Taking the “Dis” Out of Disability

STM Studio Supplies is a company that works closely with all things performing arts, from professional performance companies to our local dance schools;
we try to keep an eye on as much as we can in the field. We also have a presence in New Zealand and are members of Danz Aotearoa and so receive their
quarterly magazine. Check it out here https://danz.org.nz/

My movement experience has been in performance and later teaching and Dance Movement Therapy, so I read with particular interest in the latest issue, no
53 Spring 2018, an article by Lauren Sanderson entitled “Taking The ‘Dis’ Out of Disability”

Sanderson speaks of the power of dance to encourage and empower those who have barriers to self expression by other means. She goes on to say that,

“It has the ability to transcend barriers and become a vehicle for social change”

New Zealand has a thriving dance community and this sector isn’t overlooked. The article goes on to recount interviews with the Artistic Directors of three
dance entities that cater for those who are challenged in the mainstream dance world, and is well worth a read.

Perhaps the most cogent quote in the article comes from Lyn Cotton, Artistic Director of Jolt.

“Accessibility is more than physical support, it is a culture of mutual respect and openness where teacher, director, choreographer and dancer are willing
to engage and be shaped by their interactions with each other”

Movement is fundamental to life and dance is its expressive manifestation. It articulates feelings and emotions, it communicates ideas, it celebrates,
it grieves, and explores all facets of human emotion. Dance is available to us all and Australia also has a wealth of such companies fighting the good
fight and making a positive difference to so many lives. STM Studio Supplies has great respect for the work that they do and the benefits achieved

We have recently collaborated with Higher Spaces, https://www.higherspaces.com.au/ who purchased a number
of our Mylar rollaway mirrors. When it was found that one of the panels was less than ideal for their intended use we suggested that it be passed on
to a worthy cause. I contacted e.motion21, https://emotion21.org.au/ and we have organised a donation.

A big thanks to Josephine at Higher Spaces and Jane at e.motion21!

Hopefully we will soon have some photos to show of the dancers using their new mirror and showing the joy of the freedom of movement reflected in their
new mirror!


Timber or Vinyl Dance Floor?

Many dancers trained on the strip timber floors of their local church, scout or masonic hall.

Generally, these floors gave adequate, if inconsistent, shock absorption and injuries were limited.

Performance stages were generally of similar construction, and with the exception of hard spots caused by trap doors, dip traps, and revolve machinery,
slipperiness was an ongoing issue. From the 1970s on when Tarkett Dansflor or Marley became available touring with a PVC overlay “dance mat” became
the norm.

Timber has its advantages; it is aesthetically pleasing and remains the preference for ballroom, folk, and social dance. Timber floors lend themselves
to multi-purpose use, high traffic by the general public, and percussive dance such as tap, clogging and Irish. There may also be heritage and aesthetic
considerations, which they will appease.

On the down side there is the risk of splinters, unevenness, and protruding nails. As pointed out in the excellent Ausdance Safe dance floors article,
https://ausdance.org.au/articles/details/safe-dance-floors, they
also require a high degree of maintenance and regular recoating. This and the need for consistent slip resistance treatment is the reason most professional
dancers defer to a vinyl overlay on top of the wood.

Where timber is used Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_surface tells us;

“A wood surface is ideal for social dancing if maintained properly and is also standard for many indoor sports. Engineered wood is normally used nowadays
for wood flooring as it is less liable to warp or shrink and is more economic. Tap dance is especially punishing and a tough hardwood surface like
oak or maple is preferred for any regular use. Vinyl is generally a better choice for other types of dance or more general community use.”

In the absence of standards and tests which relate specifically to dance floors, and due to the fact that

sports floors share the same requirements of a dance floor in encouraging optimum performance and safety, dance floor installers, if not governed by, are
at least guided by the German standard DIN 18032 part 2 and more
lately EN14904. These standards concern themselves correctly with force reduction
(shock absorption), vertical deflection, area deflection, and resistance to a rolling load. However it is a common misconception that a sports floor
will suit the needs of dancers.

