1 September 2020 11:04

RAD Australia has written to the Premier of Victoria to ask him to fast track the studio return for pre-professional dancers

On Sunday 6th September the Victorian government will announce its latest roadmap to reopening from COVID-19 lockdown for the state. In advance of this announcement, RAD Australia has written to Premier Daniel Andrews to petition for an expedited return to the studio for students on a focussed elite training or pre-professional trajectory. This includes those in full-time study.

We have asked that the Government:

  • Recognise the dance sector as a separate category to other fitness and recreation activities.
  • Offer exemptions for a fast-tracked return for dance studios with full-time and pre-professional students with a COVID Safety Plan in place (i.e. those enrolled in a structured full-time training program with a qualified teacher).

In our letter we cited the impact of ongoing lockdown on both student’s health and wellbeing communicating express concerns over the potential for career affecting injury for those dancing in below optimal conditions at home. It also references the impact delayed training and education might have on career trajectories.

The letter also highlights the plight of the dance studio sector which has suffered massive financial losses, referring to Ausdance Victoria’s recent Business Impact Survey released last week.

We have reiterated to the Premier how well prepared and equipped the dance studio sector is to meet hygiene and social distancing protocols and how committed we are to ensuring the ongoing high standards of education our students receive. We hope this appeal will be heard and addressed in the upcoming roadmap to easing restrictions and we will be monitoring announcements and sharing those with Members as they happen.

Whilst we ideally want to see all students return to the dance studio as soon as possible, we recognise that reopening the State of Victoria will take time and that Government will understandably be cautious and measured in its approach. Experience in other States has shown us that education and essential services will be the first priority and we hope with this letter we will ensure that a dance education is considered as important as any other pre-professional education.  We will continue to monitor progress in the State alongside Government advice and will lobby further on behalf of all dancers and our Members at the appropriate stages in the State’s journey to reopening.