Those of us who dance in restaurants sometimes have to deal with things that others do not. One of those in a change in ownership. Sometimes you are lucky and a place is owned by the same people for many years but other times it may pass on to new hands. These new hands may or may not want dancing. Those that do may have their own ideas as to how things should be done or have no idea about bellydancing whatsoever. In this post I will be covering some advice as to how to handle this.
If the venue has a dancer liaison then this person will be handling all of this for you so there is less stress. However, these steps could and would apply if there is none and the schedule is typically handled by the owner or a staff member.
– Meet with them in person if at all possible.
– Make sure they have a copy of whatever contract was in place with the previous owner and the list of approved dancers.
– Make sure all the dancers know about the change and what the rate and terms are and to stick to it. I have seen it happen where new ownership will try to approach individual dancers and get a discount, if you will, or change the terms for some and not all. Sticking together is the best approach. Everyone should always make the agreed upon pay for the area. If an individual wants to negotiate for more, that’s one thing, but less? no way!
– Be professional at all times. Do not allow yourself to get emotional. This person could not know anything about bellydancing or hiring a dancer so do not let their ignorance ( if any) upset you. Remain calm and cool.
– Be willing to walk away. If the new owner does not meet your terms or gives you a bad vibe. Walk away. No gig is worth lowering your rates or feeling like you are not appreciated. I know, easy to type, hard to do. But in the long run it will be so worth it!
So there you have it, how to handle a change in ownership at a venue. The above are just from my experiences. Please feel free to comment below with your own. I feel that we can all learn from each other and help out new dancers as well!