Dance season is kicking off in Prince Rupert with new dancers signing up and young dancers returning to the studios in September.
Instructors are excited for what’s to come while parents of young stars-to-be are happy to see their children dancing — but are eyeing the pandemic situation closely.
As of Aug. 25, masks are once again mandatory indoors in B.C. The Ministry of Health announced on Aug. 23 that starting Sept. 13, proof of at least one dose of vaccine will be required to attend certain social settings. Then on Oct. 24, participants over the age of 12 will be required to be fully immunized.
“We’re are certainly taking advantage of anything we can do for activities while the opportunity is here,” Justin Sampson, the father of a younger dancer, said at an open house held at Spectrum City Dance on Aug. 25.
“Am I uncertain. Absolutely. Am I optimistic. Yes,” he said. “Today, I’m confident to bring my daughter to a place like this.”
With the delta variant of the virus spreading, Sampson said he determines how safe it is for his daughter to take part in social activities based on Northern Health’s daily COVID-19 numbers.
In the meantime, Sampson said he will keep sending his daughter to dance as long as he feels the local COVID-19 numbers are low.
Teresa Mackereth, artistic director at Dance Academy of Prince Rupert, has seen a very positive registration for the upcoming season.
“I think parents want their children to be involved. Dance is a very healthy option,” she said. “I think parents realize we do everything possible to keep their children safe.”
Alison Sherman, a dance instructor at Spectrum City Dance, said since dance studios have already gone through so many changes over the past year-and-a-half to adapt to the pandemic not much will change for them with the new restrictions.
“It’s all the same to us. We’re just excited to get the kids back to the studio and do what we love most,” Sherman said.
The choreographed nature of dance makes it easier to keep everyone socially distanced while continuing measures such as mandatory masks for ages 12 and above.
Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View