Dear valued WDC members,
As we previously advised in our circulation of communication to you all some three weeks ago ( February 21st 2020) from the ongoing considerations at the meeting of your Board of Directors and as a result of our foresight and vision, we immediately implemented measures to plan for contingency in case it was considered more prudent to cancel all of our meetings of the WDC in Blackpool on a face-to-face basis and switch instead to virtual meetings, where each and every one of us participates from the safety and security of our own surroundings.
This was based on the upward trajectory and projections of the spread of the COVID-19 symptoms at that time. The good news is that we were ahead of the curve, the tragic news, and we are sure you all agree, is that our very worst fears were well-founded.
The interim three weeks have seen humanity face what many have characterized as the worst Global Pandemic situation for over 102 years. During the mere 21 days the global situation has radically morphed into a vastly different landscape, with multiple jurisdictions closing borders, varying national measures ranging from cancelation of group gatherings to actual Martial Law and curfew last seen in wartime.
Nonetheless we are at least comforted that we have been able to be proactive, diligent and use our foresight to keep you all as safe as we can during this chaotic period
As your duly elected President and Board, we felt it was our duty- and moral obligation – to see ahead and prepare. We also wish at this time to thank each and every one of you who wrote to us in agreement at and since that time, expressing your support for these measures and your Board, and we vowed that we would continue to monitor, plan and be aware and prepared. Your support and care in spite of the worry and trepidation which we all naturally feel during this time has been both touching and inspiring for us.
Moreover, your understanding for those who have made- and even prepaid- your travel arrangements in planning to attend Blackpool this year has been absolutely stunning and does us all proud, and we are eager to salute you all for your human values. Your Board has taken what you will all understand as the most reluctant yet inevitable and sensible decision to indeed switch this year’s meetings from face-to-face to virtual meetings, in an abundance of caution and with very little or no alternative.
Here therefore, is the outline of the decisions reached and the consequences/layout of our plans for you to keep you all safe and dispense with the need for travel and the accompanying risks in consequence considering the unprecedented circumstances in which we all find ourselves.
In light of the massive spread of the now pandemic Corona Virus COVID-19 world-wide and in full conjunction with all activities of most governments to contain the spread and cross contagion, the WDC President & Board of Directors have discussed measures to be taken in the greatest details and with the utmost care for your well-being, and have now made the following decision regarding the 70th Year celebrations and President’s dinner , and WDC Series of meetings to be scheduled to take place in Blackpool in May 2020:
- The Presidents Dinner and 70th Year celebration will be cancelled and postponed to a later date, most possibly Thursday, 27th May 2021.
- The WDC Competitive Dance Committee, Social Dance Committee Meetings and Annual General Meetings of the Council will be held as VIRTUAL ONLINE meetings.
The meetings will be held in the form of webinars, with all delegates being able to participate online from their homes without the need to travel, and with full facilities to conduct the business of the meetings, including the elections for the relevant Committees and the Board of Directors.
Full details of all meeting dates and times, invitations to delegates to register for the virtual meetings, and explanations including agendas and online tutorials will be distributed in due course and in line with the meeting notices as per the WDC Articles of Association.
The WDC President and Board feel confident that you will agree this is the only way to guarantee that all countries and their delegates can democratically and in full transparency take part in the meetings, whilst keeping their health and well-being as a primary focus. Far too many countries and delegates would otherwise face uncertainty anxiety and even danger if we burdened you all with the feeling of the need to travel, given the bans, quarantine restrictions, upheaval and even insurance complications which currently are extant, notwithstanding the airline industry precariousness and devastation currently unfolding before our very eyes.
Of course we are at pains to emphasize that we fully support the Blackpool Dance Festival, our wonderful host for decades and in no way wish to be advocating a lack of attendance at this most prestigious event. For all and any of you who do indeed still wish to travel and support the event on an individual basis, that is perfectly fine and to be applauded and supported from A to Z. Therefore, if you do decide still to travel to Blackpool that is a decision for you, one which we fully support, but we will not be holding any meetings there.
Be that as it may, at the time of writing, the rest of Europe, Asia and the USA are in various states of emergency, preventing people traveling back to their home countries, borders closed, restrictions and quarantines imposed and it seems inevitable and ethically necessary to cancel our events in Great Britain to contain the spread of the virus, with the requirement to take all of the above risks just to attend meetings when we have made contingency plans on your behalf something which just cannot be humanely justified.
In short, we want you all safe, healthy and in a good frame of mind to participate in our democratic deliberations!
Please stay safe and healthy and may God Bless us all.
General & Company Secretary, World Dance Council
on behalf of the WDC President & Board of Directors