Re-Open Dance Studios

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The purpose of this petition is to convince the Ontario government to reconsider its position regarding dance studios and allow them to re-open safely and in compliance with all health directives.

Studio owners, dance families and dancers were extremely disappointed to learn last week that dance studios were not allowed to re-open safely under the amended regulations, which allowed some indoor sports and recreational fitness activities facilities to open, as dancers are not considered "athletes". 

The recent report from Sick Kids Hospital stated that physical education classes should be encouraged. It is extremely important for children's mental as well as physical health. All dancers have suffered due to the closure of schools and the cancellation of all extra-curricular activities. The lack of routine, contact with peers, the normality that they were used to, has taken its toll on their mental health. 

In addition to the physical and mental health benefits to our children that re-opening dance studios would provide, most dance studios are local businesses, employing teachers, administrative staff and janitorial staff. To allow them to re-open safely would contribute greatly to the rebuilding of local economies. It would also provide some much needed relief to working parents in need of safe activities for their children. 

Dance studios are ideally set up for physical distancing and compliance with public health directives and regulations. They are large, open rooms with almost no sharing of equipment, with the exception of ballet barres which are easily sanitized. Also, dancers are trained to keep to their own space and keep their distance from each other when necessary.

The dance community would be most grateful if the Ontario government would reconsider its position regarding dance studios and allow them to re-open safely and in compliance with all health directives.