Like the Pole Dance Community the Equity pole dancers working party (EPDWP) are passionate about the world of pole dancing and are working hard to safeguard you! The EPDWP meet every few months at the Equity HQ in London, the meetings are open to all Equity members. If you can't make it to a meeting or you aren't a member but you would like to raise any concerns then you can contact the working group via equitypoledancers@googlemail.com.

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Below you will find the minutes of the last EPDWP Meeting which was held on Friday the 18th of September 2009.

EQUTY POLE DANCERS WORKING PARTY

Notes of the meeting of the Pole Dance Working Party held on
Friday 18th September 2009 at 1.30pm at Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG

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Present : Michael Day (Equity staff), Dana Mayer, Genevieve Moody, Kate Johnstone, Emma Mitchell and Elena Gibson.

1. Apologies : Sam Remmer, Michael Branwell

2. Introduction by Dana Mayer. Dana had asked to be given the opportunity to raise a couple of general issues at the start of the meeting. One was about the running of the working party and the other about an external matter concerning another individual. It was agreed to deal with the first issue under item 6. It was noted that there had been some misunderstandings within the working party about individuals roles and responsibilities. The other issue, being a private matter, would be initially discussed with the individual concerned.

3. Burlesque Entertainment - Camden. Michael Day reported that the two events organised by the Burlesque Women's Institute had been successful. Equity had attended the reverse striptease event at Proud Galleries, Camden on 12th July 2009 but unfortunately there were no representatives of Camden Licensing present. The march originally scheduled for 23 rd July had first been moved to 30th July then, at the last minute, to the 29th July. This was due to the organisers wanting to avoid it being taken over by a certain element. The date change had meant that Michael Day had been unable to attend due to another meeting. The event had attracted a lot of media attention and had achieved the desired result in that Camden had agreed not to stop burlesque events going ahead. There was still some work to be done, however, in that Camden still needed to put some wording in the licensing policy. The Burlesque Womens Institute had asked for Equity to be involved in meetings with Camden Licensing and a date for a meeting was currently being sought.

4. Equity Campaign on Entertainment Licensing. Michael Day reported that Equity was proposing action in the form of a protest at Parliament on the issue of licensing of entertainment. In late 2008 the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee had made various recommendations to the government on amendments to licensing legislation to assist live entertainment. The government had, however, only adopted one of these recommendations, that to do with travelling entertainment such as circus. Other recommendations to allow small venues and events to be exempt from licensing had been rejected. The planned action was provisionally to be on 22nd October 2009 at Parliament Square and Equity, the Musician's Union and UK Music were looking for a big turnout from performers to get the point across. It was hoped that there would be a number of performers in costume and some high profile members. The finalisation of the date would come week commencing 21st September, from then, members would be informed and asked to participate. It was designed to coordinate with a Westminster Hall Debate on licensing happening that day. It would not include the issue of Sex Encounter Establishment Licences and the Policing and Crime Bill.

5. Miss Pole Dance and other events and recruitment and retention of new members. The Miss Pole Dance (MPD) event would be happening on 25th October 2009 at the Scala, Kings Cross. Equity would like to have a stand again and would also ask about possible sponsorship in some way. A brochure had already been produced so it would be too late to advertise in that. There was an entrance fee for the competition and an additional fee for feedback from the judges.

PoleDivas would be the on 22nd November 2009 in Manchester. As well as the main event on Sunday there would be other smaller events on the Friday and Saturday. Dana had done this last year and had taken the Equity freestanding banner. Emma would be there this year anyway, as would Dana. Unfortunately Michael Day would be away that weekend but would ask his colleague based in the Manchester Office, particularly about the Friday.

Kate Johnstone said she was looking into judging standards and was doing some research into other sports such as dance and gymnastics to see how it worked within those sports. She hoped to have completed this research by the end of the year. It was universally agreed that the judging of pole dance was inconsistent and some standards would be a good idea.

6. Working party Future work, meetings, further aims and objectives, distribution of workload etc. Some bullet point headings were put forward for discussion as follows:-

Distribution of tasks what needs to be done and who should do it.
Recruitment strategy
UK Pole Dance Day

The main tasks identified were the mail out of meeting notices to the email database. Kate offered to set up a Mailchimp account to which the working group would have password access. Then, the mailing could be taken in turns with appropriate return paths set up. It was agreed that templates for sending out minutes and meeting notices would be set up along with a recruitment one and one for general notices. Equity logos would be needed for the templates. As the templates would be fairly standard there would be no need to individuals on the working group to necessarily check each mailing although the person sending would include their name at the end. The templates would be developed for approval by the next meeting by Emma. A number of suggestions were made on recruitment strategy. These included:- presence at events; brand ambassadors; showcase event; conference; masterclasses; jams; internet forum. Those on the working party already had experience of talking to potential members about Equity and the working party (as ambassadors) but it was thought to be a good idea to have a crib sheet with the principal benefits of membership to use for this. Michael Day would do this. It was suggested having a sticky on an existing forum.

The next two meetings were agreed as Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm then a meeting at the end of January 2010 TBA. This timetable would be necessary to discuss UK Pole Dance Day (May 1st) in detail and plan for it properly. The notice and mailout for the first meeting would take place mid November.

Michael Day would check whether there would be Equity t-shirts / sweatshirts available for working party members when representing Equity at events.

7. Copyright Advice Document. This item was deferred to the next meeting as working party members had not had a chance to look at it in detail.

8. Pole Dance Community. Sam Remmer was not in attendance but had emailed Genevieve and Dana to say that she had developed a code of conduct for schools and wanted feedback and ideas which members could directly email to her.

9. Date of Next Meeting: Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm at Equity, Guild House, London WC2H 9EG.

If you are a pole dancer interested in getting involved with Equity - you can benefit from great performance insurance, advice on contracts, copyright, legal support and much much more! For further information contact Michael Day mday@euqity.org.uk or join the Equity Pole Dancers Working Party Facebook Group for regular updates!

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