Ready to bust a move? Dance floors reopen Friday in NJ … in some cases
Admit it — you've been itching to do the YMCA at a New Jersey wedding.
You'll get the chance starting on Friday, when dance floors can reopen for private events — one of the many coronavirus restrictions getting the boot as COVID metrics continue to improve.
Between this move and an upcoming jump in capacity numbers for both outdoor and indoor events, folks in the entertainment industry are getting the sense they'll finally be able to get in front of crowds again and do what they do best.
"No dancing, I'm basically a human iPod, just playing background music," said Brick resident James Nunziante, owner of Spotlight Entertainment.
Since last week, when Gov. Phil Murphy first announced a planned repeal of the dance-floor ban and increased capacity limits, Nunziante's company has seen an increase in the number of phone calls and messages from potential clients interested in booking events for later this year or 2022. Over the past several months, Nunziante said, there's been close to no business.
Murphy originally indicated that dance floors could reopen on May 10. He later moved the date up to May 7. Indoor events such as weddings can shift to 50% capacity, 250-person max, on May 7, and then a standalone 250-person cap on May 19. Dance floors are still off-limits at bars and nightclubs.
With the latest reopening news from Murphy, Hirschhorn said, couples and other clients are more likely to "keep their events," rather than push them off once again.
"When hiring an entertainment company or an event company, you're paying for the talent, you're paying for the time that your entertainment or DJ is giving you their all, as well as somebody leading the event for you," Hirschhorn said.
Hirschhorn doesn't expect business to return to near-normal conditions until a solid percentage of the population is fully vaccinated.
"We're still dealing with some cancellations because not everybody is vaccinated, especially kids," Hirschhorn said. "My bar and bat mitzvahs are still cancelling left and right."
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.