Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Your Choreography, Your Creations.

When Your Choreography is Being Used by Others by Zumba®️ Fitness Instructor: Megan Hernandez

I think it is safe to say that all Zumba®️ instructors love to dance. They love to get up, shake off their day and let themselves move freely. They possess this effervescence about them that can bring a whole room of tired and over worked women and men into an entire new space of enjoyment. It is still mind boggling to think how many different ways we can move our bodies that is ethereal and motivating.  
Scrolling through ZIN™Facebook groups I have come across a trend in conversations--Choreography. One of the hot choreography topics is constantly about people using other people's choreography and using it as their own. Choreography that could have taken hours to create, if not days. Take for instance something you are so proud of creating and is being taught in someone else's class! So it is understandable why this topic keeps coming up. There is a sense of pride and honor that comes from all of that work and determination in creating choreography. Especially when the choreography wows your class like you knew it would! 

It is not a bad thing to take it personally that someone has stolen your masterpiece, that is probably the normal reaction. What if the "offenders" idolize your work and just want to pass on your talent? What if they are overwhelmed with creating their first class and know the songs YOU do and take it as a couple less songs they have to learn to get their own class going? On the contrary, some instructors think it would be flattering to have their choreography used by others. And, on one hand it kind of is, but what if that's not what you want? There are ways to protect your creativity by using copyright. 

For those of you that are feeling slighted and maybe even bitter, start by taking a few deep breaths and asking yourself a few questions. Really get to the bottom of why you are upset. 
  • Is it that the person is using it in a class where you have students in common? 
  • Has the person presented it on some form of digital media and taken credit for it? 
  • Do you feel like you should have been asked permission?
When you figure out the reason that you are upset, take another deep breath. 
The best approach may be to talk to the instructor and just let them know how you feel about it. This is especially the case with a new instructor. Everything is so overwhelming when new instructors start out on their Zumba®️ journey it might not even occur to them that the choreography they are using was created by YOU and NOT by Zumba®️ Fitness. It may not even occur to them that they would even need to ask to use choreography, or they simply maybe just don't know who to ask. It is a great idea to give the benefit of doubt to the instructor. Just having a conversation could help alleviate hard feelings. 

There are ways to protect your choreography if you feel that someone may benefit from it financially. You can upload your medium and use the Copyright symbol©️ with your name and the year of copyright next to it and then file it with your U.S. Copyright Office. Note that copyrighting your choreography will not prohibit others from performing the dance under the fair use principle. Fair use allows for limited personal and educational use, so that people may perform your dance in their own homes and in other arenas covered by limited personal and educational use. However, if you copyright your choreography, others cannot sell the dance or claim it as their own creation. I will leave you with this final thought. 

Remember why you became a Zumba®️ Fitness instructor...
Continue to put forward the best version of you to the world in front of you. Shine bright and make the world brighter for those around you.

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