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I tried to search for this topic, because it most likely has been discussed, so if you can find it let me know. Anyway, what are some guidelines for sisters working cooperatively instead of competitively in the same area (maybe within 50 mile radius)? I have heard of not teaching in the same studio, or not teaching on the same nights in different studios. Or, just like with window washers, realtors, yoga teachers, you find the one with whom you connect and enjoy our system of free enterprise. I also know that referrals can be made back and forth, and info for workshops and festivals can be shared. I also know that sisters can work together and share the load (advertising, sharing the same booth at a festival, group/bulk costume orders, cohosting workshops, costume swap and shop, road trips, etc.) Just wondering.
Wow, I was really hoping to see what others had to share on this subject. It's kinda interesting that it's gotten so little play.I live in a small town without a single traffic light, but there are two Sister Studio teachers operating here myself and an ex-student who decided to go her own way and set up shop. I personally would welcome any and all tips, ideas, suggestions to help create "Community" within this set up. Oddly enough there is enough of a cross section of women in our little town and we seem to be different enough from each other that different types are drawn to each of us for a variety of reasons.That said, we have not yet "played" together within our community and that for me is sad. Sad for some of 'our' students who seem to say in one way or another that "it's too bad we can't do some things together".I've made offers in the past to do something together, but the offer has not been accepted as of yet. Never even thought about trying to work something out where we are not teaching on the same days, etc. Hopefully this helps break the ice and there is some helpful suggestions that will follow. Personally I luv the idea of: " sisters can work together and share the load (advertising, sharing the same booth at a festival, group/bulk costume orders, co-hosting workshops, costume swap and shop, road trips, etc.) Just wondering." of course some of these ideas might be a little 'too close for comfort' , but others, why not? It begs to wonder if it's all about community or competitiveness? Where one might win, many may lose. This of course is just my "opinion" and we all know what they say about that.Just curious how many teachers have had students leave to become teachers themselves within their own community?
In my area we're two Sister Studios working independently of each other, with a third lady hopefully becoming our sister this year. 🙂 And I'm happy to say, we're getting along fine. 😀We are teaching in two different cities (Hamburg and Elmshorn, which is a much smaller town on Hamburg's periphery), and our sister-to-be is leading a troupe of former students of mine (we had a disagreement a few years ago, but happily made up again last year). Our classes are taught on different nights and we welcome each other's students (some actually do take more than one class, others would like to if their work schedules permitted for it). Last year we even performed all together on stage on two occasions, each time after only one rehearsal, and we had a lot of fun doing that, so we're planning for more such occasions this year. 😀
Why not organize a hafla for both your troupes/students to perform in?? It would be really awesome if both of the SS performed together! You can even reach out to other styles of dance/belly dance to perform too. Have some “open dance” time for all of the students to dance together.It's important to build community, attend each others events... everything. This shows students that it's about dance. Not about competition.It's one of my goals this year to find a venue and have a performance/dance party with my fellow students in the Bay Area... now I just need the time....
We have four Sister Studios in our area. Nadira and I run a troupe and studio together (Serenity Tribal) and then Nancy is one of the co-directors of Angora Tribal. We like to do a lot of collaboration and are very friendly: lunch, having a drink, dancing together. They're hosting the local belly dance council's next meeting to take the load off of us, since usually Serenity organizes it. We really enjoy the local relationship. The fourth SS used to dance with Angora but split off to do her own thing. Haven't seen her as much since then as I'd like.We don't really have guidelines, I suppose. We just keep it friendly, just as we do with all the dancers in our community, tribal or otherwise. I do consider the Angora girls to be close friends, and it's easy to be friends with them. They're great gals. And since the lot of us are the only ATS game in town... Well, it's a very small ATS community here so I think that makes a difference in closeness. Each troupe only has 3 members at the mo, so we like to combine for larger events. We jokingly call it "Serene Bunnies" when we dance together 😀
In the Twin Cities Metro there are three SS… One of them doesn't presently teach, one teaches but doesn't perform. I teach and perform. I know the one who teaches doesn't teach the same nights I do and she charges differently. We don't work together. The one who doesn't teach my troupe has worked with and will continue to work with.It's all in which personalities mesh and which do not. There are SS outlying in MN who I don't do things with, but then there are those who I do work with.. so. No real clear answer. Sometimes principles and personalities don't go together, even in the context of ATS®.I think it's not something dancers talk about because they are afraid of blowing the whole sisterhood thing up as a myth. They don't want to acknowledge that there is competition or even that sometimes you just don't like certain people enough to want anything to do with them. We might be ATS® dancers, but we are still regular people who have conflicts and don't get along with everyone. We don't HAVE to get along with everyone either... and sometimes playing nicely means not playing together at all.
I don't think everyone has to get along or like each other when doing business in the same community, but I also don't think professionalism has to be lost when dealing with each other. Politically, it will benefit the whole community if you be inclusive rather than exclusive. If you can mutually agree/accept (in your minds or out loud) that you'd rather not play with each other, but still be supportive, you should be set to profit all around. Providing students with a border to cross (real or imagined) is intimidating and many won't cross or conversely get obsessive with the line created. It's all up to us what environment we want to thrive in.
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