+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 19 of 19
Like Tree6Likes
  • 1 Post By maurazebra
  • 1 Post By *Shira*
  • 1 Post By rjasso
  • 1 Post By rjasso
  • 1 Post By LiesaB.
  • 1 Post By rjasso

Thread: Troupe "contracts"




  1. #1
    Official BHUZzer PetiteNadirah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kirksville, MO USA
    Posts
    571

    Troupe "contracts"

    I have been having some issues with a few girls in my troupe getting their own shows and undercutting the community they are dancing in. I have no problem with troupe members dancing at other events without the troupe, but I DO have a problem with them undercutting the bellydance community and then being associated with me.

    I dont currently have a contract for troupe members to sign, but I feel like there might be a need for it... "rules of conduct" so to speak, that go along with being associated with my business. I also would like to include a portion stating that my choreographies are not to be performed at events not sanctioned by me/the troupe and/or without my permission and that they are not to be taught to non-members of the troupe without my permission.


    Would anyone be willing to share their troupe contracts with me for reference? I am not sure what I should be including but I'd like to make it as professional as possible and not leave anything out that could become an issue in the future.

    Thanks in advance!

    (p.s. if you don't want to share the contract on here, feel free to email me a copy if you dont mind helping out! PetiteNadirah@gmail.com)


  2. #2
    Master BHUZzer casbahdance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,600

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    These are professional (business) and moral considerations.

    I have a troupe contract, although the ladies who usually dance with me are not professionals or advanced students seeking paid work, so it's not complete in that regard, but I can tell you that I have "rules" about dancing the choreo as a group outside of events for which I have booked them, about dancing the choreo as an individual, and about teaching it which, I think, are all valid and appropriate "conduct" issues to include.

    It might get a bit sticky in the "getting their own shows and undercutting the community they are dancing in . . . (a)nd then being associated with me."

    Perhaps you could phrase this like "(Troupe Name) dancers who undercut the community will be dropped from the troupe immediately." You must also define undercutting for them, perhaps including examples of appropriate rates to charge, indicating these rates are subject to amendment over time.

    Like I wrote above, this could be tricky business but if it's the right thing to do, then all that "trickiness" will simply have to be overcome.

    Good luck!

    Deborah


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,060

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    If you have firm rules of conduct that you want troupe folks to adhere to, then a contract is important, and references to and review of the contract on a fairly frequent basis is also important so that the expectations stay top-of-mind. People get enthusiastic and carried away and etc etc so easily.

    Also suggest you supplement the contract with practical examples. Maybe you could even do some surveys on bhuz to establish creditability! Such as:
    1) Venues don't give raises when 'you get better.' They are more likely to try to push your pay lower. If you start at $50 a night, you'll be dancing there for $50 three years later... if you are lucky.

    2) Venues talk to each other. If you charge X $50, Y will call X up before calling you to see what you charge.

    3) It is expensive to perform. Swords and zills 'disappear.' If you use a car for transport, you incur wear-and-tear, gas and parking expenses, and on occasion traffic tickets or accidents. Costumes get torn, worn and dirty fast when there's no real place to change... and a repeat customer expects a constant rotation of costumes. Your shoes will wear out fast dancing on non-standard flooring (concrete, platforms with holes). Boom boxes get damaged or stolen. Veils get ripped and greasy. [Add your own cautions here.]
    emma-bessa likes this.


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Posts
    7,669

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    I know your primary focus is dealing with the undercutting behavior, but here are other things you may want to address in a troupe contract:

    What percentage of rehearsals you expect troupe members to attend
    Troupe dues or contributions to rehearsal space
    Costuming guidelines
    How payment from paying gigs will be used
    Public conduct when in costume (no smoking or drinking alcohol, etc)
    Use of your choreography in performances outside of official troupe shows
    emma-bessa likes this.


  5. #5
    Official BHUZzer PetiteNadirah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kirksville, MO USA
    Posts
    571

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Public conduct when in costume (no smoking or drinking alcohol, etc)
    YES!

    One time we had a girl in the troupe who got drunk (I was unaware at the time or she would NOT have gotten on stage..) and when she missed a small part of the choreography she flat out turned around to look at another dancer and find where she was... not even the slightest attempt to act like she knew what she was doing.. gahh
    ~*~Petite Nadirah and Raqs Fusion Bellydance~*~
    "Like" us on Facebook!


  6. #6
    Established BHUZzer rjasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    857

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    I have a contract with 27 really specific rules and expectactions that dancers have to sign before they join my company. I also update it about every 3-6 months, since there is always something 'new' and I am learning in the process. I have had my company for 2 years and this has worked very well. Sometimes dancers do things they are not supposed to do but I always use the 'contract' as a way to modify their behavior. I am posting some of the essential ones here.

