Help Dance Studios in Washington State Remain open

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Dance Studio owners in Washington State are being shut down without any formal reason or data for us to understand and/or back up the current mandates.  We have had no formal guidance or classification since day one of these shut downs.  The newest mandate requires Dance Studios to close and no longer offer inbuilding instruction, guidance, or mentoring. Yet the Arts/Entertainment/Recreation Industries account for 1% or less of the total number of cases in WA State, according to https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/IndustrySectorReport.pdf

Dance Studios provide an ESSENTIAL service to the youth, teens, and young adults who need an outlet for their physical, mental, and emotional health. Studio owners have gone above and beyond the state mandates for inbuilding instruction, because the HEALTH and SAFETY of their staff, instructors, and dancers is their TOP PRIORITY .  

Dance studios have put the following safety regulations in place: temperature checks at the door, hand sanitizing stations that all staff and dancers use upon entrance and exit. Separate entrances or introducing staggered start/end times, for each dance room within a studio, are used for entering and exiting. Studio owners have installed Level 13 MERV filters in their buildings and deep clean between each group of students. Separate bathroom stalls and cleaning sinks for each classroom. Dancers and staff socially distance a minimum of 6 feet apart. Staff and students wear masks. Class sizes are kept to 5 dancers per classroom unless the state mandated square footage formula allows for more. 

According to multiple county Department of Health reports and information, these safety precautions have allowed studio owners to provide a SAFE environment for their staff and dancers.

Many studio owners have applied for grants and loans but have fallen short of funding to allow their business to survive and provide an income for themselves and their staff. Most studios have seen a 30-60% drop in enrollment and have no means to recoup the lost income. These mandates for studios to remain closed not only affects the well being of the dancers now, but if dance studios can not sustain their businesses they will not be there for the youth, teens, and young adults in the future. That loss will extend far into our communities for years to come.

Please sign this petition in support of Dance Studio owners in Washington to remain open in keeping within all of the safety regulations. The future of dance studios, the Dance Arts, and ALL that in-person connection to our youth benefit from, depends upon it.