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Division in the dance community (any dance community)


  • Division in the dance community (any dance community)

    I felt compelled to write this article because many ask me why so and so didn't show up or why was so and so not invite, etc.... It is hard when there is division in the dance community. It truly serves no purpose.


    Have you ever wondered why some dance communities have "divisions"? Have you ever wondered why instructors, promoters, dancers just don't unite and be one happy family?

    This is not an easy topic to pin point why some dance communities are divided. Big or small it doesn't matter. The dance commuities that are divided will have factors that are common to each other. It is not easy at all to over come some factors that divide a dance community however many factors could be worked out.

    We the dancer/participant/promoter/organizer have a big role in the success of a dance community. Here is one good example...(this happened at one HUGE city and the person that did this is a good friend and well respected in the dance community). This person, "A", was host to a salsa social that ran for years. As a matter of fact it was the longest and best salsa social in that city. One day "A" realized a big event was on the SAME DAY of the social. What to do?

    ■Just have it and make the attendees feel torn (what to attend, the social or the big event)
    ■OR... announce that the social will be cancelled and encourage others to go to the bigger event
    "A" chose to cancel the social (gave up the $$$ that it was bringing in) for the sake of the salsa dance community. "A" knew this was the right thing to do. WHY? So to not create any kind of division. If "A" held the social that day, it would have "tested" loyalties. THAT WOULD HAVE MADE PEOPLE CHOOSE WHO THEY LIKE. That is unfair to the dancer who just wants to have fun. Why make them choose?

    That was a PERFECT example of working for the community. Big events do not happen everyday. Socials, parties are common.

    STUDENTS, DANCERS, INSTRUCTORS, PROMOTERS, ORGANIZERS - All can help in generating a great dance scene. Some ways are:

    Don't take sides and be real - Regardless of the size of your dance community, DON'T feel that youhave to take sides. At the end of the day it is YOU who will have to deal with not taking advantage of the big events thrown in your town. Believe me, a big event like the WEST COAST SALSA CONGRESS is attended by many in LA and the socials, parties and other smaller events in LA almost all stop and go to the congress. NO SIDES are taken. That congress UNITES everyone. That is how it should be. The bigger events are meant to UNITE all of the dancers in the community. It is not menat to create division as some would think.
    Don't be selfish - If you host a dance or smaller event, give it up for that one day for the bigger event. By giving it up the message you just sent was "you are for the community". Otherwise you just told many you are selfish and could care less about what is going on in the dance community. Others will also wonder "why didn't he or she attend this nice event". You just placed your self in the spot light for scrutiny.
    Attend the big events hosted for your community - When promoters/organizers host events in your town like yearly events, support it. Join in. Take advantage of the situation. It is a lot of work to throw a big event. Imagine throwing an event for a few thousand dancers. What does it take to pull it off? It is a lot of work. You will benefit from the event because the instructors that are brought in are not from your dance community that you don't get to see everyday nor do you have easy access to. Even if the instructor lives just 4 hours away, that is still 4 hours away! Not so easy access. Your dancing elevates. You get to dance with a variety of dancers. You get better. You make new friends. This is the best part. It doesn't mean that you re NOT LOYAL to the other instructor if you attened the bigger event. You actually just did yourself a disservice but not attending and you becamea part of creating a division.
    INSTRUCTORS, encourage your students to attend - This is important. It has to be about the student and NOT YOU. When you make it about you, the community suffers. There is no growth and you just created the division. The bigger event is meant to UNITE and not divide. You should make every effort to attend yourself. Show your students that you are also about being a part of the community.
    Promote the big event - The event is for the community. In the spirit of unity, help promote the event for the community. If the event is no longer heldt he following year, that is because it was not supported. This happens all over the country. I do understand not all events will be supported however if you don't support the bigger events, you just forced yourself to spend more travelling to get your dance fix. Bigger events are held once a year. So why not support it if it is good enough?
    Don't feel bad attending the bigger event - This is really about YOU. Think about it...if you didn't attend because are so worried you are going to hurt the feelings of your favorite instructor (who will not attend the big event) do you really think that person can give you the fun you would have experienced at the big event? Do you really think that you will learn all that was taught at the big event? Do you really think you will meet those dancers from out of town the next day, week or month? This goes back to being real! If your instructor is making you feel bad about attending, you will not grow. You will always miss opportunities to enjoy dancers at the big events and opportunities to improve. AND enjoy what your community is offering YOU.
    These are just some things everyone can do to encourage unity instead of division. I hope this helps. Everyone can help in the growth of the dance community. I hope I have shed some light as to how to avoid division.

    Feel free to pass thing along to others. It could help a dance community that is divided.


    April 17, 2012

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