Dear Independence Squares Members and Friends,
I hope you are all are safe and well and finding new and interesting activities to keep occupied. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to express our sincere appreciation to Dance for Independence for their very generous donation of $3,000 to Independence Squares! In addition to hosting the wonderful 36th Annual IAGSDC Convention, they have given a donation that will help ensure that our club will be able to “hit the ground dancing” once we are able to safely resume. Thank you, Norma, Donna, Dane, Ed, Fred, and Will!
Unfortunately, the time to resume has not yet arrived, and we have made the decision to cancel our July 18 dance. As a reminder, the board has set three basic criteria that must be met before we consider resuming our normal activities:
- Philadelphia schools have resumed activities with no social distancing requirements in place.
- COVID-19 cases have been steadily declining in the 10 Philadelphia metro counties (Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks in PA; New Castle in DE; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem in NJ.
- It is legal to convene a group of 50 people in the city.
These represent the minimum conditions that the board feels must be met before we should consider a resumption of our gatherings. Additional criteria may be considered as conditions change. We are currently evaluating conditions monthly and, though encouraged by the reopening of some jurisdictions, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some of those areas give us cause to move slowly. The health and safety of our dancers is our primary concern. In the coming weeks we will be asking you to participate in a survey to provide us with feedback regarding what YOU, as dancers, consider appropriate criteria for resumption of our in-person activities. Please participate as we need your input for these critical decisions.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage everyone to join in our all-club virtual socials (second Tuesday of each month), game night (fourth Tuesday of each month) and our new Mah Jong evenings (Mondays). In addition, several callers are scheduling virtual square dances and we will be providing information regarding these to all who are on our e-mail list. These events are great fun and a wonderful way to keep in touch with other dancers and practice dance skills. Just be patient, acquiring the ability to dance with people who aren’t there can take some practice!
Take a Peak has scheduled a number of Virtual Convention events since we won’t be able to congregate in Denver in person. Please consider joining us online for those as well.
On a final note, although we (your board) generally try to avoid commenting on non-square dance events, the world has a way of intruding and I don’t believe any of us are unmoved by recent events. The Supreme Court ruling protecting the LGBT community from discrimination in hiring and firing was a remarkable milestone worthy of celebration! At the same time, events and protests across the nation have highlighted the many instances of racism still faced daily by people of color. Clearly advancement is possible, but much work remains to be done. Independence Squares remains committed to providing a welcoming environment to ALL and we will do our best to ensure that, even virtually, we remain a safe space where diversity, in all of its facets, is valued.
Please be safe!
Independence Squares President