We call on NPO Companies to use Union Agreements

The Arts Council will be providing over £28million of Portfolio funding between 2015 and 2018 to dance companies in England and Wales (not counting investment into national ballet companies and regional dance agencies).

Arts Council written guidance explicitly states that “artists’ fees for projects funded by us should be in line with recognised codes of practice set by the relevant lead bodies”. What is often misunderstood is that the Equity minimum rate for funded dance companies should be used alongside terms and conditions laid out in the Equity-ITC Ethical Manager Agreement. This Agreement gives guarantees on holiday allowance, sickness and injury pay, working hours and audio-visual recordings.

Working on union terms is about dignity and fairness at work. We deserve to have a voice in our workplaces and to be assured that when we work for a company receiving long-term public subsidy, that we should be employed on Equity minimum standards.

As a Network we have the strength to campaign for this sort of change. This time last year our Network didn’t exist, but now we have around 300 Network members and a growing social media presence. Our Network has succeeded in opening doors for us to have these sorts of conversations with managements. We have begun many positive relationships with employers because of the Network – some of whom we had never had contact with before. We really want to work constructively with managers as we believe that good employment conditions are a result of the whole industry working together.

Together we can make change.

Look out for further updates on our work in this area and encourage professional dancers you know to sign up to the Network. There is strength in numbers!

Update on Royal Opera House Negotiations

We wanted to give you a quick update on the current negotiations on dancers pay currently being undertaken between Equity and the Royal Opera House.
Equity met with Royal Opera House management on 17th November and had a constructive discussion about the issues at hand. We are now awaiting a formal response from the Royal Opera House and this is the cause of the current delay in getting more information out to you. Union negotiations always take time, but be assured that Network members will be informed when there are any developments on this matter.

While we welcome the ROH’s recent decision to increase the performance pay for dancers on the forthcoming production of Król Roger, this development is not part of the negotiations which are currently ongoing.

Beth Doran


Latest news on Royal Opera House negotiations

imageIn advance of Equity’s negotiations with ROH we asked the Freelance Dance Network for their feedback so that we could report on your opinions during negotiations.
Unfortunately this request was made more public than was our intention and dancers’ concerns have been picked up by the press. We regret this as we do not want to harm our good relations with the ROH and the negotiation process.
However, we do feel strongly that the issue of low pay for actors and dancers at the ROH does need urgently addressing and we are confident that we can work with the ROH to achieve this.
Equity will be meeting with the ROH next week, if you have any feedback in advance of the meeting, please leave any comments below.

Report from our First Meeting

Meeting Photo

We had our first Network meeting on Tuesday 14th October.

Lots of people have asked for notes on the meeting. There were many people who would have liked to have come, but couldn’t make it.

We have drafted a Meeting Report, giving what is a brief overview of the extensive and engaging discussion which was had on the night.

If you have anything to contribute to the notes here, please contact Beth on bdoran@equity.org.uk.

Download Here

Open Meeting

Open Meeting Picture
After taking some time to build the Network’s membership, we’re holding our first open meeting!

The meeting’s focus is specifically for dancers and choreographers currently working in the independent and subsidised dance sector.

You do not have to be a current Equity member to attend this meeting.

The Lecture Room, The Place

7pm – 9pm (please arrive from 6.30pm so we can start and finish on time)

Tuesday 14th October

Please arrive via the Flaxman Terrace, the Lecture Room is directly next door to the basement cafe.

Eventbrite - Equity Freelance Dance Network Open Meeting

This will be a small, focused meeting for the sharing of ideas and opinions. We will focus on the Network organisers’ ideas for the future workings of the Network. It will also be an opportunity for you to contribute to shaping the Network’s priorities and direction.

The space we have hired has limited capacity, so please register your attendance through the below link.

If you know anybody else working in this area who you think would be interested in attending, please do share this event and encourage them to sign up to the Network.

We look forward to seeing you then!

p.s. please arrive from 6.30pm so that we can start and finish on time.



If you are unable to attend, but are still interested to be involved in the discussion, we’re pleased to say that the meeting can now be privately Live Streamed.

We’re very keen to have input from the broadest possible range of dance artists, but also that the meeting is a closed environment to discuss all issues. So if you would like to attend the meeting digitally, please just leave a comment or send a request to the email address below.

So if you are out of London or just can’t attend, you can still follow the discussion and more importantly you can add your comments to the discussion, which we will try and incorporate in the conversation.