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Dancing in the heat… Be careful!

© Aziz Acharki – Unsplash

It’s the height of summer, and the streets and public spaces are bustling with shows and performances, as hundreds of artists, onlookers and curiosity-seekers gather under the sun. What could be more pleasant? Yes, but watch out for heat stroke! While everyone is familiar with basic guidelines like proper hydration, wearing a hat, and staying in the shade when the temperature climbs, the CNESST has published a practical guide to assess the level of risk for outdoor workers. These guidelines can also be applied to dancers in order to prevent heat strokes during an in situ performance, as mentioned by dancer and choreographer Marilyn Daoust, who brought the guide to the RQD’s attention.

I’m convinced that it’s still possible to come up with a risk prevention procedure. It might mean moving the performance into the shade, changing spaces, or scheduling the performance later in the day, when it’s cooler…

This truly practical tool, Working in the heat… Be careful! (in FR) helps you measure the risk of heatstroke by taking into account temperature and humidity levels, as well as the intensity of the work performed. Depending on where you are on the scale, you will be able to determine whether you need to take basic precautions, or if you should apply preventive measures to safely continue your activity. You will also learn how to detect the symptoms of a  heatstroke.

This easy-to-use health and safety tool is one that dancers, festival organizers and choreographers will want to keep handy.It will help you to carry out your activities in the best conditions. In Marilyn Daoust’s words: “Cancellation is not the only option” when the temperature soars.

Article published in 2019. Updated in 2021.