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Dane Co. dance studio faces close to $ 24,000 in fines for public health complaint


OREGON, Wis. (WMTV) – An Oregon dance studio faces close to $ 24,000 in fines for allegedly violating Dane Co.’s health ordinance in effect in December.

On Tuesday, A Leap Above Dance hit back by joining an existing lawsuit challenging the county’s legal authority to impose restrictions, such as collection limits. The move comes after Public Health Madison Dane Co. (PHMDC) filed a complaint against the studio on January 25, alleging that 119 people participated in a “The Nutcracker” production on December 13.

Studio owner Natalie Nemecky said they were following the rules as they understood them.

“I feel really attacked by what they have done,” she said.

Courtesy of Natalie Nemecky(Natalie Nemecky)

Nemecky said they filmed the show with no more than ten dancers in the hall at a time. However, Madison City Assistant District Attorney Marci Paulsen said they were still breaking the rules.

“At that time, we were under an emergency order which prohibited all gatherings of individuals who were not the same household or in the same living unit, because our Covid numbers were very high at that time. there, ”Paulsen said.

Emergency order 10, in place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15, banned all indoor gatherings in the county. This included sports, which Paulsen said a class-like dance studio.

“It was therefore determined that the performance of The Nutcracker was in violation of public health order at the time,” she said.

However, Nemeckay said they did not fall under sport, but saw themselves as an “unregulated youth program”. The PHMDC has limited these gatherings to no more than 15 people inside.

“Being more of a fine arts school, a dance school, I never saw us as a sport,” Nemeckay said.

She said they had done their best to provide a safe experience for the students.

“I think our students really need it right now. They need activities like dancing, ”she said.

The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Freedoms initially filed a complaint against PHMDC on January 20. It has been modified to include A Leap Above Dance. A hearing is scheduled for March 3.

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