On behalf of the Official Board of Highland Dancing (South Africa), I would like to wish you well for 2021. The first meeting of the year was held recently, at which a draft Covid 19 Risk Assessment document was presented. There are many Government guidelines and rules which have to be adhered to when group gatherings are once again allowed, i.e. When we are again at Level 2 or 1, and we thank Roxanne and Elinor who have put a great deal of time and effort into streamlining information into a comprehensive and manageable document.
We have requested and been granted an extension of the registration of dancers until March 2021, which has been communicated to all teachers, however if required further extension will be submitted to the Registration Committee of the RSOBHD. The RSOBHD has sanctioned competitive events provided they fall within the national guidelines. We have also petitioned the RSOBHD to provide guidelines for the holding of online competitions, in the event we are unable to return to in-person competition in the near future. To this end we are planning to build on the Choreography Challenge held last year to offer teachers/competition organisers an opportunity to retain the interest of competitive dancers.
The very nature of our dance form revolves heavily around competition and we are very aware that dancers and teachers are eager to resume competition. Whilst we are reluctant to confirm the date of any competition for the first couple of months, we are working closely with facilities having the necessary health protocols in place. Situations we are considering include the following: it be that a venue is used repeatedly, staggering the times of various grades and competitive programme without dances requiring a costume change, and with limited number of parent/family present as well as pre-paid entry, etc. Unlike many countries, our restrictions apply to the entire country and do not differentiate between provinces, cities or towns which does allow for more consistent planning.
We look forward as the world authorities offer progress in the containment of the pandemic by education towards basic awareness of symptoms, reducing transmission, comprehensive treatment of patients, and access to the vaccines which have been developed. Adherence to published restrictions is of paramount importance for our country, and to that end we accept and respect the direction of the President and the NCC. Every person in our country has been affected in a myriad of ways since the announcement of Level 5 directives which began on 26th March 2020.We will keep you undated with further developments as they pertain to our highland dancing community, and in the meantime encourage all to remember hand, face and space.
Gur math a thèid leat