More Organizations in the NDCA

More Organizations in the NDCA

Another organization is looking for members to gain some clout and get recognized by the NDCA and other awe-inspiring groups who care about such stuff.  We have to ask ourselves are we being poorly represented, requiring new organizations or should we be looking for other ways to get proper representation.  Before we look at that, we should look at some of the other groups who might need more representation.

Line Up Coordinator’s Union – This often, ignored group even has people who are trying to rename them.  Some people want to call them Line-up Captains.  First of all we should ask, why only a Captain?  Unless you are in the Navy, a Captain isn’t that lofty a position.  Major or Colonel seem to be better recognized and might be all that is needed to keep the throngs in line.  Another look might suggest the officer title as a way to separate the members from the proletariat, and a way to deter their forming the “Union of Collective and Maligned Line-up Operators”.  Anyone who has actually been in one of these lines recognizes that people who, in previous lives, were Marine Drill Sergeants most often hold the position.  As NCO’s, these people do all the work, and get little recognition.  Who better to organize?

Music Coordinator’s Union – These operators might be most in need of organization.  There are even Competitions out there that are trying to bring back live music.  Of course, right now, these potential MCU operators are being told, “Just consider this time off.  We are still paying you the same.”  Of course we know this is just the beginning.  Pretty soon, they will be docked the $1.45/hour they are currently receiving plus get taxed for the perks like watching the pro couple practice during dinner and complaints about the music, broken and dropped cordless microphones, and being able to take the blame for everything from the floor to air conditioning.  A good union might even stop the complaints received for not having an old fashioned turn-table available at moment’s notice for that one individual who brings the LP for a solo routine.

Collective of Masters of Ceremony – Often considered a position of high regard.  Out in front, he or she is the one person everyone looks at.  All too often the event starts and the requisite bar stool or water (other drinks have been substituted at times) is nowhere to be found.  The fact that these highly trained professionals are able to continue and most often keep the event on schedule under such dire conditions is a testament to their training, dedication, and should not be an excuse for their lack of collective organization and bargaining.  Do you realize that many MC’s are not even reimbursed for the transportation or shipping expenses of their microphones?  What about clothing allowances, voice training, and special accommodations?  Unions may be the only answer.

Association of Door Handlers and Runners – Although these two groups might appear sufficiently diverse enough to warrant separate unions, this would most likely be a plot to divest the potential union of power.  Both of these groups involve working with crowds and handling papers and/or tickets on the run.  Granted, the Door Handlers are receiving the tickets while others are running through the door and the Runners (another group others are trying to rename) are running while receiving score sheets from the ever turning, leaning, and twisting Judges on the floor, both are involved with the quick exchange of material and thus are qualified to be part of the potential ADHR.  This group is often exploited by the Competitions.  Do you know that many Competitions actually stoop to the use of child labor for the position of Runner.  Forget the fact, that the kids love it, get to meet the Judges, and improve their knowledge of the alphabet.  The fact that a seasoned veteran may be displaced cannot be ignored.  New technology has made the Door Handler position much more difficult, and possibly warrants an all out strike if new handlers are not engaged.  It was difficult enough to look at the ticket, tear off the stub or punch the ticket, and direct someone to the right area of the Ballroom, now all too many Competitions expect the entrant to be stamped as well.  Was any extra compensation offered to these handlers?  No, they are being exploited just like we thought.

So you see, many groups may be in need of better representation.  Possibly this latest group should be commended for trying to gain a better foothold in the NDCA.  One has to ask, however, do they just want ‘their’ seat at the head of the table and the hell with everybody else?

Maybe, we should ask if our current NDCA leadership is not taking care of the interests of the members, why aren’t they and are they the problem?  Maybe, just maybe, we should be looking at how the organization is structured, and look at ways it can be improved.  Term limits comes to mind.  After all, many think it would work in Congress.  How about a limit (of one?) on the number of committees a person can serve on.  This might expand the number of people representing the membership at large in board meetings, and committee meetings.  Maybe more members should just become involved and not be afraid to voice their concerns.  Lastly maybe the NDCA could and should make it easier for people to voice their concerns out in the open and not be squelched and make this a NON-PROFIT organization that does what it is supposed to do for the industry.  Then groups wouldn’t be looking to form groups within groups within groups.

Michael S. Reichenbach

Published in:

Dance Week Magazine

2709 Medical Office Place

Goldsboro, NC 27534

Vol. XXVII No. 47

November 22, 2002


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *