By Wayne Hazzard

September 11, 2020, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

I hope you’re well, and I hope you’re safe.

For most of 2020 these daily words were written in emails, texts and in posts on social. They do bear repeating: Dancers’ Group hopes you’re well, and we hope you’re safe.

These direct and caring sentiments reflect the many unknowns taking place during this shared situation known as COVID. I’m OK. Are you OK? I think that trying to make sense of this time is in part a realization that human and natural systems are not separate. Hey, World. Are you OK?

We find ourselves in an unreal reality. Being told to carry on with our life as if all is OK: like, the paradox of being ordered to shelter in place, yet the expectation is that we keep working, keep producing; and then there’s the reality of lost income and still having to pay our rent and loans and bills. How does this make sense — well it doesn’t and yet, it’s our reality.

Even during a pandemic — a time like and not like the HIV/AIDS pandemic — we dance. Times of great loss stir up questions of what to do? What comes next? These questions, past and present, guide us forward and provide options and opportunity to share. I do believe that dance is a sharing and forever kinda thing. It’s primal, and it feeds us, and it continues to be the thing we come back to. So continue to question. And continue to demand change.

As we’ve put together this Fall issue we’ve asked many questions, and one was, who’s in the community? This has led us to look at numerous dance organizations in the Bay Area — over 700 the last we surveyed. Within these pages we highlight a smattering — that’s a technical term — to illicit action from our readers. Meaning go to their website or social media page, and learn more about their work, activities, transitions, offerings. Be ready to be gobsmacked by what continues to take place here.

Let’s dance with those that protest. Let’s dance with those that dream. Let’s dance to ensure a shift in power. Let’s stomp out systemic racism. It doesn’t matter how we dance, it matters that we do something, we move, we are in action.

Let’s be kind and generous and ready to move toward truths we know to be true — in dance, in the World.

I hope you’re well, and I hope you’re safe.

This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of In Dance.

Wayne Hazzard is a native Californian and as a co-founder is proud to continue his work with the Bay Area dance community as the executive director of Dancers’ Group. Hazzard is a leader in the service field who is known for his work with fiscal sponsorship and on new program development. Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing the works of many notable choreographers including Ed Mock, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne, Joe Goode and Margaret Jenkins. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance.