Weyburn teenager petitioning the government on behalf of the dancers
YORKTON – An 18-year-old from Weyburn questions a COVID-19 directive that bars dancers over 18 from participating in classes or virtual performances.
Paris Lyon, a dancer who will have to quit competitive group dancing after her birthday on March 29, has started a petition calling on the Saskatchewan Minister of Health and the Business Recovery Team to let those in its situation end the season.
The dancers have been in the studio since September, but virtual performances replace in-person competitions. As per Saskatchewan government guidelines, groups of eight or less dancers under the age of 18 may be in a single space, but dancers over 18 are only permitted to perform virtual solo performances.
Lyon will still be able to play her solo, but not in her group dances after she turns 19.
The government has said rules are in place for adults to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The suspension from adult sports and activities has been put in place to help reduce the movement of people and, as a result, the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Allowing the training and conditioning of athletes 18 and under was aimed at ensuring a certain level of physical activity for young people in the province, ”the Government of Saskatchewan said in a statement.
Lyon said she was not asking for exceptional changes that would jeopardize the health of others, but simply that those born between January and June 2002 can complete the season they started in the fall.
“What’s the difference between going to class on a Sunday at 18 and going to class on a Monday at 19?” Lyon said.
In the first week, the petition on Change.org garnered more than 2,000 signatures for the restriction to be lifted.
Lyon said the petition needed 5,000 signatures to make an impact, and she hopes to see the restrictions changed before studios start filming performances after Easter.
“Last year COVID hit just before we started dance competitions, so we lost our last year,” Lyon said, adding that many in his age group had also lost their school diplomas. secondary and their first year of university.
“We’re trying to redeem one thing and dancing is, you know, really important to our physical and mental health and we need it, we really really need it.