Dancing, the pending account of the de-escalation

Dancing, the pending account of the de-escalation

Dance class for beginners, yesterday, in the park of the Insular Stadium. / arcadio suarez

Banned dance floors. The Canary Islands is the only community that does not allow social dancing, not even with masks or in outdoor spaces

Carmen Delia Aranda

Most of the Spanish communities have already withdrawn all their restrictions on capacity and hours and
they only keep the use of the mask indoors and where interpersonal distance cannot be maintained. Even Valencia is preparing to experience its first post-pandemic Fallas.

In the Canary Islands, anticovid measures have also been eased and, although the
s popular festivals and verbenasare still prohibited, the religious brotherhoods are preparing to recover the processions in the coming Holy Week.

Capacity and hours are extended and almost all activities return to a certain normality, except dancing in discos, cocktail bars and karaoke bars,
an activity explicitly prohibited in the archipelago at all levels of health alertwith or without masks, in outdoor or indoor spaces, and which is already allowed in the rest of the communities.

«Maintaining the group has been complicated because
andThe dance has been the great punished of the pandemic», explains Carlos Hernández, president of the
Canarian Mojo Swing Association, created in 2015, whose members meet on Mondays to dance the different variants of swing music in squares and parks in the capital of Gran Canaria. These dances were resumed in October 2021, although the pandemic panorama pushed them to consider dissolving the group last August. “For a year and a half the association was paralyzed. Nothing could be done », he explains about the impossibility of performing his usual 'Clandestinos', weekly dances that after March 2020 lived up to their name, prior to the health crisis.

After the vaccination of the majority of the population and the relaxation of restrictions, they decided to continue with their street meetings. «The dance is in a strange limbo.
It is forbidden to dance in the premises, but in the street it seems that it is not». At least, that's Hernandez's impression. “The police saw us and didn't tell us anything. So far the reaction has been good. When people see you dancing to good music and having a good time, you make them happy," says the spokesperson for the group that has its anticovid rules: you dance with a mask and use hydroalcoholic gel when you change partners, although there are those who prefer always dance with the same person.

“Paradoxes arise such as that there may be 50 people in a small restaurant without a mask shouting, drinking and chatting and forbidding us to dance with masks in closed spaces,” explains Hernández, who asks that it be contemplated
allow dancing at least with a mask.

For his part, Alejandro Negrín, president of the Canary Islands Nightlife Association 'Canarias de Noche', maintains that in the archipelago
dancing, except in academies, "is not allowed in any environment in general"including business activities and the associative field,

This prohibition, together with the time limit,
has prevented the reopening of discos and nightclubs, musical activities that had the dance floor as their main differentiating element compared to cocktail bars and pubs. “There are many companies in the union that have not opened because it is not feasible to do so,” says Negrín.

In addition, the president of the Canarias de Noche collective affirms that it is very difficult to prevent clients from dancing. “Apart from the access control staff, which we already had before the pandemic, h
We have had to add the figure of the indoor environment controller», in charge of subtly warning that dancing is not allowed. "We have to try to keep customers from getting out of hand, which is very difficult," she acknowledges.

It is even difficult to know when they are breaking the norm. “If you stand next to your chair moving a little bit, are you dancing?
It's getting hard to control. People are at a point where the pandemic is over, "acknowledges the representative of the nightlife sector in the Federation of Federation of Hotel and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas (FEHT).

waiting for the reopening

Representatives of the nightlife sector are convinced that
there is very little left for the archipelago to recover the dance floors. “We are hopeful that they will open soon. It is essential, in addition to returning to normal hours. It is the feeling that we have and
we ask that you do it as soon as possible», explains the representative of Bars, Cafeterias, Restaurants and Nightlife of the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas (FEHT), Antonio Márquez.

Every Thursday, confesses the FETH nightlife spokesperson, they want the ban on dancing in the premises to be lifted, something that has not happened so far. «It will be soon, because of what is happening in the rest of Spain and in the whole world. We understand that
We can't be the last to take back the dance floors", it states.

And it is that Madrid recovered the dance floors in October. The rest of the communities gradually opened them. Catalonia recovered them in February, when the nightlife, closed since December, was reopened. The only community that maintains certain restrictions in this regard is Cantabria, which allows them to be worn with a mask.

Thus, the president of the Canary Islands Nightlife Association 'Canarias de Noche', Alejandro Negrín, is convinced that the opening of the slopes will soon reach the islands. “We agreed with the Government of the Canary Islands in August on a progressive de-escalation that would allow activity to be restored. In the middle the omicron arrived and stopped the process. We hope that it will be fully produced in the coming weeks", indicates Negrín, who highlights that
many communities have chosen to open the dance floors using two formulas: conditioning the capacity to maintain interpersonal distance or allowing the use of this space with a mask.

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