While we might collaborate widely, we’re a disconnected community. It’s not that we don’t communicate enough: we talk lot, but we lack solidarity with each other.
This lack of solidarity means that we often get offered less than we’re worth, both in terms of money but also in terms of respect.
This promotes the mentality that we’re willing to work for free or low pay, and put up with conditions which fall below industry (and often legal) minimums. We’re seen to be grateful for any work, no matter how bad it is.
These stereotypes lead to our profession being undervalued. People start taking advantage: they see dance as a hobby, rather than as a job.
But this isn’t true. While we love what we do, we are still workers, but more than that: we are professionals and we deserve more.
If we come together as part of a formal network, full of people who want to work for change, we can build a positive movement. We can identify areas we want to campaign on, start demanding our rights and support each other for better pay and better conditions.