As we are sure you all know, the current health situation is unprecedented and as we watch the Covid-19 (coronavirus) events unfold with some significant trepidation, we need to make a decision about our event for this year.
Unfortunately, partner dancing by definition requires hand holding, close proximity and close contact with multiple people - the perfect environment for a respiratory illness to breed and spread. Further VMJC brings people from all over Australia and a significant contingent from overseas - making it a potential hub for transmission of disease.
So, after much consideration, and in consultation with health professionals and with wise people whose counsel we respect, and following the messages from Victoria's chief health officer and Premier (quoted below), we have come to the conclusion that we must postpone VMJC for 2020.
Our primary concern is for our fellow dancers in our community and the safety of each and every one of you and your loved ones.
To continue in the hope that something miraculous will occur is irresponsible and unreasonable. We desperately hope that we are wrong; that we are making a big mistake and that Covid-19 will pass us by as a large non-event. The only bigger mistake we could make is to continue to fly in the face of reason and attempt to run VMJC with a significant possibility of a last minute cancellation through forced isolation, illness or Government legislation. We are also mindful of the significant financial cost both to us and to you, our dancers, should we need to cancel at the last minute.
We thank all of you who have already registered and will of course refund your registration fee. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this event, but it is truly out of our hands and we have waited as long as we dare to see if anything substantial is likely to change.
We look forward to dancing with you all in a post-covid-19 world!
We wish you and your loved ones the best through this difficult time.
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said he expected it would be "weeks, rather than months" before the number of person-to-person cases in Victoria prompted authorities to bring in "really disruptive public health measures".
"And it might be within the next four weeks. But I'm not going to pre-empt when it will be, because we are going to make an assessment every single day," Dr Sutton said.
"It remains the case that we can with certainty foreshadow extreme and widespread disruption," Mr Andrews said today.
"Big challenges for our economy, for schools, for workplaces, for major events, but it remains the case that that is not now. The time for that will be at some time in the medium-term.
"It's not a matter of panic or wanting to scare people, it's simply a matter of being as honest and upfront as we can be."
The Victorian Modern Jive Championships is the premiere Modern Jive Dance Competition in Australia.
Held annually at Federation Square, the VMJC attracts around 200 competitors from all over Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK.
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