Dear PoP Movers,
The global pandemic has affected us all in a myriad of ways, and we are aware that those of you who learn, perform, teach and produce popular dance will have been affected deeply by lockdown and social distancing protocols. I would like to express our solidarity with you and support for the multifarious strategies we are all rapidly developing to navigate through this crisis.
I thought it might be helpful to outline some of the ways PoP Moves is responding to the crisis, and to invite you to move forward with us. As you may know, we have postponed the PoP Moves Americas conference that was due to take place at York University, Toronto in April. We hope to carry forward elements of this conference to a PoP Moves Americas gathering in 2021, which is in the early, tentative stages of planning. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Mary Fogarty Woehrel and Deanne Kearney for their hard work on the Toronto conference and their sensitive handling of its postponement. Mary is now transitioning out of her role as Chair of PoP Moves Americas and I would like to thank her for her leadership and vision in developing a series of successful PoP Moves graduate conferences and in establishing a robust and sustainable infrastructure for the PoP Moves Americas node. I’m excited to welcome David Olarte (Arizona State University) as the new Chair of PoP Moves Americas, who will take forward our goal of connecting popular dance scholars across the Americas.
PoP Moves usually holds an annual conference in the autumn, but we have decided that there will be no annual conference in 2020 due to the continued uncertainties arising from COVID-19. Instead we intend to rechannel our energies into responding to the flourishing of virtual popular dance practices during the crisis. From online popular dance classes to Tik Tok, we have seen a rapid and creative proliferation of popular dance in virtual spaces. Our response to this phenomenon may include an archiving of emergent practices as the basis for future analysis in our field. We will share further details of this work soon, and invite you to be involved.
Our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms remain fully active in sharing information and resources on popular dance and popular dance studies, so please follow and interact with us there. Additionally, if any of you are interested in taking a more active role in PoP Moves, or have ideas for future PoP Moves initiatives, please do not hesitate to contact me via email.
Looking forward to moving forward together with you all,
Chair of PoP Moves International