    1 Be on time to Rehearsal!! If running late please text or call.

    2 Let me know ahead of time when you will be out of town.

    3 Be on time to your gigs. I usually arrive between 20-30minutes earlier to a show.

    4 If you know you will be late to a show, make sure to call client or call me.

    5 Items that you are required to have for a show are beige/nude booty shorts, shoes, and jewelry. I provide most of the costuming and props but I’ll let you know beforehand what props/costumes you need to bring for any show.

    6 Please always have nice hair and make-up; including fake eyelashes.

    7 If you miss a rehearsal or come late without prior notification you might not be scheduled for shows that particular weekend or might be taken off the schedule. You required to stay for the entire rehearsal. You can help make corrections or mark in the back.

    8 If you dance independently or collaborate with other groups, you are not to perform Zahira Dance Company choreography. If I become aware of such behavior you will be asked to leave the company.

    9 Always check each other’s costumes before a show and make sure it is all adjusted and on the “right place”. Costuming malfunctions are a nightmare and can ruin an entire show.
    emma-bessa likes this.


  7. #7
    Established BHUZzer rjasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    857

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    10 If I texted you or emailed you requesting your availability or confirmation for a show and you don’t get back to me on time don’t be upset that I had to offer it so someone else.

    11 Please do not pass out personal information to clients or “interested” guys. Always give them a business card and tell them to call the company for inquiries.

    12 Do not ask for food or accept food at the end of your shows. Most importantly, do not stay and eat if invited. Never, never, never accept alcoholic beverages. The only thing you are allowed to ask for is water (I feel very strongly about this). If A show is 2-3 hours away, or we entertain for 3 hours at a corporate function, I will ask client to feed dancers as part of the contract/agreement. For weddings, private parties or events that last less than 1 hour, then no food.

    13 Never come out in costume before you start a show and always cover yourself after the show. Bring a caftan or a veil for that. When we pass out business cards after a show always be covered. If people ask to take pictures that’s fine but don’t walk around in costume.

    14 For weddings please wear a nice outfit, no jeans or casual shoes. For house parties and restaurants you can use nice jeans but still dress nicely.

    15 If I book you for a solo or if you are in charge of a ‘group gig’ for that night, you must send me a text or email reporting how things went. I expect the report the same day after the gig or the next day, latest.

    16 Always behave in the most classy and professional way. People pay a lot of attention to our behavior.
    emma-bessa likes this.


  8. #8
    Official BHUZzer Sabine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    421

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Great advice so far.
    I agree; if it's your troupe, you can set the rules, and there should be a contract or at least a discussion of the WRITTEN guidelines.

    In my troupe rules, I even have specifics about no smoking, because I simply can't stand it. I also spell out my policy for troupe payments (the director/business gets 20% off the top before we split the rest--I have to pay for business cards, website, flyers, troupe costume pieces, music, etc etc, AND I am the one working out all the booking.)

    You defeintely need to lay it out for the undercutters. AND, don't forget if they are off doing their own thing with another troupe they have less commitment to your group. In my troupe, dancers can be soloists but not with a second pro troupe--too much time conflict.


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    1,701

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    I too am quite specific in my expectations and troupe guidance.
    That's me.
    Some things depend on what is Your mission statement, what are Your expectations, what is Troupe to you. What can Troupe expect of You.
    Did you form the troupe, are you the director, how loose is the group, is is mostly peers or widely divergent...etc ???? Lots of questions to ask oneself, so that a shape, a cohesive form can evolve. And this continually evolves: once you have a shape, it is not static and unchanging. Continually re-evaluate and re-assess. Research and educate yourself on the art & maintenance of groups. Democracies, benign dictatorships, fiefdoms, there's lots of variety.
    People come & go, people change - I am always here, doing Troupe. :-) It is clearly my creative vision but without the people in the troupe, it wouldn't happen, and we are sharing a creative vision as well, we have input and output. I love Troupe and as much as I ask for, I give out.

    So first I would sit with pen in hand and make a list from asking myself (yourself) pertinent questions. Or, really, any questions you want! To formulate your vision and guidelines.
    Take note of all the good suggestions from all the posters above.
    And here's what I asked myself: There's no right or wrong answers. It's the clarification of goals that we're after.
    1. Why do I have a Troupe?
    2. What's in it for me? What's in it for a troupe member? What does it contribute to the world?
    3. Does it have a mission statement, a vision?
    4. How does one become a member - by invitation, audition, etc ?
    5. Are there fees for the director or for space maintenance, etc? What's shared, what am I in charge of?
    6. What are requirements of attendance?
    7. How do I handle paid gigs? (For example, I use a sliding scale depending on various factors. I get the largest percentage. This is all in the written agreement)
    8. Does everyone get paid? Is there a probation period before payment occurs?
    9. Does their personal conduct in or out of troupe matter to me?
    10. Costuming?
    There's more but basically #1 will get you started!
    You can be as specific as you like.
    I was a member of a troupe 1981-1992, and have directed my own since 1993. My director retired or I would still be in her original troupe today probably. I wouldn't trade any of my troupe experiences for anything!
    emma-bessa likes this.


