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The pros and cons of organizing dance events

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

For someone who doesn't like the stresses and politics of organizing events, I sure seem to let myself get carried away by inspiration and into the muck of stresses and dance-world politics. I've organized small-medium dance and performances in Cairo, Panama City (Panama) and now... after 2.5 years back in the US... in Miami!

For a little fun during my birthday, I sacrificed a bit of internal peace and chose the stress of organizing just for the chance to have some good friends come visit and host a Kizomba workshop with Davidson of KUnity. Then I hosted Phillyp Chanlatte and DJ Casanova from Boston, as well as two Florida-based instructors, Semil and Jameon. Most recently, I organized a Urban Kiz workshop with Eytan Nicholson which had a great turn out considering we had less than a week to promote. Ocean Life studio is a two-minute walk from the beach and although the forecast called for sun and a bit of cloud coverage, which is perfect for dancing on the beach, a flash storm flooded all of the streets, including the lovely studio!

Upcoming event: a dance-filled trip to the beautiful Mediterranean beach & port city of Málaga!

As mentioned, there are some stresses and some joys...

The negatives of organizing dance events

  1. You get five seconds of fame, but that comes tethered to high expectations for more events and more sacrifice.

  2. There's the unpredictable: flash floods, pandemics, volcanic ash... you just never know. And working with a lot of people means there are more people that flake.

  3. You don't enjoy the actual event as much as you'd like to because you are running around problem-solving at all times.

  4. Someone is always going to give you pushback. I was recently "shamed" by a complete stranger claiming that I was only in it for the money.

  5. On that note: you don't make money. Speak with any congress organizer and they will all tell you that in the first and second years they actually lost money. Only after the third year, higher attendance and providing a cushion for unexpected expenses do they start eeking out a bit of profit for themselves. DJs with a good crowd tend to do better and very high-profile dancers can, as well.

  6. There's always dance-world politics involved, even if you aren't a drama queen.

The worthwhile part of organizing dance events

  1. You meet so many fascinating people while you are planning the event.

  2. It's pleasantly surprising to see who is willing to really partner with you and who the real stars are.

  3. You are personally affording professional dancers, musicians and DJs a medium through which they can actually make a decent living and continue to grow and share their amazing talents. What is the world without art? Being that medium is rewarding in that you are giving back in gratefulness to the talented artists, the community and the art that so fulfills you.

  4. The day of the event comes, and you've seen so many people that you haven't seen in a long time and everyone is smiling and happy!

  5. You do get to delegate, even if it's only for a while, and have fun.

Do you agree? What are the pros and cons you would add to this list?

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