two basic terms used most often by economists are supply and demand. The amount of something that is available — the supply — and the amount of something that people want — the demand — make up a working market. “
The Environmental Literacy Counsel

Now I’m far from a sales person, but I know a thing or two about economics to understand how supply and demand works. Hell, if I never attended school in my life I at least know I buy things, therefore I know there is a specific relationship between the things that we as consumers want, and their value (I’m sure we’ve all experienced 1 or 2 black Fridays). In recent years, the commercial market for dance has increased immensely due to the popularity of shows like ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew), SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance), and just last month WOD (World Of Dance). This means there is a literal NEED for dancers…So how is it that most haven’t figured this out yet?

HA! Oh they know. Here’s the problem:

Dancers would MUCH rather compete with each other and suffer terrible working conditions, than to band together and collectively work to make this a suitable profession for everyone. Why?? It’s what we’ve been taught. It has been drilled in us time and time again, that the person standing next you in class is your competition. Entertainment is about who’s the best, prettiest, most popular, and what the “people” want to see. But what if that’s not really true? What if it doesn’t have to be that way?

Here it comes

You have to ask yourself: “who in their right mind would decide to work…and earn nothing?” That’s not logical for a surgeon, so why should dancers have to endure so much for so little? Maybe we’re not saving lives but…maybe we are. In our own way, we make up a percentage of the people in the world that are healers. Passionate beings that can cure humanity and we allow bullies to tell us what to do. Why? Do you know what would happen if no one showed up to an MSA, Clear, Bloc, or any other agency audition? If dancers came together and said “yea, this room is too small to fit us all in here so, we’re not gonna dance until the conditions are better. *smiley face emoji*”? REALLY THINK ABOUT IT. They need US. Not the other way around. We have to start collectively practicing our rights as professionals and stop putting up with being the bottom of the entertainment totem pole. The majority of the huge artists we see now, can’t do a set without dancers. It’s not like it was back in the day, when you could have Michael or Prince up there alone entertaining the SHIT out of everyone! Times have changed, and so has the climate of entertainment.

Know Your Worth

On Tuesday, June 13th 2017, a choreographer/ Artistic director by the name of Torey Nelson held a class. But this wasn’t your ordinary class. For one, it was FREE. And yes, there are plenty of free dance classes you can take in NYC. However, not so many of those are usually taught by the likes of David Thomas, include executives from Atlantic Records as speculators, and have artists like Kranium show up and show love. I know what you’re thinking: “um…that’s an audition..no?” and in many ways, yes. It was an opportunity for everyone in the room to show why they should be picked for the job, in a HOT ass, sweaty ass environment that probably wasn’t very conducive to good movement. But you have to commend anyone who cares enough about the condition of dance to want to (and then actively) do something about it. Torey has a goal to unify New York, and a passion that drives it. And although we still have a ways to go as a unit, let’s at least be thankful there are those few that have the faith change is coming. I for one have hope in us; hope in humanity as a whole. I believe people genuinely want to do the right thing, and are really just looking to belong. So if what we share is our love for this thing called dance, it can’t be so difficult to find common ground on the things that stop us from doing just that: LOVING TO DANCE.

But hey, what do I know? I just MOVE.