Dance studio

How Dance Organizations and Dancers Should Get Ready for COVID-19’s Financial Impact

The financial ramifications of a global epidemic have gone from hypothetical to very real as Broadway goes black and performances throughout the country are canceled. This is especially true in the dance world, where many institutions are NGOs or small enterprises with razor-thin margins, and performers rely on canceled bookings. It’s a frightening and unsettling period.

Many of us are struggling in this unique situation. If you own a small business in Arizona, such as a dance studio, you may be eligible for a loan from PaydayChampion AZ to help you.

Designed for dancers

There is assistance available if you are losing work or if you become ill and are concerned about medical expenditures. Several emergency funds for freelance artists, including local funds in several cities and states, are included in this crowdsourced list of resources for freelance artists.

Freelance dancers also established the NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund to support other dancers. You can fill out their survey to apply for financing or donate to help others if you’re able. The Dance Union podcast is currently seeking funds for a similar fund, with details on how to apply to follow soon.

Make contact with your elected officials. 

The federal government is now developing a coronavirus response strategy, and the non-profit dance community and freelance dancers must be included. As a founding member of the Performing Arts Alliance, Dance/USA is working to ensure that dance is included in the government COVID-19 assistance packages. You can discover all of your state and local legislators here, and they offer an easy tool to assist you in contacting your U.S. lawmakers.

Ensure to document any lost work as thoroughly as possible, as this will be necessary when applying for assistance. Dancers in New York should participate in Dance/Coronavirus NYC’s Impact Survey to assist them to collect data for their advocacy efforts.

Having three to six months’ worth of cash savings set aside for instances like these is optimal. 

On the other hand, many dancers find it difficult to save money because their wages are insecure, to begin with—and few people were prepared for a crisis of this proportions. 

You should start saving straight away if you don’t have any funds. Staying in and cooking at home, fortunately, helps with this. If you have disability insurance, check your policy—some policies, according to Sussman, cover you in the event of a job loss.

Is there any remote employment you can do if your dance performances are canceled? 

Many dance lessons have been canceled, but people stuck at home from work or school will be bored and want to maintain their routines. If you’re a teacher, consider offering virtual classes or recording and selling a course.

When the crisis is past, keep it in mind when making plans.

This is a beautiful example of why it’s critical to organize your finances balanced, with various asset types such as stocks, bonds, and cash savings. Maintaining quickly accessible cash savings or money market accounts is critical for emergencies when you need money straight away. It’s also vital not to put all of your money into stocks because the market might plummet at any minute, as it is right now. However, now is it if you’ve been waiting for the right time to start investing. You can buy cheap right now, and when the market recovers, you’ll make a lot of money.

Dedicated to Dance Organizations

Any institution should have a business continuity strategy. You can make one right now if you haven’t already. First, create a crisis communication plan, similar to a phone tree, to ensure that no employees are left in the dark. Additionally, have everyone sit down and create a synopsis of their work responsibilities.

Think about what you do on a daily and weekly basis, and the actions you take to do those things. This will assist you in determining what can be done without going into a physical office and allow other members of your team to step in if someone becomes unwell.

Ensure that your external messages are clear and consistent and that your event cancellation policy is open to the public. Make it easy for sick folks to stay at home if you haven’t completely canceled events. You may always give patrons the option of contributing their refund back to you. 

Many NGOs obtain grant funding with certain requirements, such as a deadline for completing a sponsored project or limitations on how the funds can be spent. Don’t be alarmed if the coronavirus has disrupted your project’s schedule or budget. Funders are aware of the situation and wish to assist. Simply keep everyone informed and demonstrate that you’re well-prepared administratively.

Although many insurance policies expressly exclude illness outbreaks, your claim will give information that could lead to more government engagement. Even if in-person events are canceled, you can keep patrons engaged and revenue flowing by thinking outside the box. 

Vimeo has tips on how to plan virtual parties, and how to host a Facebook Watch Party may be found here. More preparedness resources are available through NCAPER; keep an eye out for a new online risks planning tool that will be available in June.