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Four professional dancers, on the decision of whether to work for free. (A daily battle, in my experience.)

““What I’ve realized as a freelancer… is that I’m actually running a small business.”

– Aaron Mattocks, Dancer, NYC

“I can’t do unpaid work… I’m an experienced professional, and I believe in being compensated at least a small amount for any project.”
– Sarah Cecilia Griffin, Dancer, Oakland

“Whether or not I do a piece has nothing to do with money anymore…”
– Joanna Furnans, Dancer/Restaurant Employee, Minneapolis

“I would do admin work for someone who was offering a massage or Alexander Technique lessons… and I would give those things to my dancers to use, passing along the bartered goods I’d earned.”
– Sarah A. O. Rosner, Choreographer/Arts Admin Consultant, Brooklyn

Follow more stories like this and read my blog posts on arts and labor at -AW

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.
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