Recognize Alberta Dance as a Learning Activity for Youth

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Dance Safe Alberta is petitioning the Alberta Government on behalf of dance studio businesses across Alberta to acknowledge “dance lessons” as separate from the fitness and studios category, as has been referenced in public health guidance.

While dance can involve physical activity and group choreography, it is predominantly an artistic activity with coordinated, sequenced learning that does not involve contact between people nor equipment unless directed to do so. Since the relaunch in June 2020, dance studios have limited contact between people and equipment in order to meet the recommendations of the Alberta Government’s Stage 2 business relaunch. We have provided:

  • 2-meters or more of physical distancing within our facilities,
  • cleaned and sanitized the facilities between classes,
  • implemented robust contact tracing procedures,
  • provided service to members-only with dedicated faculty to reduce the number of contacts,
  • required hand hygiene upon entering and exiting the facility,
  • reduced class sizes to accommodate social distancing,
  • closed general areas such as lobbies and change rooms, and
  • required mask-wearing within our facilities.

Alberta dance studios have suffered significant business loss and rising costs in response to making these modifications, and we have done so because we will support our students to receive the benefits of improved mental and physical wellness as a result of learning dance from qualified instructors in a safe facility. We are asking the Alberta Government to consider the educational elements of our businesses, understand that we are not fitness studios, acknowledge that we predominantly serve youth under the age of 18, and that we want to be given the opportunity to work with the government in devising the relaunch plan for our businesses collaboratively.

We recognize and understand that the Alberta Government is in the middle of a health crisis and increased measures are needed. We are committed to doing our part to provide the safest environment possible for those who enter our facilities. It is important to note that the dance industry is not responsible for the recent dramatic increase in cases. Forcing studios to remain closed, and not communicating with us about how to safely open, is unwarranted. This not only impacts our ability to financially survive but also affects the mental and physical wellbeing of children and their adult mentors alike.