Victorian regional dance schools redesignated under COVID-19 roadmap unite to challenge restrictions

Victorian regional dance schools redesignated under COVID-19 roadmap unite to challenge restrictions

ABC·2020-09-21 13:33

Regional Victorian dance schools have launched a campaign to get the State Government to reclassify them so they can reopen for kids' classes.Key points:Regional Victorian dance schools are lobbying State Government to let them reopen for kids classesVictorian Government has reclassified dance schools as community sports which means they can only hold classes outsideMost dance schools were able to reopen safely after the first lockdown, and want to be able to againPreviously, the Victorian Government told peak body AusDance that dance studios were in the 'Creative Industry' category, meaning they could reopen under step 3 of the roadmap.However, yesterday they backflipped and said dance studios would now be classed as 'Community Sports' and only permitted to hold classes outside.Sharon Saunders, owner of Sharon Saunders Dancers, a dance school in Kangaroo Flat south of Bendigo, said that was not even an option."It's not practical or safe. I'd have to build a sprung floor, we've got pre-schoolers that need to be in a safe enclosed room we don't want them running off into the road," she said.For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog."We are teaching, the majority is children, and it is smaller classes, socially distanced, sanitised studios. It's always been that way."I really cant understand how it's okay for those same kids to be at school together, not socially distanced."If you can play football why penalise the kids who choose the arts?"Find more local news'Dance school gave her confidence'Bendigo mother Stacey Boswood's four-year-old daughter Alexandra has been attending Sharon Saunders' dance school for the past two years.Ms Boswood said her daughter's confidence had grown immensely in that time."We also had issues with social skills for Alex originally. She was very attached to me and she really struggled with that separation anxiety," she said."So the school offered this chance for her to be able to develop her own identity outside of me."The girls just gave her so much confidence and she was so happy to go and she brought home so much of it as well."Read more about coronavirus:Sharon Saunders (top right) said dance classes were safe enough to resume in July so they should be able to now.(Supplied: Sharon Saunders)'It makes no sense'When the dance school was able to open, after the first lockdown, they introduced new safety measures."There was no high touch contact, the kids were all assigned their own area to put their bag and their drink bottle so it wasn't a group environment and they were all very spaced out," Ms Boswood said.The Dance Arts Alliance has been formed to call on the Victorian Government to allow schools with students under 18 to reopen.Its chair, Mike Harrison-Lamond, said it was disgraceful to treat dance schools this way."Dance schools provide incredibly important social, physical and mental development in the lives of young Victorians," he said."In June the Victorian Government acknowledged us as a low-risk activity and we went back in line with schools. "Now they think we are the same as gyms, it makes no sense."In a statement the Victorian Government said: "Decisions on the operation of indoor facilities including gymnastics and dance studios for amateur participants will continue to be based on public health advice."What you need to know about coronavirus:

……

Read full article on ABC

Comments

Leave a comment in Nestia App