Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Will they or won't they?

I am totally NOT trying to start shit. It's just that when I saw their link from the Worksafe BC site while I was researching info for the Trade Secrets project, I couldn't resist clicking on it. Then I was so impressed with the organization mandate and purpose! Well, I didn't see anything there that would preclude allowing exotic dancers as members. So I emailed the Dancer Transition Resource Centre to ask:

Hi there,

I found your link on the Worksafe BC website. After reading a bit about you on your website, I was wondering if “independent dancer” would include exotic dancers. Currently in British Columbia especially, many exotic dance clubs are closing down, so many performers are in transition. A resource like yours could be an answer to many of their prayers. Certainly, transitioning out of a performance career involves all kinds of obstacles. For an exotic dancer, there is the added obstacle of stigma and gaps in the resume. I’m sure there are some dancers out there who would appreciate access to seminars and training offered through your organization.

To tell you a little about me, I am a former exotic dancer who now advocates on behalf of the industry to challenge misconceptions and empower performers. I founded a resource and advocacy website for exotic dancers at We hold an annual fundraiser called Exotic Dancers for Cancer and contribute to community forums and initiatives as well.

I’m always looking for ways to help exotic dancers integrate back into mainstream society – as we all have to do it at some time or another. Although I realize that many do not consider exotic dancers to be performers, it is definitely the case. Many dancers are paid on a show by show basis, travel weekly from club to club, and by all means and purposes are dancing performers. And many are women who love to dance for a living, with dance training and education in their backgrounds.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my email.


What do you think? Will they or won't they?


Received Thursday, January 3, 2008 - They might!

Dear Trina,
I read your email with great interest. We have often talked about how exotic dancers fit into our criteria for membership (without coming to a definitive conclusion). Currently we use the Canadian Artists' Code (attached) to define membership eligibility. It is an area I would like to explore further. I am coming to Vancouver in mid February and I wonder if we could meet to talk more about how the DTRC might be of assistance.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

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