Since our organizers contact list was launched last week, we've had about
25 people add themselves to the list! It's so awesome to see folks' faces
and find out what you're organizing. :)
I won't post about the contact list regularly but every six months or so,
I'll remind you that it exists and that you can update your information if
If you haven't yet added yourself but would like to, you can do so at any
brief google form <https://forms.gle/kpdaDNkscU6cFVZs7>
Details on the why of the list are below.
Emily in Ottawa
The contact list is meant to support our online community in a few
Help us put a face to a name —> That way we can have a stronger
connection, and even recognize each other at events when we travel.
Have a bit of context for the type of events folks organize.
Know where each other are located.
Be able to contact each other directly.
Hi fellow organizers,
Thanks to those who have added their information to the content collector!
It's only been up for one day and we already have info for 15 organizers.
:) :) :)
I've just sent the google doc to those who have participated already. It
will be interesting to know what others think but it actually brought me a
lot of joy to see your faces and get a feel for where folks are and what
they are organizing.
*Re the question about folks from other countries participating:*
Totally - we'd love to have folks from other places. I thought about adding
'country' as I know a few people are not in Canada or the US. However, I
didn't want the Canadian and Americans to be putting their countries as
that would be too much info. Short answer - yes, please participate! :)
*Re question about keeping the doc updated:*
My plan is to make the google document editable (suggestions/comments) by
all those who contribute their info. I'll send out a reminder once every 6
months or so in case people forget it exists & that they can update their
info. (This is no more work than approving new members to a listserv which
I already do for two other SW lists). My hope is that through this
process, the list will stay fairly updated.
Emily in Ottawa
On Fri, Apr 21, 2023 at 9:48 AM John Sweeney via Organizers <
> Hi Emily,
> I assume from the “State/Province” in the form that this is
> only for North Americans.
> Keeping it up-to-date may be a challenge.
> Maybe it would be better for people to sign their posts. My
> e-mails all have the signature below. People can provide a link to their
> Web page or Facebook page to show their faces and what they organise.
> Hopefully those pages will be up-to-date.
> Happy dancing,
> John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362 & 07802
> 940 574
> http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent
> Organizers mailing list -- organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> To unsubscribe send an email to organizers-leave(a)lists.sharedweight.net
Hi Shared Weight organizers,
I've been talking with Seth (our organizers list moderator) about the
following idea and I wanted to bring it to you all. I think it would be
super awesome for us to have a contact list with our photo, email, where
we're located + what we organize.
*Why a SW organizers contact list??*
I've always wanted to put a face to your name if I haven't met you before.
We've been chatting for so many years and yet, many of us don't know what
each other look like. If we showed up at a dance, we could actually miss
connecting! Also, knowing what we each organize and where we're located
helps put things into context. Finally, having a list will help us reach
out to each other directly if there's a specific question we want to ask
*Are you interested in participating?*
If so, please fill out this very brief google form
<https://forms.gle/kpdaDNkscU6cFVZs7>, ideally by April 30th.
Then I'll move your information into a google document in early May.
All those who share their information will get a link to that google
document. We won't be sharing the google doc link directly onto the list as
our list archives are public and so can be searched by google and our
personal information would be public.
The document will say right at the top that it's not to be shared. :)
I'm hoping this can strengthen our sense of community & our interest in
further conversations if we 'know' each other just a little bit more.
:) Emily in Ottawa
PS: This is the first time we're trying something like this on a SW list.
We'll see how it works here and then maybe it can be used on other lists.
The Lenox contra dance series is interested in knowing other dance series/events around the country that do not have a vaccination requirement. If you feel comfortable letting us know of your existence, please email us directly at info(a)lenoxcontradance.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
Thanks Seth for helping to reset the tone. Agreed folks need to feel like they can share perspectives without concern.
The OP’s question was:
> “I am very curious about what other organizers think. Is it time? And what should be our criteria for lifting our mandates?”
That suggests a broader response beyond just what others are doing.
For me the broader sharing along with the thinking behind it and related experiences and implications is helpful. There are many way to think and decide, so knowing the thinking beyond just the policy I lends to better decisions.
Do we do what’s best for the most people? What is best? At the hospital, folks are asked to wear a mask to make others more comfortable. Do we expect the same from our dancers?
I thought Woody shared most of what I was thinking. Specifically, contra dances made be the best way to spread disease. That said, maybe also good for building immunity, if we all survive.
For me, important is the idea that I wear a mask mostly for others. For those who are immune compromised, and because people are still dying.
I like the idea of different lines, and even alternating dances, where masks are required or not. This give options to everyone.
But I also recall a suggestion a while back; we can go back to “normal” when COVID numbers align with Flu numbers. We all should know that varies significantly from year to year, both in transmission and severity, so it’s not an exact answer but a reasonable place to shoot for, and a risk level most folks tend to accept.
So everyone knows, we have been dancing every Monday since January, with N95 masks required. We didn’t choose to ask for proof of vaccine. No problems with compliance, from young and old. Doesn’t seem to affect anyone’s ability to dance. Participant numbers are down, but then that seems to be the case generally for all post COVID events. We expect numbers to increase over time.
Maybe we’ll try alternating mask weeks and see what that does to our numbers. 🤔
Full disclosure: I’ll be helping the OP make the decision for MFS. Because we host a weekly dance alternating mask requirements each week is more viable than a monthly dance. But we plan to restart a (hopefully) larger monthly Saturday dance soon so the mask question has greater implications.
