Dancer Contract: Artistic and Professional Boundaries

“The Cassettes”, or more formally “Cassettes Dance Company” is the name of a private dance business, owned and operated by Marissa Treichel. Based in Byron Shire and Burleigh Heads, there are three branches to The Cassettes: Mix Tapes, Flashmob Dance Company and Cassette Dance Workshops.  The term “Cassettes” refers to all of our dancers and classes, and is shorthand for The Cassettes’ Flashmob Dance Company.

Strength in Diversity

Connected Movers and Shakers
Cassette dancers and teachers are actively involved in dance-theatre outside of The Cassettes: we run, take part in and attend other classes and shows.  We also watch a lot of dance on youtube.  We are part of a wider dance family.  This is a point of pride, because it means:

  • We enjoy supporting other’s endeavours
  • Our students and teachers are influencers in the dance community
  • Our skills continue to grow
  • We are open to opportunities and meeting new people.

Rocking it in the free world
Harmonious external dance-theatre happenings Cassette dancers have created or taken part in include:

All dance classes listed in News Flash blog post; The Rainbow Collective (formed by several Lismore Flashmob Dance Company dancers); Gogi Collective; Wonderbabe; Wild Skin; Inherit the Wind; Circus Arts; NORPA workshops; Opening Ceremony of Comm Games; Chicago; Hot Shorts; Jesse Belle’s various performance projects; Sprung Integrated Dance Theatre; Karen Stanton’s dance classes; The Overtopping, etc.

Cassette Collaborations
The Cassettes have successfully collaborated with independent dance professionals including Swing On In, Vanessa’s African Dance, Yo Let’s Go, Travers Ross, Katy Woods, Kim Kosic, and are currently exploring a collab with We Move.  This year Marissa hosted a collaborative workshop for Dance Leaders in Byron Shire.

What do these external projects have in common?
They are all distinctly different to The Cassettes.  When a product is very similar in name or style, it creates competition, and removes the possibility of collaboration.  There is no need to be similar, as the world of creativity and dance, as the above examples point out, is limitless.
It is also true that it takes time and discipline to develop a unique creative voice.

Collaboration thrives on variety
Collaborations are successful, when two different brands come together and make something neither could have done alone.  Kram from Spiderbait collaborated with Rhys Muldoon from Play School, to make the excellent kids record, “I’m Not Singing”, which is both endearing and rock-out-able.

Protecting The Cassettes brand
The Cassettes are a strong and recognisable brand, and do not need to be insular.  That is a lonely and dry way to be.  However we do need and have professional boundaries, to maintain our handmade and hard-earned points of difference.

Artistic and Professional Boundaries

Clearly Distinguishable
Other dance projects need to be clearly distinguishable from The Cassettes.

What is now a thriving and unique dance-theatre business, is the result of six years of consistent effort and vision.  It’s fair that the brand of The Cassettes is protected and respected, especially by Cassette teachers and dancers.

Therefore, if making or taking part in an external dance project, the following points are clearly expected:

  • No part of the following words may be included in the title: Cassettes, Flashmob, Mix Tape, 80s.
    This leaves 171, 476 words to choose from, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • Cassette choreography cannot be used without prior permission, and can only be attribute to The Cassettes and the choreographer.
  • Costumes used in Cassette performances can only be reused for personal or non-dance use: eg attending a party, teaching a maths class.
  • Cassette activities, processes and documents cannot be used.
  • Photographs taken at Cassette classes and performances, are not to be attributed to other dance groups.
  • Dancers are to be recruited independently.
    Note: Recruiting is vastly different to collaborating.  Recruiting is when a leader or leaders invite dancers to take part in their project.  If two or three Cassette dancers wish to collaborate together to create a new work, provided they respect the above points, that is fantastic!
  • Declare potential conflicts of interest.  Communicate your plans, so that solutions can be found, and support given.

You can go your own way
There is room for everyone on the planet and certainly Byron Shire, to express themselves with grace, integrity and originality.
Art is very cool like that.  There is no shortage of ideas or ways of doing things.  The key point, is to make your thing clearly distinguishable from the things around you, both as a sign of respecting professional and artistic boundaries, and to help create a culture of ingenuity and cooperation, rather than repetition and competition.