A dance ensemble can have endless expenses before paying its artistic director: Rehearsal space, administration costs, costumes, travel… etc. If you believe these expenses are not necessary, I hope you consider that an artistic director should be paid. As mentioned above, a professional artist is a worker. We might not follow the 9am to 5pm shift, but we might get our brains and entire body working as hard as any other professional. Maybe for you, it’s all about fun and yes, it’s fun too, but it’s also tiring and challenging.
I use to be an office clerk and can say that not all my days in the office were tiring and challenging. But as a dance teacher, choreographer and director I constantly feel challenged and tired after a day of work. Wondering why? As dance teacher, I have to: Act as a mentor; provide a safe environment for my students (physical, emotional, and psychological); offer challenges that will raise them to the next level, making everyone included (regardless of ability level); provide appropriate discipline and deliver the best possible age-appropriate skills (content and materials: including movement, terminology, music, choreography, technique, and historical influences).
Not mentioning that as a choreographer I need to research, to have perseverance, to work calmly and effectively under pressure, to solve problems creatively, to have strong organisational skills and knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures.
If this doesn’t sound hard enough for you, there’s the artistic director role as well, which requires me to have a college degree, experience as a dancer, to develop and implement dance programs, to oversee the production of a dance performance, to arrange advanced classes and to develop / oversee budgets.
I love my work, and I seriously do, but I need to clarify here that with financial pressure, you will rarely see good fruits from a dance company/ensemble. Also, it’s important to mention again that an ensemble is connected to its artistic director as the unborn baby is to its mother. If there’s not enough support to one of them, they’ll rarely survive.
Unfortunately, funding not always comes from the major cultural bodies, but it also doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t fund it too. Dance and arts in general are valuable sources to our society. It’s not all about having fun it’s about developing valuable skills for any career. It’s an avenue to be challenged, to develop lifelong skills such as analytical thinking, clarity in written and spoken expression, collaboration and creativity.
If you don’t find it is a good reason for you to start sponsoring your local artists, do at least for the fun side of it. Because fun develops fulfillment and fulfillment usually develops success and successful people have a social responsibility to make the world a better place, not just take from it.
PLEASE SUPPORT Laois Youth Dance Ensemble on FUNDit campaign: