When Can We Safely Dance Again?

Thank you to everyone who attended!  This video is also available on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 12       8:00-9:30 pm EST

Join us for a panel discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on our traditional dance communities, and the complex questions around when and how we’ll be able to safely resume dancing.  This conversation will be moderated by caller and dance organizer Claire Takemori, and will include:

Will Mentor, contra and square dance caller

Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Public Health Commissioner

Dr. Mary Applegate, Clinical Professor in Social Behavior and Community Health at the University at Albany School of Public Health

Professor Linda Breslin, Instructor and Ethics Consultant with Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College

Katy German, Executive Director of CDSS (Country Dance and Song Society)

Register for free to join live or submit questions to the panelists. The panel will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for anyone to view.

Panelist Bios:

Mary Applegate, MD MPH is a retired public health/preventive medicine physician.  She worked at the New York State Department of Health for many years and taught Social Behavior & Community Health at the University at Albany School of Public Health.

Linda Breslin, DPS, RN is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Ethics Consultant with Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College.  She began her career at Albany Medical Center in 1997.  Dr. Breslin graduated from SUNY IT with a BS in Nursing and later earned her MS in Bioethics followed by her DPS in Clinical Ethics Consultation at Albany Medical College.  Her research interests are with issues that arise in clinical ethics such as coordination of care within the hospital, the health-care decision making process with a focus on advance directives and end-of-life decisions and most recently the ethical implications of Covid-19 in both the hospital and community setting.

Katy German is the Executive Director of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS). CDSS is a member supported organization that runs dance camp programming, provides grant money to local communities and artists, publishes paper and digital content, provides liability insurance coverage for callers and events, and maintains a network of 275 dance and song groups in the US and Canada.  Katy also grew up immersed in a folk community, and has been engaged over the years as a participant, volunteer, trainee, teacher, camp program director, local organizer, and national board member.

Will Mentor is a contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence. He loves to choreograph evenings with a variety of dances and tempos that at times surprise and always delight, all the while keeping intact his guiding principle as a caller: “It’s about the dancers!”

Claire Takemori is passionate about sharing dance and music! It brings her no greater joy than to help people discover they can dance. She has been dancing her whole life. She has called family or contra dances from Haiku, Maui to Plymouth, Massachusetts. She also enjoys calling Square dances, English Country, Ceilidh party dances, and teaching couples dances. She organizes the South Bay Contra dance and the Teen Contra dances.

Elizabeth Whalen, MD, MPH is the Albany County Health Commissioner and is leading the County’s pandemic control efforts.  She previously served as the Health Department’s medical director, and as the Capital District Physicians Health Plan’s medical director in charge of Medicaid Managed Care. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and public health/preventive medicine.