After a great deal of thought, Richard and I have taken the decision to suspend our classes until further notice, in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Wednesday 11th March 2020 was our last class for the time-being, until we see an improvement in the situation regarding the virus.
Many people may see this as an over-reaction, but as directors of the company - responsibility for the company's activities is ultimately ours, and therefore so is the decision.
Since we both have other means of income, this is an easier decision for us than many of the dance teachers and promoters who make their entire living from dance. My heart goes out to those people, and we are by no means suggesting that other dance companies should take the same decision as us.
In absence of clear advice from central government, each individual community leader must make their own decision, and we fully support them whatever they decide.
We have been following the progress of the outbreak since January, at which point China took unprecedented measures to try and contain the virus - efforts which ultimately failed to stop the spread of Covid-19 around the world.
It is our understanding that cases of coronavirus are now growing exponentially outside of China. That means that cases are increasing by a factor of 10 every two weeks or so. Without significant intervention, the UK is only a matter of weeks behind Italy.
At the time of writing there are 382 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom. Until the UK government takes real action to encourage social distancing, exponential growth would suggest that after two weeks there will be 3,820 cases, after four weeks there will be 38,200, and by the end of April something like 382,000. John Hopkins University are maintaining a web-based dashboard where you can see up to date information on the number of cases.
This will put unprecedented strain on the NHS, and anything that can be done to slow the spread is going to save lives. We believe the time to act is now.
We would much rather be proved wrong, and be shown to be over-reacting, than to put vulnerable members of our community at risk. Fingers crossed, cases of the virus will soon level off in the UK and we can get back to doing what we love.