Equity Pole Dancer's Working Party:

 Equity pole dance picture

Notes of the meeting of the Pole Dance Working Party held on Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm at Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG

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

1. Apologies : Kate Johnstone, Sam Remmer  

2. Updates on Policing and Crime Bill and Camden Licensing for Burlesque.

Michael Day reported that the Policing and Crime Bill had continued to be debated in the House of Lords at the Report Stage. In the new year it will return to the Commons and Equity will continue to lobby at that stage also. Amendments had been suggested to the name of the type of entertainment. S*x Encounter Establishment was the original government proposal with Adult Entertainment, S*****ll Entertainment and E***** Entertainment all being considered since.

In Camden, the council was not currently opposed to burlesque events going ahead although the fine print of the licensing policy was still being worked out in conjunction with the Burlesque Women’s Institute.

3. Equity Campaign on Entertainment Licensing. Michael Day reported that Equity’s proposed demo on entertainment licensing had gone ahead on 22nd October 2009 and had been well attended with about 150 – 200 performers. There had been some bands and colourful characters doing their acts. There were also politicians from across the main parties. Equity and the Musicians’ Union had been offered a concession on the small venues exemption in that venues of 100 or less could be exempt from a licence. The unions had rejected this, however, believing that it should not be less than 200. This was still being debated and could potentially be delivered via a ‘legislative reform order’ if all parties were in agreement.

4. Recruitment and Retention Events including Pole Divas. Equity representatives based in the North West had attended this event and had found a good position for the Equity stand. Genevieve had been able to assist during breaks in her judging role and noted that the stand had often been busy. Generally, in this field, the public liability insurance and other insurances and the kudos of membership were the most appreciated factors.

Kym, who was visiting from Australia, compared how competitions worked there compared to the UK. She had been involved in some of the organisation of such events such as Australian Pole Dance Championships. There were several categories including ‘open pairs’ for men and/or women combinations as well as the solo competitions. Judging appeared to be more technically based with set moves needing to be completed. Costume branding was not allowed. Competitions were held in theatres with theatre or cabaret style seating.

Other events were discussed and it was considered desirable to have Equity representation at all of the main competition finals. These included:

UKAPP – usually Reading or London

MPD – London

PoleDivas – Manchester

British Isles – Essex

5. UK Pole Dance Day 2010.

It was agreed that the day of the event should be Saturday 1st May 2010.

It was suggested that there should be lots of individual events organised around the country at participating schools linked through a central campaign. A letter could be sent around in January 2010 and this should give examples of potential events. A pack to send to schools could be developed. Emma agreed to do a list of what would be required in this pack and get an idea of cost. Funding could be requested from Equity. Genevieve agreed to co-ordinate a potential list of activities if others emailed their ideas to her. It was suggested that those not attached to a school could make guest appearances at schools and / or give demo performances.

6. Copyright issues and guidance leaflet. The leaflet itself was not discussed but a couple of copyright examples were put forward. One was for use of a photo of a pole dancer in a magazine and the other copying content, mainly text, being copied from a website. Michael Day stated that with photographs it would depend on who owned the copyright of the photo. This may be the photographer or the performer. The copyright owner certainly has a right not to have the photo used in a publication without their consent. Similarly with text, copying directly and reproducing elsewhere is a breach of copyright. More information will be obtained directly from the members concerned to see if action is warranted.

7. Working party – Future work, meetings, further aims and objectives, distribution of workload etc.

The following had been actioned since the last meeting:-

Emma had completed the pro forma email body text for various types of messages.

Kate had set up the ‘mail chimp’ which was now working for the email group.

Dana had worked on the Facebook profile

Elena said that she would be willing to host some kind of event, as did Genevieve.

It was discussed whether an open meeting could be held in conjunction with an existing event. Pole Unity was put forward as a possibility. This was thought to be in June. An ‘injury prevention’ workshop, for example, was put forward as an idea.

A meeting schedule for working party meetings for 2010 was proposed.

The first two dates were fixed with the others with just the month set. These were as follows:-

22nd January 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity

16th April 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity

There would also be meetings, times and venues TBA in June, September and November / December.

A few priorities of the working party for 2010 were highlighted:-
Raising the profile of the art form
Recruitment and Retention of pole dancers
Encouraging the use of the contracts and formalisation of the industry
Finishing the copyright guidance leaflet
Improving the standard of competition judging
Holding a bigger open meeting / event

8. Pole Dance Community. Sam Remmer was still working on this and gaining more subscribers.

9. Any other Business. It was raised that high profile performers, such as the winner of MPD could be targeted for membership of Equity if they are not already. Some individual names were put forward.

10. Date of Next Meeting: Friday 22nd January 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity

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