After four rounds of pandemic restrictions, a popular Vancouver dance studio is pulling out.
For 12 years, Mount Pleasant’s D2 Dance Studio has provided an environment, both social and educational, where people come for salsa, bachata, zouk and more.
But with repeated closings and restrictions on in-person activities aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, co-owner Jennifer Dancey said it no longer makes economic sense to hang on to the studio.
“We finally decided it didn’t make sense to pay rent on space we could barely use,” she said.
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“Our industry is based on people dancing together and doing things in person, so trying to move everything online or Zoom just wasn’t going to work for our business. There are some types of dancing that you can do yourself in your living room, but our business is based on social contact.
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British Columbia’s latest restrictions, implemented in mid-December as the Omicron variant sent case numbers skyrocketing, closed public gymnasiums, high-intensity group training facilities and classes in dance studios.
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“When we have a lot of transmission in our community, we have repeatedly seen gyms become amplifiers,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said earlier this month in response to complaints from the health sector. fitness.
“We can tell you that we saw that as a model.”
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Henry said the province would allow fitness facilities to reopen at the first safe opportunity. She is expected to provide an update on the latest round of restrictions on Tuesday.
It will be too late for D2. But Dancey said she was confident they made the right decision.
Yet she worries about the toll that the repeated closure of fitness faculties is taking on the public.
“This pandemic has been very difficult for people as it has isolated everyone from each other. It took away that sense of community, family, and connection, and it led to mental health issues for people. This led to physical problems,” she said.
“Gymnasiums and dance studios are so important to people’s physical and mental health – given that this pandemic is so tough on people’s health, given that this pandemic is so tough on people’s health, if you do not give them outlets and areas where they can continue to take care of their health, what have you? How can people be resilient? »
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As D2 closes its Vancouver studio, Dancey said she and her husband Stephen have no plans to leave the dance business.
Before opening their dance studio, the couple focused on hosting dance events, such as the Sunday Afternoon Long Salsa at Vancouver’s Robson Square.
When the latest wave of COVID cools, they will once again focus on the events side of their business.
“We will be back,” she said. “It’s not a goodbye, we want to make that clear to our dance community, it’s just, ‘We’ll see you later.'”
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