Broadway World: Inside the Fight for Adult Dancers to Join Actors' Equity

Equity has always been somewhat open to taking on new workplaces -- for example, the unionization of performers at American Girl Place in midtown Manhattan -- but this last slew is part of a shift for the union. Frey and new Executive Director Alvin Vincent, Jr. come from unions that were more gung-ho on organizing. They've brought that spirit with them to their Equity jobs.

But not everyone who contacts Equity is suitable for Equity representation. Frey, who is on the front line of going through the requests, said she considers three major things when deciding whether to consider a group of workers for Equity: First, broadly, is whether Equity is "properly equipped to support the workers," in other words, whether its contracts are a good fit, whether its leaders have the required training, etcetera. Second, whether there is any chance to win the unionization campaign. Third, whether there is another union better equipped to handle the work. (For the Star Garden dancers, people questioned whether American Guild of Variety Artists or the International Entertainment Adult Union would have been better unions, but Frey believes the entertainment unions have significant overlap and the third factor did not sway her in that particular instance.)