Getty Images

Updated: Resources the Dance World Can Use to Deal With Coronavirus

The spread of the coronavirus is scary, no matter who you are. But for dancers, who work in close physical proximity to one another, there's an added element of risk.

Dancers can't exactly "work remotely," after all, and the dance world functions through large gatherings—classes, performances, rehearsals, events—that we have to avoid as the situation escalates.

We know to wash our hands, avoid touching our faces and stay home as much as possible.

But what else should the dance world be doing? We rounded up some of the most helpful resources on dealing with the virus:


Stay up to date.

The latest on the coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can always be found here.

Utilize local resources. 

The CDC recommends connecting with state and local health agencies for information specific to your location.

Plan events carefully.

If you're planning a performance, festival or other event, read this guide on planning gatherings amidst the outbreak from the World Health Organization.

Prepare your business.

Studio owner? Company director? All employers and business owners should read this guide from the CDC, with information about everything from sick leave to sanitizing your space.

Have a closure plan. 

This guide from ArtsReady has information on closing or potentially evacuating your arts business, as well as other helpful arts-specific recommendations, like having ticket takers just look at tickets rather than physically taking them, and communicating with audiences about cancellations and refunds.

Know your rights.

Lawyers Alliance has legal information on how to protect your nonprofit during this uncertain time, as well as a list of additional government resources.

Take care of your mental health. 

It's normal to feel depressed, anxious or scared during this time. Take care of yourself by talking to a professional: find a list of therapists and counselors offering free sessions for dancers here.

Communicate your needs.

Dance/NYC, Dance/USA and Americans for the Arts are conducting surveys to see how artists have been impacted by this crisis, so that they can better advocate for the dance community.

Fight discrimination. 

Unfortunately, coronavirus has led to an increase in racism and discrimination worldwide, according to Dance/NYC. For support in addressing incidents of racial bias, refer to Dance/NYC's glossary and resource directory.

Advocate for artists.

Contact your members of Congress to advocate for economic assistance for the dance community.

Adapt to digital learning. 

As schools close, many dance educators are left wondering how to teach dance virtually. These resources from the Dance Studies Association offer solutions and suggestions.

Stay sane.

Stuck at home? On the Boards TV is offering free unlimited performances rentals through April, so you can enjoy work by artists like Crystal Pite, Okwui Okpokwasili and Beth Gill from your couch.

Get help.

Artists can apply for five thousand dollar grants through this fund, created by a coalition of arts grantmakers. New York City-based artists and dance organizations can apply for grants through Dance/NYC's new relief fund here, Boston-based artists can apply for grants from the Boston Dance Alliance Relief Fund, and Illinois-based artists and arts organizations can apply for grants through the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund and the Arts Work Fund Emergency Relief Fund. Several more funds are forthcoming, and you can learn more about preparing for the financial impact of the crisis here.

Keep creating.

Though nearly all live performances have had to be canceled, that hasn't stopped artists from creating and showing work. The Social Distancing Festival is compiling virtual performances and hosting livestreams.

Additional resources:

The New York Foundation for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation have created a new medical emergency grant program for artists.

CultureAID and National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response have resources on disaster preparedness, recovery and response for artists.

Dance/USA, Creative Capital and Dance/NYC have compiled resources on their websites.

This growing crowd-sourced list of resources is aimed at freelance artists of all kinds.

We will update this post as more information is available.

Latest Posts


Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS