With the ever changing and evolving situation on ground due to COVID-19, it can be difficult to keep abreast of all news and guidelines. Here, you can find key updates for the Dance Sector. For current information about COVID-19, restrictions and processes we recommend the following government sources.
– Face Masks, when to wear and exemptions
– Dance studio, class and rehearsal operation (Physical Recreation) Scroll down the page to view the detailed FAQ’s
– Performances or Performance-like events (Arts and Live Performance)
– Vaccination status
– COVID Safe Workplaces
Department of Health Website
– Pandemic Order Register (replacing the Restricted Activity Directions).
Successful Advocacy Outcome : In response to combined lobbying from many peak bodies and industry groups, including Ausdance VIC, details of changes to restrictions/health orders will be published before they come into effect on the Pandemic Order Register.
Dancefloors vs Dance Studios
In the Pandemic Orders Dancefloors and Dance Studios are different activities.
Often the closing of dancefloors in hospitality and entertainment venues (eg pubs, clubs and wedding venues) attracts significant media attention and can cause concern from dance businesses, dancers, students and parents.
For current information about the operation of dance studios, classes, rehearsals and performances use the above Coronavirus website links.
Dance Studio Owners
Covid-19 Business Impact Survey (Victoria)
Victoria’s dance studio businesses are being heard.
On Tuesday 18 August, representatives from Ausdance VIC met with Victorian State Government officials to present the results of the Victorian Dance Studio Owner COVID-19 Business Impact Survey and to discuss its recommendations. The meeting, which included ministerial advisors to the Hon Martin Foley (Creative Industries) and Hon Jaala Pulford (Small Business), as well as departmental heads and senior policy advisors from Creative Victoria and the Experience Economy Recovery team, was extremely productive, establishing open and constructive lines of communication which are ongoing.
Covid-19 Sector Survey
LATEST TALLY (as of June 10th)
income loss in total
income loss in total
546 Workers Impacts
96 Responses so far
Ausdance National COVID-19 Impact Survey for the Dance Sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. From 5pm on 31 December 2020 you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in public indoor spaces unless you have a lawful reason not to.
There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask in settings where a face mask is mandatory, such as illness or disability. Other reasons a person may choose not to wear a mask include where the person is:
- under 12 years of age
- a student at a primary school or outside school hours care
- in the process of being married
- a professional sportsperson when training or competing
- engaged in any strenuous physical exercise
- receiving a service where it is not reasonably practicable to receive that service wearing a face covering.
Wherever possible eliminate or greatly reduce your use of shared equipment.
Dancers should be encouraged to bring their own equipment and props.
For shared equipment that is not possible to eliminate the use of (like barres) this must be thoroughly cleaned between uses.
Information about the role and function of a COVID Marshal and who must have one can be found here:
We note that COVID Marshals are mandatory for indoor gyms and personal training facilities used by members of the public aged 19 and over.*
As the rules for physical recreation apply to dance schools and studios, dance schools and studios will need a COVID Marshal for activities that involve adults.
*…in Regional Victoria, so we presume this will include Melbourne with the easing of restrictions.
The COVID Marshal must undergo basic infection control awareness training. You can find this training at the Department of Health COVID-19 Infection Control Training page:
It is recommended that COVID Marshals are also trained in first aid (Level 2).
ADULTS 19 AND OVER: Can you please confirm if my students 19 years and over can dance indoors in Regional Victoria now? Capped at 10 students plus instructors. The RAD shows we can but people are being told by DHHS that they can only dance outdoors?
You are correct. You (and now Melbourne studios) can offer indoor classes to adults 19 years and over, providing the following conditions can be met:
- The number of members of the public permitted in each indoor space and in each group, class or session at any time is limited to the lesser of:
- A density quotient of 8m2 per person, as per the rules for working this out
- 10 adults
- The number of members of the public permitted in the facility at any time is limited to the lesser of:
- A density quotient of 8m2 per person, as per the rules for working this out
- 20 adults
- You can ensure members of the public are reasonably able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other; and
- shared equipment is cleaned between each user; and
- there is no physical contact, other than in an emergency, between a member of the public and any other person otherwise permitted to attend the facility; and
- only one class or session commences at a given time and that time is at least 15 minutes after any other class or session has commenced; and
- the facility has a COVID Marshal onsite during the operating hours of the facility; and
- the person complies with the records requirement and the restricted area requirement.
