Dancers’ working conditions - Details

20.06.2017

Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers – Budapest Working Seminar

The second seminar of our European project “Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector” took place on the 18th and 19th of May 2017, in the Műcsarnok Museum, in Budapest, Hungary.

This project focusing on the dance sector addresses two issues: transition – whether it is caused by a personal choice, injury or the age – and mobility within the European boarders. This working seminar was part of the transition component of the project. Organised by FIA and IOTPD – the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers – the seminar aimed to put in motion the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers in Hungary by bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to discuss the issue and review the possibilities.

It’s on a beautiful day of spring that the entire Hungarian dance community gathered in Műcsarnok to discuss the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers. The partners in the organisation of the seminar, both SDS – member of FIA in Hungary – and the Hungarian Dance Society – main organisation representing the Hungarian dance sector – were proud and happy to host the participants. The first day of meeting was devoted to a state of play of the situation of Hungarian dancers and to the presentation of efficient schemes coming from abroad – Netherlands, UK & Poland – that inspired the participants. The observation was clear: the situation of Hungarian dancers deteriorated. According to a survey from the National Dance Programme, 89% of the 800 professional dancers in Hungary do not have provision for the future, only 30% own a car and 13% can go on holiday every year. The second day was entirely devoted to discussions on the new scheme. 

The timing is good as the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources is willing to contribute to the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers. The idea would be to replace the current system of annuity only applying to a limited number of dancers with a general transition scheme applying to all dancers at the end of their careers. This system functioning thanks to contributions from dancers, companies and the state would offer  free counselling, financial assistance for retraining for the dancers who made sufficient contributions and support to elderly dancers in difficult situations.