EuroFIA Project 2010-2011

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After having successfully created the Dance Passport Scheme, facilitating union support for dancers when they are working in other countries, EuroFIA decided to dedicate a whole new project to the dancers’ needs by focusing on the opportunities available for them as they move away from performing, in recognition of the fact that in their thirties and forties, dancers may see work opportunities dwindle and be confronted with the end of their performing careers. In addition, working conditions are changing everywhere and although long-term contracts in national ballets, operas or companies, including a life-long pension, used to be the norm, dancers now generally don’t enjoy such security and tend to work on a freelance basis or combined basis. Even in countries where there is still a pension scheme, there is an increasing reluctance to extend it to new dancers, who are often rather employed on short term contracts. Thus dancers across Europe present a great variety of employment statuses making it a challenge to tailor a scheme to their needs.

Aims of this project:

The project aimed to fully map the needs of FIA member unions in this area and gain a better understanding of the career trajectories of dancers in Europe and how transition schemes could maximise these. Drawing on the experience of those members who have experience of such schemes, the project identified the key elements for a successful transition scheme and looked at how these can be built in to existing training and life-long learning schemes. It was also a forum for discussion and debate on this issue, particularly through the project conference in Berlin in 2011. Among other things, the handbook aims specifically to provide FIA members with the knowledge and information to pursue the development of such schemes at the national level, where they consider it relevant. The EuroFIA dancers working group has expressed its willingness to be involved in consultations at national level where such schemes are envisaged in order to feed in the experience and findings emerging from this project.

The Dancers’ Career Transitions Handbook is available for download in English, French and Spanish (and shortly in Russian!) in our website. You can download the programme from the Berlin Project conference below.

Programme in English

Programme in German

Programme in French

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