This months topic is social media and pole dance. I've decided to look at two negative instances where social media has restricted or complicated my social interactions as a pole dancer.
Sharing art. YouTube. If it were not for YouTube I would have probably never spent a dime on a home pole or pole dance. When I became intrigued with the idea of learning how to pole dance the first videos I found were on YouTube. Watching Karol Helms and her basic moves videos inspired me. I watched, attempted, and learned. I spent hours watching pole dance on YouTube. However, when I became brave enough to video my own dances and upload them I came face to face with the music copyright demon.
My first upload was a dance I performed to the Melissa Etheridge song, Dance Without Sleeping. The audio was muted within a few minutes after the upload. BMI music copyright violation. I just searched YouTube and the only version of the song I could find uploaded was the official version. My stance on the issue is that if I took Melissa's music, put my dance on it and used it to sell my pole studio I could see a lot of people in the music industry taking issue with me. In this instance I am not adding value. I'm using Melissa's art to fatten my wallet. However, if I am not asking for a dime and dancing on the street to Melissa's music where is the harm or theft? Could it be that by my choice of dance music that I am encouraging people to go to iTunes and buy her music?
In my scientific field we take advantage of numerous example of Open Source computing resources. These are tools that enable scientist to carry out their work without paying licensing fees for proprietary computing programs and operating systems. Linux, GRASS GIS, R Statistical Analysis, and the GNU Fortran compiler are stunning examples of how freely exchanged source code and programs benefit everyone.
Enough said. I rarely post to YouTube. I have been required to post my competition entries to YouTube and I do it grudgingly. I'm not in dance for the money and I know the difference between plagiarism and being inspired by the art of others.
My next issue is the gnawing feeling I get in my gut when I refer to a particular dance studio in my blog or on Facebook. I am homeless when it comes to a dance studio. There aren't many guys in pole dance and after nearly five years at a single studio I knew that I wanted to share my dance in any studio that would let me dance there and with any group that wanted me with them. I have been invited to dance at nearly all of the Denver area pole dance studios and I have felt welcome. Unfortunately, there is the business side of pole and each studio has to be cognizant of the bottom line. Art doesn't keep the lights on and the water running.
I used to share where I was pole dancing on Facebook. I no longer do that. I used to share linked images of the studios where I danced here on this blog. Now I only link to them for those who are interested in learning more. I hesitate to mention studios in my blog. I just don't want to be in the middle of the money and politics. There isn't a studio owner here in Denver-Boulder-Longmont area that has ever treated me badly. I would do anything anyone of them asked of me so long as it did not harm another studio. Social media has the ability to upset a lot of people in a short amount of time. The more media exposure I get, the more I have to be on the lookout for land mines.
I'm open source and not for sale. I love sharing my ideas and art. It's free. Scientists are lousy businessmen. We have to share to advance.
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