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Dancers Alliance Says After 30 Years, the Music Video Industry is Still the 'Lawless Wild West'

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More than 30 years after MTV launched, the professionals who dance alongside Prince, Madonna, Janet, Michael, Britney and Rihanna are trying to organize.

The Dancers Alliance is partnering with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to launch a campaign "It's About Time." They say they're seeking the same sort of pay, health insurance and other benefits for dancing in a music video that they already get in other formats. Dancer Kevin Stea explains the campaign for Frying Pan News:

If you see me or my fellow dancers on the Grammys, we are working under a union contract. If you see us in movies, commercials, or Dancing with the Stars, for example, we have a union contract. But when you watch dancers perform in music videos, we are working without a union contract and without basic protections on the job and no hope of insurance or pension benefits.

Yesterday, the group organized a flash mob in front of Sony to call attention to their cause:

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Stea says the Dancers' Alliance is planning to go to the bargaining table this week with major record labels, including Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI and Disney. The dancers have put up their stories about why they're trying to organize up on their YouTube channel.