Coronavirus and its effect on new dance
I'm writing this article from my kitchen as, along with millions of other people up and down the country, and indeed across the world, I am working from home for the foreseeable future, due to this extraordinary situation caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19). There is an additional dimension to this for NEW Dance as our office is based at Deeside Leisure Centre, which has been repurposed as a temporary hospital in response to the current public health situation. This constantly changing situation has caused much uncertainty for everyone, and in this article, I will attempt to explain the impact it has had on NEW Dance.
For those of you not familiar with NEW Dance, we are a dance development organisation operating in north east Wales, specifically Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. When I meet new people and tell them that I am an administrator for a dance development organisation, a blank expression is not an infrequent response, so if this was your reaction too, you are not alone! Put simply, we are a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, revenue funded by the Arts Council of Wales. We are a small organisation, but with big goals and a substantial impact on the individuals and groups with whom we work. We run open access (public) dance classes, but also work with specific community groups to provide as many opportunities as possible to dance. We run workshops and projects with schools, hospitals, care homes, youth groups and prisons, sharing our love of dance and showing the physical and mental benefits of this activity.
Of course, the measures brought in by the government to slow the spread of the coronavirus mean that our classes, workshops and projects cannot go ahead, at least for time being. While this is incredibly disappointing for both us and our participants, we fully recognise and support the importance of following the government directives to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and to save lives. We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you, on behalf of all of NEW Dance, to all those key workers whose dedication and hard work will get the country through this crisis.
The lockdown does have an effect of which you may not be aware.
The NEW Dance practitioners who go out into the community to deliver our classes, workshops and projects are freelance dance artists; the NEW Dance Board of Trustees and Artistic Director have assured the practitioners that pay for uncompleted work for which they were already contracted will be honoured, but with such an unprecedented and uncertain situation, more long-term provision is needed for our practitioners.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to back this mission, we would be very grateful for your support. You can make a donation by clicking here. Thank you very much in advance.
The core team are still working remotely, so if you have any comments or queries, we would love to hear from you! You can email or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Just a final thought – during upsetting, uncertain and anxious times, dance can be a great way to distract your thoughts, get some exercise, and release those feel-good endorphins. While you aren’t able to attend dance sessions physically, we urge everyone who can safely do so to play some favourite music and keep the delight of dance going in their own homes. The team are getting their creative heads together to think of new ways to deliver dance both on- and offline, so watch this space for future updates!
We look forward very much to the time when we can dance with you in person again. In the meantime, stay safe (and stay home!).
With very best wishes to you all,
The NEW Dance team.