CHILDREN 18 AND UNDER: Is the cap at 20 per studio/class or 20 per facility? That is, if you had 2 studios, would you be able to have 20 children in each studio running at the same time. So effectively having 40 students in the whole facility.
My professional dance company runs classes for professional artists. Do we fall under physical recreational facilities in the latest Restricted Activity Directions?
You may. The latest RADs state that physical recreational facility is any of the following, whether operated on a for profit or not-for-profit basis:
(a) a facility used predominantly for indoor sport or physical recreation;
Examples: gymnasium, health club, fitness centre, yoga studio, pilates studio, barre studio, dance studio, spin facility, indoor basketball court, indoor climbing facility, squash court, table tennis centre.
(k) a creative arts facility.
A creative arts facility includes:
- an art studio;
- a ceramics studio;
- a music room or studio;
- a rehearsal room or studio.
but does not include:
- a physical recreation facility; or
- a community facility
For further details, please go to the current Restricted Activity Directions, 18 (2) page 32.
We cannot advise on the Restricted Activity Directions for Melbourne until they are provided.
In Regional Victoria, the Restricted Activity Directions (No 11), (effective from 27 October – 8 November 2020), state that the number of members of the public per facility is subject to the density quotient of 8m2 per adult, or 4m2 18 years and under, or a maximum of 20, whichever is lesser. This is not inclusive of staff required to teach and manage the premise (i.e. teachers, COVID Marshall).
- Restricted Activity Directions (for Non-Melbourne) (No 10),
(effective from 27 October – 8 November 2020), page 4
The Restricted Activity Directions (RADs) for Melbourne, in effect from 27 October – 8 November 2020, state that community venues are closed for activities such as indoor dance classes.
Activities in outdoor spaces are allowed, subject to the public gathering limits (10 people) in the Stay Safe Directions (Melbourne) (No 2), plus the person required to conduct the activity.
The Restricted Activity Directions for Regional Victoria (No 10), (effective from 27 October – 8 November 2020), state that community venues are closed for dance classes except for activities in an outdoor space, subject to the public gathering limits (10 people), plus the person required to conduct the activity.
- Restricted Activity Directions for Non-Melbourne (No 10),
(effective from 27 October – 8 November 2020), page 7
Stay Safe Directions (Non-Melbourne)
(No 5), page 9
The Industry Restart Guidelines: Physical Recreation October 2020 6. Create workforce bubbles, Page 13 advises that employers must try to limit movement between work zones (for instance, one studio and the next) unless it is not reasonable and practical.
Where a dance instructor is working for different employers across multiple premises, they must provide a written declaration to employers. Employers must ensure declarations are collected and recorded.
Yes, but with limitations.
The Restricted Activity Directions for Melbourne (effective from 27 October – 8 November) state that:
Only one person at a time may be exempted from wearing a face covering under the strenuous physical exercise exemption. e.g. the trainer leading the broadcast.
Reference on page 5:
The Restricted Activity Directions for Regional Victoria (No 10), (effective from 27 October – 8 November), state that:
All persons at an indoor sport or physical recreational training facility are required to wear a face covering other than when engaged in any strenuous physical exercise or where an exemption applies. All persons should ensure that duration of the ‘strenuous exercise’ exemption is as limited as possible.
Reference on page 4:
(Regional only) From Wednesday, can dance studios now have students 18 years & over for indoor classes of 10 plus instructors?
