Re-opening of Dance Schools

We understand from Sport Scotland that a number of our members have contacted Sport Scotland seeking guidance on the re-opening of dance schools and that Sport Scotland have advised these people to contact Dancesport Scotland for advice because we are the governing body for dance (excepting Scottish Country and Highland) in Scotland.

We are conscious that our membership is not confined to Scotland and also that our members do not dance or teach exclusively within Scotland. We are also conscious that much of the advice and regulation concerning the easing of lockdown differs amongst the 4 distinct parts of the United Kingdom and that indeed one part of the UK has an open border with an EU country.

We are aware that both the BDC and the WDSF have published guidelines on the resumption of dancing. Neither body is recognised by Sport UK as the governing body for dance anywhere in the UK. The guidelines issued by each of these bodies comprise their interpretation of good practice and, in the case of the BDC, the UK Government guidelines, which apply only in England. The WDSF advice relates to the resumption of competitions.

For both teachers and pupils, our advice to you is to follow the Government guidelines which apply in the part of the UK where your class is being held. Again, for both teachers and pupils, you should ensure that the teacher has adequate public liability insurance, covering particularly liability for the transmission of covid-19 and all of the potential personal and financial consequences which may flow from such transmission.

We believe that very few of our professional members own the premises in which they deliver lessons. Thus, in addition to the Government guidelines applicable to the country where the teaching takes place, local authorities and landlords may have additional guidelines or requirements to be followed. For example, we are aware that the Church of Scotland law department has published a raft of guidelines concerning the use of Church of Scotland halls by third parties.

Education in schools in Scotland resumes shortly and the expectation is that the children will not require to exercise social distancing in school when that occurs. That might tend to suggest that indoor dance classes for children can resume. Teachers and parents should be extremely cautious in this regard. We believe that when schools resume, PE will not be part of the curriculum initially. If that is the case, we cannot see how it will be possible to have a children’s dance class.

In summary, our professional members require to familiarise themselves with and adhere to the regulations and guidelines which prevail wherever they are teaching and to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover and our amateur members require to satisfy themselves prior to participating that their teacher has done so.

Please note that Dancesport Scotland does not vouch that the foregoing advice is accurate and thus disclaims all liability to members and others who may read this article.