A video posted online of a nine-year-old girl pleading to the Alberta government to be allowed back into the dance studio has been shared widely.
This comes as more Albertans and businesses are asking the government to ease restrictions.
“It reached over 20,000 people, and then it would get up to 30,000, and within 48 hours, we were at 60,000 views just on my post alone,” said Mandy Walter, Kaitlyn Worr’s mom.
Walter posted the video two weeks ago on Facebook, and as of Sunday, it surpassed 100,000 views. Worr, with the help from her mother, made the video addressed to Premier Jason Kenney.
“I wanted to make it so I can go back to my dance studio,” Worr said.
Dance studios closed in November to in-person classes. Walter said not being able to dance in the studio has taken a negative toll on her and her daughter.
“The mental health of these kids is dying,” Walter said.
The province said closing dance studios remains necessary as the physical activity involved creates increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.
But the owner of Tayrn’s Dance Company in Leduc says her studio is safe.
“I put in all this work and did everything that the government told us to do. [We] have had zero cases, and then to be thrown under the bus and saying that it’s unsafe is extremely infuriating,” said Taryn Johnson, owner of Taryn’s Dance Company.
“How far into debt can I go before I get into a hole I can’t get out of,” Johnson said.
Alberta Health said dance activities can continue outside or virtually.
Taryn’s Dance Company instructor Carly Pydde said dancing out in the cold or online does not work.
“We’ve had too many kids drop out to even run online classes at this point. They won’t do online classes. They are waiting to be back in the studio, ” Pydde said.
It is a situation Worr and Walter can relate to.
“She’s dancing but it’s not the same. We’re not happy. We’re happy in the studio. We’re happy in our family, in our safe place,” Walter said.
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