Here are some rough thoughts about
“when we will be able to hold weekly swing dances again”
, responding to Dabney Hopkins’ question on facebook. There are clear cultural differences between countries and their responses to covid19, and I think this will shape the modern lindy hop world. If there is one.
Some places in Seoul have started already, because their government and population jumped onto the virus early, with thorough testing, transparent and accurate reporting, and exceptional healthcare.
For the rest of us? Not until the end of 2021, in Australia. And that’s ambitious. More like 2022. We got onto iso quite quickly, and our numbers are under control.
This delay will trash dance businesses, and see dancers move to other hobbies and work. So we’ll need to rebuild local scenes. Big events will be very slow to come back. We’ll lose our older dancers (and all their organisational and dancing skills) to illness or other activities. We will lose most of the privately owned dance venues, and council/govt and church owned venues will be in high demand.
Dancers will have to learn new cultures of hygiene, and they’ll make disastrous mistakes at first.
Travel will be strictly curtailed, interstate/inter-regional in places like Australia and Europe, and internationally.
I’m not going dancing until there’s a vaccine, because it’s a high risk activity. The longer we wait, the older i get, and the more at risk i’ll become.
I suspect various US states will allow it earlier, and lots of people will get sick and/or die, and take it home to their families, friends, and colleagues. The virus is out of control in the US, with citizens not practicing iso, tiers of government in conflict, and healthcare overwhelmed. The virus is hitting the poor and marginalised hardest. I suspect the US dance scene will lose the black dancers it does have to illness, grief and work, as they have to move to caring for families and community.
I worry about the OG musicians and dancers in the US the most. People who want ‘underground parties’, and don’t iso put these most vulnerable people at risk.
Stay home, for Sugar and Chazz and their family and friends.
I just had a walk and think. Things that are important now:
- Stay home, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t go dancing
- This will save lives.
- document and archive. If you have footage and photos of your local scene, social dancing, and bands, make two copies and keep it safe. If you have schedules, training manuals, transcriptions of routines, make two copies and keep them safe.
- this will preserve the stuff we’ve always had trouble finding: everyday dance life.
- Strengthen your networks. Email or phone your local elders – musicians, dancers, promoters, writers. People who have knowledge, and are most at risk.
- Start making videos that are entertaining, not just practice videos or jams. Make something people want to _watch_ and rewatch. This will keep you relevant to an increasingly nondancing audience.
- Look after your kids.
- We know they’re less likely to get covid. They’re our future.
- Look after the black kids and first nations kids who are most at risk.
- Care more about black people than you do about black dance.