In their “Guide to Architects” https://aus.harlequinfloors.com/uploads/3/downloads/Architects_Guide_-_AUS_-_LR2.pdf Harlequin a world leader in dance floors point out;

“here are two differences: in the construction of the sprung sub-floor and the performance surface. Many think that dancers have the same requirements
as athletes when it comes to floor criteria. Sprung floors for sport are tested for adequate ball bounce and athletes require a high degree of energy
return – i.e. spring. Evidently, dancers have little interest in ball bounce and are focussed on a combination of shock absorption and energy return.”

The same guide points out that conventional wooden floors have inconsistencies of area and point elasticity, which are unavoidable owing to their construction.

It is not by chance that the majority of studios not primarily concerned with percussive dance styles or ballroom choose a sprung floor option with a vinyl
overlay. The choices within these are numerous and a Reference Guide can be found at http://www.stmstudiosupplies.com/pdf/Vinyl Quick Reference.pdf

The decision is ultimately yours and effectively comes down to appearance and high maintenance over practicality and ease of performance.




Navigating the ordeal of music licensing for class, performance, and competition

A chance conversation between Martin and Christopher Wheeler from APRA AMCOS prompted an investigation of the music licensing regulations for dance schools
in Australia.

Christopher provided some helpful information and links, recorded below, but I wanted to get a bigger picture and work out who these bodies are and
what they do. A quick internet search soon became a research operation worthy of at least a master’s thesis! So many acronyms, so many different bodies,
so little time! The things that need to be considered range from; are you using live music, or recorded music, how many days/week are classes to be
held, to a list of the music used.


Please do contact APRA AMCOS directly for information regarding your particular situation as the details provided below are just a starting point and should, by no means, constitute the complete picture.


So a quick history lesson!

APRA Australasian Performing Right Association Limited, was established in 1926 to manage the performance and communication rights of
its members. This covers music that is communicated or performed publicly including on radio, television, online, live gigs in pubs and clubs etc.

AMCOS Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited was established in 1979 to manage “mechanical royalties”, that is, the
reproduction or copying and storage of music in different formats. This covers copying of songs and compositions by record labels or other parties
to sell them on CD, DVD, online, for use as production music and for radio/TV programs.


PCCAPhonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited, established in 1969, is a national, non government, non-profit organisation
that represents the interest of record companies and Australian recording artists to safeguard the rights of Australian recording artists and labels,
ensuring that they receive a fair return for their music. In January 2017, PPCA, together with ARIA and APRA AMCOS,
introduced a new blanket licence solution to cover the use of sound recordings and copyright music at eisteddfods.


ARIA Australian Recording Industry Association is a national industry association proactively representing the interests of its members.
It provides licences on behalf of participating sound recording rights holders (ARIA Licensors) to individuals and organisations who wish to make legitimate
reproductions of sound recordings for some specific limited purposes (such as commercial background music suppliers). Through our licensing services
you can access a wide range of sound recordings from major record companies and independent labels. for those interested in the reproduction of sound
recordings for the purpose of their dance school, there is also a joint ARIA / AMCOS agreement for this which is administered by AMCOS.
Please call AMCOS on 02 9935-7900 for further information.


ABLIS Australian Business Licence and Information Service, is a free online service that will help you find the right local and Australian
government licences, permits, registrations, approvals and codes of practice you need to operate a business. https://ablis.business.gov.au/about 

The ABLIS site is probably the easiest place to start for independent information regarding APRA AMCOS and the licence requirements, click here to see
what I mean


You can also check the ABLIS page on Dance School Music Licences,
and the Copyright Council’s information sheet on music licensing.

We have been advised that you may also require licensing from the PPCA to cover the rights of recording artists and
record studios (APRA AMCOS licensing covers the rights of composers, songwriters, and music producers).

In big news, APRA AMCOS will be launching a combined licensing service called OneMusic Australia, due in 2019.
Drafts of the new licensing structures are being made available for review and consultation here.

Now for Eisteddfodau……………………………………….