Statement on Temporary Closure of Dance Base

Castle view from Dance Base roof

Following the statement from the UK Government on 16 March, escalating the safety measures surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Dance Base will be closing to the public and ceasing all classes and activities, from Tuesday 17 March until at least Friday 17 April. As the situation develops, further updates will be posted.

This is an unprecedented situation and the threat to arts charities like Dance Base is considerable. Our absolute priority is safeguarding the wellbeing of all participants, teachers, independent dance artists, musicians and staff. We must do what we can to prevent the spread of this virus but we must also do everything we can to mitigate the impact this temporary closure will have on the many who rely on this organisation.

We are able to announce these initial measures with regard to the weeks ahead:

  • All teachers and musicians will be paid to the end of the current term (Spring 2020) as per their contracts.

  • All contracted casual staff will be paid in line with their current agreed rota, which runs to 29 March.

  • All artist residencies for the rest of the current term (Spring 2020) will be rescheduled and all financial commitments for those residencies will be honoured.

  • All customers booked into courses in the current term (Spring 2020) will be eligible for credit.

  • Other scheduled activity within the period to 17 April will be rescheduled or cancelled; event partners and hirers of Dance Base spaces will be contacted directly to discuss terms of postponement.

  • Priority Bookings and General Bookings for Summer Term 2020 will not go ahead.

  • We are exploring plans to restructure Summer Term classes as drop-in only, to allow flexibility in re-opening when it is safe to do so. Priority Booking eligibility will be carried over to Autumn Term instead of Summer Term.

  • We will seek to collate and publish advice for freelance colleagues affected by this crisis and to expand our online resources for artists.

This is an extraordinary time. Dance Base is an organisation that seeks to build community in every area of its work and it is distressing to have to close our doors. We will do all we can to maintain that sense of community through this temporary closure, and to be as open and communicative as we can about the next stages.

This crisis poses a major threat to Dance Base, as it does for many arts charities and small businesses. We understand the fear that everyone feels right now, both in terms of their health and in terms of financial uncertainty, and we would like to express our gratitude to the customers who have already offered to treat the value of their bookings as a donation to Dance Base. That kind of generosity and community-mindedness (from those who can afford it) is what will allow arts charities like ours to continue to exist and to continue paying teachers and staff. We recognise however, that many cannot afford to take that step and we will, without question, issue credit for the cancelled classes to all eligible customers who request it. Written requests for credit should be sent to dance@dancebase.co.uk. We would ask that customers email rather than call, to help our staff manage the considerable task of these cancellations.

We know what Dance Base means to people. We know what it means to be in a room together, dancing. We hope to reopen soon, and to welcome all of you back.

In the meantime, we must all focus on staying safe and looking after each other.

 

17/03/20

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