Crowd enjoying reggae/dancehall music and dancing at street party, called "Uptown Monday", sun has risen already.
Credit: Getty Images

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t have a party. A virtual party, that is.

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is now using its digital platform to throw virtual dance parties over Instagram Live for people who want to dance their worries away while also practicing responsible social distancing. Because right now, being in a crowded place like a dance club isn’t an advisable option.

The JTB kicks off its “Escape to Jamaica” series on Friday, April 3 at 9:00 p.m. EDT (8:00 p.m. local Jamaica time), featuring one of Jamaica’s leading disc jockeys, ZJ Sparks. The popular DJ will host a dance party featuring the latest reggae and dance hits live from Kingston, Jamaica.

The dance party series will go live, weekly, on the JTB’s Instagram on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In addition to dance parties, the series will also feature cooking demos and wellness sessions like yoga and other relaxing self-care practices. On Monday, April 6 at 9:00 p.m. EDT (8:00 p.m. local), Empress Thandi Wise, Certified Yoga Instructor from Rasta Wellness Centre and Jakes Hotel will host a yoga session, and on Wednesday, April 8 at 6:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. local) Andre Fowles, Food Network Chopped Champion and Culinary Ambassador for Miss Lily’s in New York, Negril, and Dubai, will host a cooking session.

“We’re aware that people from all corners of the globe may be in need of an escape with what’s happening right now. With this live series, Jamaica offers a virtual getaway through our music, cuisine, culture, warm people and that unmistakable Jamaican spirit,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Since visitors are unable to come to us at the moment, we want to bring the “Heartbeat of the World” to their homes. Jamaica will be here to welcome travelers when the time is right. We want our followers to know we can only get through this together.”

Live streams are announced through April 17: Friday, April 10 will feature a dance party with DJ Delano of Renaissance Disco. The Rousseau Sisters, owners of SummerHouse in Kingston, will host a traditional Jamaican cooking tutorial, and ZJ Chrome from radio station ZIP 103 will host another dance party on April 17.

For more information or to tune to a live stream, visit the Jamaica Tourism Board’s Instagram page. All participants are encouraged to engage with the JTB by using the hashtag #EscapetoJamaica.

If you’re looking for more Caribbean escapes, you can also take a virtual tour of St. Lucia from the safety of your couch.