At the time of writing (13.03.2020), Social Distancing is deemed to be the most effective public health measure for slowing down the spread of coronavirus. If we don’t, we run the risk of overwhelming our healthcare system. There are plenty of official resources from the health authorities supporting this, which we’re not going to discuss here. We, however, are going to look at ways on how we can still support our local social dancing scene in the time when we are advised not to go to dance classes and events.
Be Kind and Understanding
Dancers, please treat your Dance Instructors, Artists, and Social Event Organisers with kindness and understanding. No one wanted this pandemic to happen. Cancelled classes and events will incur costs and some of them might be irrecuperable. Please accept whatever they can offer you as compensation and trust that they’re doing the best they can. Many people in the social dancing scene are doing this for the love of the dance and not for much profit (if any). If you are able, you can continue supporting your self-employed local instructors by paying for future classes in advance to help them get through this.
Move Your Classes Online
If you are a Dance Instructor, you can consider moving your classes online during this time. There are several free/low-cost platforms you can use to do this such as: Facebook Live, Youtube Live, Skype, or Google Hangout. And you can set up a Donate button with Paypal, or open a Patreon account, or offer bank transfer for taking payment. If your students find it difficult to do a partner dance class, then it might be an idea to do some styling, footwork, or choreography classes, or you can teach body movement, musicality, or even the dance/cultural history. You can treat it as an opportunity to teach something that you would rarely do in a normal class. Perhaps even offer a private Skype class for a couple where you can charge at a slightly higher fee.
Live Streaming Party
For Social Event Organisers and DJs, you can also move your party online. Yes, it’s not the same, but the dance community will thank you for helping them with the social dancing withdrawal syndrome. You can host your event on the same platforms mentioned above with a similar setup, or if it’s just audio you can use the like of Soundcloud, Spotify, or Mixlr. You can create a buzz about it beforehand and generate excitement, for example through a Facebook Watch Party invite.
Plan for Your Dance Business
Dance Business Owners, you can use this downtime to look more closely at your business and learn some new skills. Take online marketing courses, write down your social media plan, set up a system, read blogs and useful resources to sharpen up your business skills, etc. so that you’ll be ready to accelerate your business growth when it’s business as usual. Take this opportunity to work on your business rather than in your business. Go to sodance.uk for ideas.
We can all contribute to our community by supporting each other in this difficult time. Please do take precautions if you decide to go out dancing. Follow the advice from your local health authorities and remember that even though the coronavirus might only cause mild symptoms on yourself, you could still spread the infection to older and more vulnerable people around you, which in severe cases can cause death. And in the case of social events, where you’re in close proximity with many people for long hours, you have the potential for spreading the virus to very many people. Please remember to stay calm until we all get through this, and in the meantime remain positive and stay together with our beloved dancing community.