Best Practices: Dance and Covid-19

Sep 08 2021

Beginning September 20, 2021, businesses will have to follow new restrictions or adhere to exemption protocols to operate. View the summary here or visit the Government of Alberta website.
You do not need to apply or register for the exemption program.
View the “Communications Advice” section below for guidance on how to relay information to your stakeholders, members, and students.

September 8, 2021 – The Fall season marks the opening of many dance studios, the beginning of classes, and the announcements of production seasons. At the same time, we are still dealing with a global pandemic and the 4th wave of COVID-19. Many of our members are in an odd position between the need to provide arts and culture experiences to their community and protect the same community through safety measures. The following is just a suggestion on how our members can manage both.
At Alberta Dance Alliance, we recognize that organizations have their own choice to enforce entry and masking. As of today (September 8, 2021), dance classes are not required to follow mandatory masks under the municipal or provincial mandates, as these fall under physical activity. Similarly, we don’t necessarily instruct our member organizations to follow our suggestions below, but this exists as a guide for those looking to add in their regulations to avoid Covid-19 outbreaks potentially.

Communication Advice

  • Operators participating in the REP must maintain a written plan that outlines the processes and requirements of the program. Staff need to be trained on the plan including processes and steps to protect personal information. This should include training for staff, information for clientele, a written plan for auditing purposes and policies for what to do if individuals are non-compliant.
  • If you would like to be a part of the exemption program, masks or proof of vaccination/negative Covid-19 tests will be necessary, give as much notice as possible to your members or students to prepare them for changes.
  • Explain who will be impacted by participating in the program, particularly adults vs. youth
    • Under 18s do not need to prove vaccination in order to participate in physical activity
    • If adults are dropping/picking up youth, have a regulated pick up spot outside the building if possible (more information regarding pick up/drop off will be available soon), and ensure parents are masked if entering the building. If they are staying for any reason, they must have proof of vaccination. Again, there will be more clarity on this in the coming days but communicate this to your stakeholders.
  • Explain to members why you’re making these decisions: explain the proof of masks and vaccinations helping control the spread of Covid-19 and how this will help some members and staff feel safe.
  • Recognize that this will cause some backlash and will not sit well with all your stakeholders. Your organization would not have expected to get to this point; however, there are no ordinary circumstances these days.
  • Explain that these decisions to mask or ask for proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 test are a measure that ensure that you remain operational over the upcoming months and through the 4th wave.
  • You may offer refund to those who have paid for classes, studio time, or tickets that they can now not attend due to the regulation change.
  • Once again enforce that this decision was not easy to make but one you must implement and enforce.