November 18th, 2020
Hello Dance Friends,
This letter is going to cover a few topics that are pertinent to our world right now. Health Authorities, SOCAN, ReSound, National Dance Coalition, Festival du Ballet. So, grab your favourite libation and settle in to read this as these issues are important to you, and to the dance community.
Please forward to all other teachers, Facebook groups, associates and significant parents in your dance world. The more information we put out there – the better we are. Amazing encouragement is being shown to all of us. I am saddened to see a few very crass comments being put out on social media. A tactless insult to our industry. Let’s rise above that behaviour and support each other through this at all times.
1. First up – National Dance Coalition already working on your behalf! There is a coalition that has already been working on your behalf for the last couple of years and I have been talking regularly and working with them over the past few weeks. When the Re:Sound issue came up a few years ago, we all got together to have a collective voice. This group includes, Royal Academy of Dance Canada, Cecchetti Canada, Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers, Canadian Dance Teachers Association, British Association of Teachers of Dance North America, BC Dance Educators, Alberta Dance Educators, Dance Saskatchewan, Dance Manitoba, Dance Ontario, Dance Nova Scotia.
2. Studio Closures We, of course, will always follow health protocols as mandated. We are doing our best to get equitable treatment to all dance studios in all Health jurisdictions. It is to be noted that Ontario has amended their Stage 2 reflections to recognize the dance structure. Clarke MacIntosh, National Director for RAD has written to Dr. Bonnie Henry to clarify how syllabus dance classes are training for vocational examinations. Dance Training has no co-relationship with Dance Fitness.
BC Dance Educators sent a letter to every Minister of Parliament and Health Authority in BC. Due to the Legislature transitioning we were unable to reach all MP’s. I will send you a copy of the letter if you did not receive it. A link is also on the website homepage. Clarke McIntosh with RAD Canada has written to all BC Teachers : This letter represents our situation for all studios. There is also an attachment in this e-mail that states how Ontario recognized dance training and referenced the necessary protocols in their Covid-19 statement. (Please see pages 4 and 5 specifically)
Message to BC Teachers – Clarification Regarding Recent PHO
Dear Teacher Further to our message yesterday regarding the recent Public Health Order in BC, we would like to clarify RAD Canada’s position. RAD Canada fully supports public health measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19, and in no way are we suggesting to members or dance schools that they should look on these any differently. What we are trying to do is support you in your efforts to ensure fair treatment for dance training, when other indoor physical training activities are deemed safe to continue. To date, provincial governments across the country have treated dance training as the same type of activity as dance ‘fitness’ classes, while allowing many ‘athletic' training activities to continue. If your dance students should actually be allowed to continue training under the current Order, then we would be remiss in not pursuing clarification on their behalf. With the situation in Ontario, the government recognized that they did not understand the distinct nature of dance training as closer to athletic training than fitness activities, and so, after due consideration amended the public health order accordingly. This has benefited dance students throughout the Province. We are asking the BC government for a similar clarification for BC dance schools. We fully acknowledge that Canada is facing a public health crisis and support government steps to combat the spread of the virus. If dance schools must close temporarily in the broader societal interest, then we will support this position and work with you to make this happen as smoothly as possible for your students. Please comply with all local Health Board orders and advisories, until further clarification is provided from the BC government. Sincerely, Royal Academy of Dance Canada
3. RAD Canada Petition
There is a petition on the RAD Canada website – get on that and add your voice.
Most importantly, please feel free to five me a call about any of this. I know this is a hard time for you all, I am always up for a chat. For those of you who have met me, you know that I talk way faster than I type!