  10. #10
    Established BHUZzer rjasso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Posts
    857

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    I should clarify that my company functions mainly as a professional company, we do a lot of weddings, parties and company/corporate events so 99% of the time they get paid for it. I also require them to do at least 2-3 'free artistic shows' a year because it is important for me to be part of the bellydance community. For our paid shows I take booking fees but I pay for all of the resources to run the company; advertising, website, studio space, costuming, props, music and choreography. I completely agree with the idea that you need to have a clear vision and write yourself a statement on how you want to function and go from there. If I had prepared myself that way I would have avoided a lot of difficulites I had to deal with in the past 2 years =)
    Last edited by rjasso; 02-22-2011 at 08:07 PM.
    emma-bessa likes this.


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    1,701

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    O I have more of a clear vision now than when I first started. The only reason I feel qualified to give suggestions is that I have made so many mistakes along the way believe me! But, that's how we figure stuff out, what works for us.
    Trial and error so to speak. Painful but true.


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer emma-bessa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Near penguins and polar bears,way up north.
    Posts
    3,393

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    To avoid confusion or/and conflicts it´s extremelyimportant to have clear rules written down!

    I speak from experience;
    One situation that promped the need for a contract were two members of troupe deciding to(at many occations)perform troupe choreos in specially ordered troupe costumes,without giving credits to choreographer,school or troupe,without informing troupe director(also uploaded clips on YouTube without credits)

    When confronted,they responded that they were not aware of that being unacceptable behaviour.


  13. #13
    Master BHUZzer emma-bessa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Near penguins and polar bears,way up north.
    Posts
    3,393

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Looking back,I can´t do anything else but quote Douglas Adams to remind any troupe director of the importance of having everydetail clearly stated in contract:

    "“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”e


  14. #14
    Official BHUZzer PetiteNadirah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kirksville, MO USA
    Posts
    571

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Quote Originally Posted by emma-bessa View Post
    Looking back,I can´t do anything else but quote Douglas Adams to remind any troupe director of the importance of having everydetail clearly stated in contract:

    "“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”e
    teehee.. I like that. :)
    ~*~Petite Nadirah and Raqs Fusion Bellydance~*~
    "Like" us on Facebook!


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer CalgaryBibi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,618

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    I'm no expert on troupe contracts, but I think you need to be very specific about what "being associated with my business" means, and spell it out in the contract (e.g. using the troupe name, logo, promotional materials (website, cards, photographs), costumes...).


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer raqFariha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,554

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryBibi View Post
    I'm no expert on troupe contracts, but I think you need to be very specific about what "being associated with my business" means, and spell it out in the contract (e.g. using the troupe name, logo, promotional materials (website, cards, photographs), costumes...).
    i wonder about how this would work in a small community, where perhaps even if a dancer were functioning on her own, not using any of the troupe materials, everyone would know she is part of that troupe. and would associate her conduct with the troupe..... (of course her conduct would be associated with the dance either way.)
    maybe this is off topic tho.
    "there is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everyone a great deal of good" -Edwin Denby


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer RaqOn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,040

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    sent!


  18. #18
    Official BHUZzer PetiteNadirah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kirksville, MO USA
    Posts
    571

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Quote Originally Posted by RaqOn View Post
    sent!
    thanks! haven't read it yet but OMG your troupe name is SO CUTE!!!
    ~*~Petite Nadirah and Raqs Fusion Bellydance~*~
    "Like" us on Facebook!


  19. #19
    Official BHUZzer PetiteNadirah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kirksville, MO USA
    Posts
    571

    Re: Troupe "contracts"

    Quote Originally Posted by raqFariha View Post
    i wonder about how this would work in a small community, where perhaps even if a dancer were functioning on her own, not using any of the troupe materials, everyone would know she is part of that troupe. and would associate her conduct with the troupe..... (of course her conduct would be associated with the dance either way.)
    maybe this is off topic tho.
    That is actually how it is for me right now. We perform in a city near our town often (where there is a much more established bellydance community) but here in my little town, I am "the bellydancer". Any bellydance show is automatically associated with me simply due to my reputation. When one of my girls (or heck, any random person) starts performing somewhere (for free or otherwise) they are automatically associated with me, even if it's just accidental. It's kindof frustrating.
    ~*~Petite Nadirah and Raqs Fusion Bellydance~*~
    "Like" us on Facebook!


Similar Threads

  1. Troupe Contracts?
    By raksanais in forum Belly Dance Instructor Center
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-06-2010, 10:13 PM
  2. Anyone willing to share their troupe contracts?
    By RaqOn in forum Belly Dance Instructor Center
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-07-2010, 09:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Statistics
  • Threads 39,586
  • Posts 583,812
  • Members 37,815
  • Welcome to our newest member, utterotter


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195