Omicron variant fuels concerns of a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections will sweep over Florida during the holiday season.

[Dec 20, 2021] Dr. Joe Rush today announced that in view of an anticipated wave of Covid-19 infections over the coming weeks, contra dance events at the Dancing Fish are “currently on pause” as a precautionary measure.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing uncertainty of the Covid Omicron epidemic, we have decided to CANCEL the Dancing Fish event of Saturday, Jan 1st.

This will give us a little more time to get the registration and payment system on the website working better, as well as finishing up a few more improvements in the dance barn.

We are still hopeful that we will be able to have the February 4-6 weekend dance with Will Mentor calling to music by Sam Bartlett & Co. But we will keep an eye on things, and make a final decision as the date gets closer.

Dancing Fish of Lake Santa Fe dancer and promoter Patrick Harrigan, added that “the New Year’s Day is being canceled in view of the anticipated wave of COVID-19 infections in Florida, with the Omicron variant fast overtaking the already highly contagious Delta variant.”

Joe Rush oversees ongoing work to insulate the entire building for year-round contra dancing. This photo was taken in May 2021.

Concurrently, online booking is also suspended while the Dancing Fish website undergoes refitting in response to dancers’ ideas. Events or not, the site will continue to serve the dance community with news and—hopefully soon—an easy online booking system that suits the community’s needs.

“Not only that, but there’s a lot more going on here than you might think,” adds Joe.

“There’s a lot more going on here than you might think.”

—Joe Rush

“The Dancing Fish looks like a construction site right now. Workers have been trying to insulate the whole building before New Year. Now we can breath a little easier and finish the work.”

Besides the very ample ventilation provided by its cavernous doors, the Dancing Fish also boasts a 17-foot overhead fan that generates a steady downward (or upward) draft of fresh air to dancers on the floor below.

“This fan will literally blow you away,” says Joe. “And we can turn on the heaters, too, if the weather turns cold, leaving the big doors open for maximum ventilation.”

Meanwhile, Will Mentor with Sam Bartlett & Co. are scheduled to kick off the season of first weekend dances February 4-5-6. Dr. Joe will continue to monitor the Covid situation with support from volunteers.

New Year Weekend event canceled

Patrick Harrigan

An avid contra dancer, Patrick Harrigan is also a photographer, editor, and website publisher.