Now more than ever, small businesses and Black owned businesses need support. As many as 78% of dance businesses closed their doors during Covid- 19 around the U.S., and that hit black owned businesses even harder. 410 Line Dancers was one of the lucky ones as we not only survived, but also, we improved during Covid-19. Despite that, we still need as much support as we can possibly muster.
At 410 Line Dancers, we try to gain support from our local, regional, & national soul line dancing community by offering value and support for the value and support we seek, but we have found that attaining support has been very challenging.
Initially, we would attend events hosted by other groups, pay IN FULL and try to keep the drama down. That did not get anyone to do the same for us. So we decided that maybe the other groups were not clear on why we were there, so we told the group leaders that we were there to support them and we did it in the hopes of creating a mutually value added relationship where we could support each other directly.
We also would do videos of us doing their dances, and post them to our YouTube, Facebook, etc. We did other groups’ dances in our performances and private events, we would let the choreographers know we were doing their dances, we purchased tickets to events when we couldn’t go and told the leaders we were doing it to support their group and that we couldn’t come and why.
We created 410 TV, researched and interviewed instructors / leaders and posted it on our YouTube channel. We have helped groups with advice, creating logos, commercials, flyers, and photos, setup monthly men of line dancing calls, taught their dances and even have our challenge of the month dances which featured THEIR dances (only in 2021 have we featured 1 of the dances we created). We have invited instructors to teach and DJ, at our events, created commercials, flyers etc, featuring them, and have tried to be gracious and giving when asked for ideas or help, and more. NONE OF THAT has helped gain support. In fact, it has had the opposite effect.
What Can We Do?
“What we have tried to do is demonstrate value to the other entrepreneurs, instructors, choreographers, & group leaders which theoretically would make it easier for them to offer support. We have operated under the assumption that support is elusive for them as well, but many simply do not see it that way. I think if people do not see the value of what we are doing and we need to stop offering value if we are not receiving value. Its that simple,” says Boomerang. “If we give value after not receiving it, we essentially say that it’s ok to treat us inequitably, so we will stop supporting those that don’t value our efforts.”