Time to stop dancing, Sydney

Time to cancel your partner dance classes, Sydney. Gotta flatten that curve.

I know. I’m usually all in favour of curves. The more the better. But not this time.

Our government is only enforcing a ban on gatherings of 500 or more people at the moment. But they’re normal people, not lindy hoppers or (god forbid) balboa and blues dancers. Who don’t seem to recognise personal space boundaries.

As partner dancers we touch a lot more than non-dancing crowds.

We are generally pretty good at sharing germs, but in this moment, we’re going to be too good. Let’s aim to be rubbish at sharing germs. Aim low, Sydney, aim low.

COVID-19 is spread through ‘respiratory droplets’ (drops of wet stuff from our mouths and noses), and through physical contact. When we dance, we often have our mouths open as we laugh and smile, we sweat a lot, we are constantly touching our faces, wiping off sweat, etc etc. Then we wipe those droplets into our orifices, and all over our environment. We blow them onto chairs and tables and sinks and phones and bags and dance shoes. And then it can live there for a few days.

Soz, but solo jazz will not stop us germing all over each other. Solo jazzers are epic respiratory droplet distributors.

Dancing one metre or even two metres apart isn’t going to cut it. Yes, that snot goob flew out of your nose and onto a chair or door handle or table. And someone else will touch it. Or that time you laughed, and threw your head back? You sprayed mouth goobs all over the room. And that sweaty towel you rubbed over your eyes and mouth and nose and face? You’ve just left it on the table. Or your bag. And now you’re touching someone’s hand. EEEEk. Even in a time of un-pandemic, that’s gross.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid transmission through direct contact. No touchy.
And no blowing respiratory droplets onto other people.

Don’t panic!
Here are the important rules:

  • Wash your hands a lot. With soap and water, for 20 seconds.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • If you’ve just come home from overseas, you have to quarantine yourself at home for 14 days.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hand immediately. With soap and water
  • Stay in contact with your dance buddies using the Internet.

What is social distancing?
Social distancing is an effective measure, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations and the aim is to generally reduce potential for transmission.
While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:
– avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others

THIS ONE: THIS IS US, DANCERS:
– avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
> WE ARE GERMY. LIKE FAMILY IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE.

THIS IS ALSO US!
– attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
>GOOD LUCK KEEPING 1.5M BETWEEN YOU AND A BALBOA DANCER, FREND.

AND US AGAIN!!
– avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
> JUST TRY NOT TO SHAKE HANDS IWHT A LINDY HOPPER. I DARE YOU.

– avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

Teachers:
Don’t freak about losing your students or your venue or any of that stuff.
You will lose money. That’s going to happen.

BUT

You can keep in contact with your students using fb groups, and by starting a ‘community’ (discussion on your fb page).
Keep posting on your fb page, and engage people in conversation online.
Post little videos of yourself talking about dance (keep it short!) and your tips for practicing at home.

AND

Prepare for your triumphant return by rebooting some aspects of your business (ever wanted to rejig your teaching strategies? Now’s the time). Rethink your business plan. Start developing a lovely new promotional strategy.

MOST OF ALL

Keep in contact with other teachers and organisers, and get some virtual hand holding and support. Sydney is a ridiculously friendly scene, considering how many different schools and businesses our dance community has. Heck, we’re pretty much the only city in the world that could develop a shared response to sexual assault and harassment. Remember that time in 2016 we ran a replacement exchange when SSF had a stumble? We put together an ENTIRE weekend of parties with a week’s notice. And it was GREAT.

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