Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for the NYC Dance Community

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for the NYC Dance Community


(As of March 11, 2020, 3:00 p.m. EST)

Dear Members of the New York City Dance Community,

Dance/NYC understands the serious impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on our community and continues to closely monitor the news regarding the virus. The health of the New York City dance community is important to us and we are committed to doing our part to address this threat seriously and proactively. While there have been cases confirmed in New York City, the City remains open for business and operating as normal at this time. 

We recognize that this moment impacts many communities and that resources may be scarce. One of our goals is to provide you with helpful information to make the best possible decisions for your organizations and yourselves as individuals.
Dance/NYC appreciates the deleterious financial impact that the coronavirus may have on the dance community, in particular organizations and artists dependent on in-person gatherings, classes, and performances as sources of earned income, as well as artists and cultural workers without readily available access to healthcare and wage protections. We also recognize that African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA), immigrant and disabled artists may face additional challenges accessing necessary resources at this time.  In order for Dance/NYC to better serve and advocate for dance organizations and individuals in the dance community, we are asking that you take this brief survey to help us understand the impact the coronavirus is having on your organization and work. It should not take more than 10 minutes of your time. We value your input and will use it to create public awareness and guide policy, resources, and program development for dance makers and organizations based in the metropolitan New York City area.

Coronavirus impact survey

In the meantime, please remember the City has not asked for organizations to cancel events. As each organization has concerns specific to its operations and activities, your judgment should prevail. We encourage you to continue to support your local dance companies by attending their performances, classes, and/or consider donating. Our community has remained vigilant and responsive and is taking the necessary measures to ensure safe participation in active programming.  

We encourage all individuals to stay calm, but to also be proactive and take the following precautions to maintain the health of the dance community and New York City:

  • If you are sick, please stay home.
  • If you have an underlying health condition such as a compromised immune system or are someone who is at a higher risk of getting very sick, please follow the recommendations put forth by the CDC and your primary care provider.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available) – do not use your hands.
  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get the flu shot — it’s not too late. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
  • Facemasks are not recommended for people who feel well, but they should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • If you can stagger your commute or walk or bike to work, do. If the train is crowded, wait for the next one.

Unfortunately, the spread of the coronavirus has led to a rise in discrimination against racial and ethnic communities worldwide. As an organization that values justice, equity, and inclusion, we condemn the racism exhibited toward Chinese, Asian American, and other communities that have increased in recent weeks. We advocate for support of these communities and denounce any racist assaults and attacks, or hate crimes. If you are the victim of or witness a hate crime or bias incident in New York City, please report it immediately by calling 911 or your local precinct.

The New York City Police Department uses the following guideline to identify hate crime and bias incidents: "A bias incident is any offense or unlawful act that is motivated in whole or substantial part by a person's, a group's or a place's identification with a particular race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, ancestry, national origin, or sexual orientation (including gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender) as determined by the commanding officer of the Hate Crime Task Force."

We encourage organizations to remain proactive and responsive to the needs of your artists and patrons, acting quickly to ensure our community remains a safe place for everyone. If you need support addressing incidents of racial bias, please refer to Dance/NYC’s glossary and resource directory: Dance.NYC/JEIdirectory.

Finally, Dance/NYC has compiled resources for how you and your organization can plan, as well as details on how the Federal Government, New York State, and the City of New York are responding to current events. Please visit Dance.NYC for more information. 


As Congress and the Administration consider new forms of federal economic assistance that may be targeted or widespread, artists and performing arts groups can join with others in the arts and nonprofit sector to speak up to ensure that relief will meet all community needs. We encourage you to consider joining Dance/USA’s online campaign to Congress, or you can opt to weigh in directly with local district staff, to share more about your current needs. We urge you to be as specific as you can about the current and projected impact on yourself or your organization. Congress needs to hear from as many constituents as possible that COVID-19 relief should be made accessible to nonprofit arts organizations and artists. 
As opportunities for federal relief do become available, your elected officials will likely be key partners in helping you to gain access, so it is doubly important to tend to these relationships now by initiating a conversation on this topic.

We will continue to send updates as new information becomes available. 


Alejandra Duque Cifuentes
Executive Director

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