Update from the Board
April 29, 2020
With social distancing likely to be the norm in many countries for months to come, the RSCDS Board held an emergency meeting on 25 April to consider the long-term impact on the Society and on Scottish country dancing.
First, the Board praised the volunteers and staff behind the production of Dance Scottish At Home for keeping the Scottish dance community entertained during the weeks of lockdown. It also thanked the many branch committees and individuals worldwide who have stayed in touch with their fellow members, dancers and musicians through videos, music clips and newsletters. The imagination and spirit of Scottish dancers during these extraordinary times has been uplifting, and the network of friendships forged through the RSCDS has been a source of strength for many people living in isolation.
It is impossible to predict when life will return to anything like ‘normal’ and when we can get back to dancing. Things will move at a different pace from country to country, and specific measures affecting the size and nature of social gatherings will remain in place for some time. In thinking about a return to dancing, branches will have to comply with the measures imposed by their government, pay close attention to the advice from local health authorities and be sensitive to the concerns of their members. The Board encourages branches to exercise the same thoughtfulness in their decision-making as they did when going into lockdown. The health and welfare of dancers and musicians is paramount.
From a Society perspective, the Autumn Gathering 2020 and Winter School 2021 remain under review, but we are planning on going ahead with the AGM in November, though possibly in changed circumstances. Branches and delegates will be kept informed about that. Despite the uncertainties, the Board is determined to keep the Society functioning, to continue promoting Scottish dance and to help branches and groups prepare for a resumption of dancing. The Board will meet again at the end of May to agree an action plan. This will include measures to deal with the significant deficit in this year’s budget caused by the cancellation of Summer School and a general absence of dancing. A review of central costs has already begun.
The coronavirus and the measures taken to limit its spread have had a major impact on Scottish dancing, but our members and others have shown considerable resilience and ingenuity in keeping dance and music alive during these difficult times. For many there will not be a return to dancing for months to come, but the Board is confident that our branches and volunteers will maintain their enthusiasm and we can all look forward to dancing together once again. Until then . . .
Stay safe and stay in touch.