Sent from miHand,
‘…the slimmest of instructions, “To use your gifts and dreams for good.” ’
— From Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
> On Apr 12, 2023, at 11:07 AM, Seth Seeger via Organizers <organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> * People are asking what others are doing. Not asking for advice on what they should be doing. Please don't offer unsolicited advice. I think it is useful to hear what is happening at other dances. But if there is going to be negative/critical feedback, people will not share.
Hello fellow organizers,
I have been a big proponent of our dance mask mandates and feel we have prevented quite a bit of COVID spread by requiring good facemasks.
However, our local hospital has announced that after 3 years of a mask mandate for everyone entering their building (it’s both a hospital and a medical center), they are lifting the mandate on April 10 for anyone asymptomatic and who hasn’t had a recent COVID contact.
Our board will be discussing this soon but I am very curious about what other organizers think. Is it time? And what should be our criteria for lifting our mandates?
Monadnock Folklore Society
Yes, Don I was being a little tongue in cheek and I apologize for that. I
was in a bit of a rush when I wrote that. Here's a fuller response.
Mac is almost certainly correct in claiming that mask wearing is less risky
than no mask wearing with respect to community spread. But implicit in his
response is that whatever risk remains is an acceptable one. It certainly
is to him (and me) and probably everyone reading this. But one can imagine
people for whom this lower risk would still be unacceptable. Such people
might look at contra dancing as a selfish, recreational activity that
during a pandemic endangers the health of the wider community. They would
have a point. The only risk-free dance is no dance.
Now, fortunately, there are health organizations that provide guidance to
all of us on matters of public health. We don't have to set policies based
on the least or the most risk averse people in our community. We can look
to these organizations for guidance. They don't set their risk tolerance
thresholds at zero just like water departments don't set the acceptable
parts per million of e coli in the water supply at zero. A certain amount
of risk is acceptable (yay, we can all have a contra dance!). The premiere
such health organization in our country is the Centers for Disease Control.
In our dance community in Berkshire Count, MA, we decided to simply follow
CDC COVID-19 guidelines, not reinterpret them or add to them, just follow
them. Ever since our dance restarted last July, the CDC guidelines with
respect to mask wearing in indoor spaces is that everyone should be masked
if the community spread level of the virus is high (red). If it is low
(green) or medium (yellow), certain individuals should be masked (e.g., the
immunocompromised, those with a known recent COVID exposure, etc.) and
anyone who wishes to mask, certainly can, but the CDC does *not* explicitly
recommend that *everyone* masks. So, neither do we. If the community spread
level is high, we simply cancel the dance (which we've never actually had
We have followed the same guidance for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
The CDC has made it very clear that the purpose of the COVID-19 vaccination
program is to prevent severe infections, not stop transmission, which makes
sense given how poorly the vaccines have done at stopping transmission. So
we don't exclude unvaccinated or partially vaccinated dancers from our
dance because, as organizers, we are only concerned about transmission at
our dance, not what health choices people might make for themselves.
- Jon Greene (Lenox contra dance organizer)
On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 11:16 AM Don Peabody <donpeabody(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> You may be using sarcasm, but I agree with what you’ve said.
> Love to you all—
> > On Apr 9, 2023, at 10:23 AM, Jon Greene via Organizers <
> organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> > Mac,
> > I guess none of us then should really be contra dancing at all because
> dancing surely creates more transmission risk than not dancing. And for a
> recreational activity that, unlike earning a living, is not even a
> > - Jon Greene
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >> On Apr 8, 2023, at 5:27 PM, Walker Sloan via Organizers <
> organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> >> Becoming infected by Covid today is a lower risk to the individual than
> at the start of the pandemic.
> >> However, becoming infected by Covid is also an opportunity for the
> Covid virus to be transmitted to others, and to mutate.
> >> R0 is the number of people that an infected individual is likely to
> >> R0 was 5.4 in Dec 2022.
> >> XBB.1.5 is estimated to be 82% of all Covid cases today.
> >> 5.4 and 82% are not numbers influenced by communities or individuals
> attitudes towards risk. Only by community and individual behavior.
> >> People who assume increased risk for themselves are also assuming
> increased risk for 5.4 other people.
> >> Masks, vaxes, and emails mitigate risks.
> >> These data are from an article published by a reputable university
> hospital last month on Mar 17 2023. Scroll to the last page for R0.
> >> Mac Sloan
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Organizers mailing list -- organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> >> To unsubscribe send an email to organizers-leave(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> > _______________________________________________
> > Organizers mailing list -- organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> > To unsubscribe send an email to organizers-leave(a)lists.sharedweight.net
On a slightly different topic, when I read Darlene's post, I nodded my head at this:
I seldom chime in on things, though I lurk in the background, due to people going on the defense or sometimes attacking. I am only posting so you have some information on what we are doing here in our part of the world.
This has been true for me lately. (But Darlene's willingness to share emboldened me to share data from our dance series. Thanks Darlene!)
I hope that this list can be a place where divergent experiences are shared, and where those varied perspectives are received respectfully, knowing they're offered with the intent of helping others in their organizing work.
When I have questions or seek clarification or want to challenge that perspective, I know that I can either pursue those conversations off list (1:1 email, phone call or in person) or I can respond on the list with careful kindness and respect, hoping that the other person will respond in kind.
When a listserv devolves into attacking or defensiveness, then the list members are effectively silencing people like Darlene. Which is a loss for all of us.
But when many voices are heard, I learn new things, have my assumptions challenged, and get nudged into more complex thinking. And I can return to my community with fresh ideas.
Which is the point of this listserv :)
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