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Petition started to allow dance studios in NC to reopen June 1

The creator of the change.org petition says dance studios can reopen and keep kids safe at the same time. The petition outlines a number of safety procedures.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Dance studios across North Carolina are petitioning to reopen sooner than Phase 3, under Governor Cooper's plan.

They were initially included in Phase 2, but were taken off the list like gyms and bars.

As of Thursday afternoon, the change.org petition had just under 15,000 signatures 

The studios want the governor to allow them to have a soft reopening on June 1st with restrictions.

They would include: no use of ballet barres or props of any kind, washing hands and using sanitizer before each class, closing lobbies, temperature checks at the door, limiting classes sizes and ensuring proper space between students, sanitizing all surfaces in between classes, and masks for teachers among other measures

Cameron Ligon who owns Destination Arts in Oak Ridge signed the petition. 

She switched to doing virtual classes for her students back in March but said many of her students have been struggling mentally because they have no real escape.

"That's been hard for kids because they spent all day already on the computer for school and so by the time they get to their dance classes which is their release when they can kind of let go and escape mentally they have to tune in online which is hard for them to disconnect from that and kind of understand the difference," Ligon said.

Ligon said parents tell her sometimes their kids end the zoom classes sadder than when they start because they realize how much they miss their friends.

Initially, Ligon planned to do something special for her students but had to hold off since studios weren't allowed to open in Phase 2.

"We were going to hold some individuals solo recital's for each of our families one at a time which was going to take a really long time. But I thought that's what our kids needed to be able to wrap up the season and to kind of celebrate all the hard work that they put in up until this point," Ligon said.

Ligon said she has no plans to open on the first, but added she hoped the petition would allow Gov. Cooper to see that studios have the capability to open while keeping kids safe.

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