Dance Worker Digest | October 2023

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Dance Worker Digest | October 2023


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Dance Worker Digest
October 2023

This month's topics cover research on mental health in dance, women’s health resources, Madison Square Garden’s future, and tracking wage theft in New York.

Journal review examines how mental health in dance is researched

Photo of two dancers embracingFrontiers article published earlier this year provides insight on how research is conducted on the intersection of dance and mental health—determining the range of available research and identifying factors that appear to represent and influence mental health in dance. A few key findings include:

• research into professional dancers, especially aged 30–60 is underrepresented;
• dance genres have been unevenly investigated, with classical ballet being the most researched;
• freelance employment is in dire need of in-depth investigation

The authors recommended that future studies have better conceptualization of the dynamic nature of mental health; test theories and put them into practice; and aim for more equity in the populations and styles of dance researched.

• Check out the Frontiers article

Photo courtesy of Shamel Pitts | TRIBE; Photo credit: Alex Apt 

The Entertainment Community Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative provides support for women in the performing arts and entertainment

A group of people sitting in a circle, talkingFounded in 1996 by Tony Award-winning actress and cancer survivor Phyllis Newman, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI) provides access to an extensive support network that includes health care, diagnostic, preventative, and mental health services via the Entertainment Community Fund.

Staffed by social workers experienced in helping women manage a range of critical health concerns, PNWHI offers dedicated resources to address the challenges of a serious medical illness or injury and provide the care and support each woman needs to reduce stress and focus on her wellness.

Any performing arts or entertainment professional may apply, with eligibility for financial assistance determined through an application, interview, and documentation of professional earnings.

• Learn more about the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative

Photo courtesy of Entertainment Community Fund

NYC Council Committee extends Madison Square Garden permit 5 years, short of 10-year recommendation

Photo of exterior of Madison Square GardenA City Council zoning committee has approved a five-year renewal for Madison Square Garden's special permit, which allows it to operate above Penn Station. This decision is a departure from the previously recommended 10-year permit, and it falls short of the permanent permit requested by the Garden's owner, James Dolan.

Manhattan Councilmember Erick Bottcher advocated for the shorter permit, emphasizing it will force officials to expedite making long term upgrades to Penn Station. The unanimous approval of this five-year extension sets a clock for collaborative efforts to address the challenges posed by the facility. Madison Square Garden's cooperation is vital for essential improvements to the transit hub beneath the area. By approving this shorter permit, the city is signaling its commitment to addressing these issues promptly.

Madison Square Garden may be best known as a sports venue, but it is also considered a hub for arts and entertainment. This change in permit could affect dance shows and concerts held at the venue in the near future.

• Check out Gothamist’s article on the City Council committee’s decision
• Review plain language on the matter via NY Post

Find out if a local New York business has stolen wages through online database

screenshot of the wage theft data mapDocumented’s online wage theft database has collected thousands of wage and hour records from both New York State and federal Departments of Labor spanning from January 2012 to December 2022. These records reveal instances of labor violations in New York and identify companies that have failed to pay their employees fairly. It's worth noting that this data only represents a fraction of the estimated $1 to $4 billion in wages that workers in New York State have lost.

Dance workers can utilize this tool to investigate potential labor violations by searching for wage offenders using this data. This information is valuable for ensuring fair compensation, and can help in advocating for workers' rights by holding accountable those who engage in labor violations.

• Explore the Wage Theft Monitor
• Check out Documented’s article on the database

Photo courtesy of Documented


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