Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Image: Leah Farrell

Dance schools can facilitate individual dance training, minister says

Members from the performing arts sector of Ireland held a silent, socially distanced protest outside Leinster House today over the continued closure of businesses.
Dec 3rd 2020, 7:51 PM 16,469 13

THE GOVERNMENT HAS given the green light dance schools to facilitate individual performers to train while adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines.

Members from the performing arts sector of Ireland held a silent, socially distanced protest outside Leinster House today over the continued closure of businesses.

The group included dance school owners, drama and stage school owners, dance teachers, and professional dancers and others.

The group called on the government to reopen their sector, along with sports and similar activities which are allowed to re-open under the easing of restrictions this week.

There have been calls for dancers to be allowed to train in pods of one, similar what other activities. 

Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Fine Gael’s Emer Higgins said children are getting back to sports training across the country.

Dancers and performing artists deserve the same treatment as other athletes, she argued.

“Not every child is sporty, not every adult is sporty. People get their kicks in different ways, and that’s why a kick-dance is as important as a karate kick. Why speech and drama is as important as soccer and drills. But our Level 3 guidelines says differently,” she told Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

“This is a huge issue for dancers.We’re talking about denying them their passion, after they’ve already endured months and months of lockdown,” said Higgins.

Having asked the minister what risk is posed by dancing, Higgins said she was told yesterday was none, but it was about the indoor aspect.

She said Sport Ireland issued guidelines to allow for sport practice in what they’re terming ‘pods of one’, adding that like Sports Ireland organisations, dancers will make sure their premises are safe, are clean, and that physical distancing is in place.

Sports Minister Catherine Martin said while dance classes can not be held, schools can offer one-on-one dance training and individual instruction at Level 3. 

She said the Arts Council are drawing up guidelines for dance practice that will be available next week. 

However, until then, she said performers can adhere to the Sport Ireland guidelines.

A number of other TDs such as Independent TD Mattie McGrath, who was All-Ireland set-dancing champion in 1974, has also raised the matter, as has Labour’s Alan Kelly and Independent TD Denis Naughten. 

Yesterday, Independent TD Carol Nolan said she meet several dance class teachers outside Leinster House this morning.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“It makes no sense that they are restricted so much. They have taken every measure they could possibly take.  They have mortgages to pay.  Children are back in school but cannot attend dance classes.  

“One dance teacher told me that children and teenagers are absolutely heartbroken and that it is having a serious effect on their mental health and well-being.  I appeal to the Government to please show some goodwill and fairness in terms of lifting this restriction because it makes no sense when children are back in school and everything else. This issue needs to be looked at,” she said.

Send a tip to the author

Christina Finn

COMMENTS (13)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

     
    cancel reply
    Back to top