Report from the Dance Passport Meeting

Mobility EU Social Dialogue Dancers, Singers, Circus artists & Child performers FIA Events Event Reports

The Dance Passport Meeting took place on September 26th, in Warsaw, Poland. This meeting was organised within the framework of our European Project ‘Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector”; project that has the double aim of driving forward the establishment of three transition schemes for dancers in Belgium, Hungary and Spain; and of resurrecting and modernising the EuroFIA Dance Passport to ensure that it becomes an effective, accessible, modern scheme, which can be a reliable and ready source of support to dancers in the context of mobility. The event gathered all the participating unions to the scheme and allowed them to review and renew their commitment to it.

Created in the early 2000s, the EuroFIA Dance Passport allows dancers and choreographers who are paid-up union members in their home country to access local union support services while travelling in any European country where there is a participating union. By extending union protection beyond national boarders, this reciprocal assistance mechanism reflects one of the core principles of FIA: international solidarity. Unfortunately, after some years, the EuroFIA Dance Passport fell out of use.

The meeting was divided in three sessions. The first panel discussion that brought together dancers and officials from unions representing dancers gave a clear overview of the many challenges faced by dancers in the context of mobility. From training to insurances and double taxation, dancers can experience many difficulties while working abroad – often reinforced by the language barrier. The second session of the day was dedicated to the feedback from the project steering group on the relaunch of the EuroFIA Dance Passport. Outi Kallinen (STST), Paul Bronkhorst (IOTPD) and Camille Richard (FIA) shared the conclusions of the steering group on the renewed tool. The group recommended the creation of a phone compatible website making some key information available to all dancers working in another European country for a short period of time.

The presentation by the steering group was followed in the afternoon by a SWOT analysis of the Dance Passport in small groups. Discussions were constructive and many good ideas were raised by the EuroFIA members. Among them, four appeared as particularly important:

– The new Dance Passport tool could be a great recruitment tool for FIA members. Indeed, giving access to information to all dancers – including non union members – could make them realise the interest of joining a union.

– The tool should make available some basic information useful to dancers in the context of mobility, such as the participating unions in the Dance Passport, services offered by each union, direct contact within each union and some general advice. The discussion highlighted the real lack of awareness of dancers regarding their own working conditions and made it clear that such information would be very valuable to dancers.

– Each union should answer the same list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that would give some general advice to a dancer considering working in their country.

– Finally, the tool should have three levels of access. If EuroFIA members agree to the give access to the general information to all dancers, they think that advice should be reserved to Dance Passport holder and representation to members of the local union. In the last case, the dancer would be asked to join the local union to benefit from the adequate representation.

The steering group of the Dance Futures project will meet in February to continue the reflection on the tool. A detailed proposal will be presented to the EuroFIA in spring. 

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