Yes, space quotient permitting. The Restricted Activity Directions for Regional Victoria (No 11), effective from 27 October – 8 November, state that:
- the number of members of the public per facility is subject to the density quotient of 8m2 per adult, or a maximum of 20 max, whichever is lesser. This is not inclusive of staff required to teach and manage the premise (i.e. teachers, COVID Marshall).
- the number of members of the public in each group, class or session at any time is subject to the density quotient of 8m2 per adult or a maximum of 10 max, whichever is lesser. This is not inclusive of staff required to teach and manage the premise (i.e. teachers, COVID Marshall).
- Controls such as the wearing of face masks, limits on shared equipment, time between groups and requirement for a COVID Safe marshal on site, must be maintained.
Restricted Activity Directions (for Non-Melbourne) (No 11)
(effective from 27 October – 8 November), page 4
Do you have any information on classes returning to face to face in Regional Victoria now that we have moved to Step 3. I can’t seem to find any information…
I have been offered the opportunity to take over a dance facility at the start of next year and potentially keep what students they have left. Are there any grants I could access to start up my own dance business in 2021? What covid-19 relief is available for studios in case of a 3rd wave next year? Would I be eligible for these as a new business? Do you have any resources for starting a dance studio?
Ausdance has developed many resources for and with Dance Studio Owners, teachers and artists. These range from a Code of Ethics to Child Safe Dance Practices, Parents Code of Behaviour and Professional business practice guides.
Some Local Governments (Councils) offer start up grants for new businesses. Visit your Council’s website for details and contacts.
Speak with Business Victoria and visit their website for a range of grants and other opportunities. Speak with your accountant to ensure your business is set up in a way that enables you to apply for suitable grants or stimulus measures.
First aid is an important qualification for professional dance teachers. It relates to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 and industry-led safe dance practices. However currently first aid certification is not mandatory for dance teachers in Victoria. The onus is on individual businesses to determine minimum qualifications from those they employ.
Ensuring Health and Safety
All dance activity leaders/teachers must take measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone attending dance sessions. These include, but are not limited to:
- Clearly communicated hazard identification and risk reduction processes. Make these clear and easy to follow for participants, parents and guardians
- Adapting and aligning existing face to face delivery terms and conditions such as disclaimers, waivers and/or studio sign up documents to the online environment.
- When leading dance activities for adult, frail, elderly or vulnerable individuals, experienced or novice, more care must be practised.
- Ensuring your first aid training and certification is up to date.
- Providing safety instructions prior to and during dance activities. These will need to be adapted for your own context.
VCE Dance and VCE VET Dance students – Can dance students undertaking their VCE with Non-school Providers go to their dance studio to rehearse?
No, they cannot attend non-school providers under current restrictions*.
*Except under specific conditions as outlined on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority website. In conducting Essential Assessments onsite for Unit 3 and 4 VCE and VCAL, all providers must follow all COVID-19 related Health directions and Department of Education and Training guidelines as well as Specific controls for Essential Assessments for VCE and VCAL approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. In this document scroll down to the last row in the table for greater detail.
I want to do some outdoor teaching 1 on 1, under the banner of personal training. In my council area I need a Certificate of registration with a peak sporting body or willingness to abide by the Fitness Australia code of practice.
As the Peak Body for Dance in Victoria Ausdance VIC advocates, creates, supports and promote opportunities for the Dance sector in the state. Sporting Peak Bodies such as Fitness Australia have the pre requisite of validating registrant’s qualifications in order for them to become members. Fitness Australia members must meet certain qualification criteria and professional development requirements to obtain and maintain registration.
The Dance Industry’s’ code of ethics and standards of safe dance practice, developed by Ausdance in consultation with the Industry, form the basis of the Dance Industry’s code of practice. These components, together with your COVID Safe Plan should be sufficient to demonstrate equivalence to the Fitness Australia code of practice. Find the free Ausdance sample COVID Safe Plan, Risk Register and useful checklists here:
Alternatively, go to Business Victoria COVID safe workplace page. Depending on the stage of the restrictions, you may also be required to carry a work permit.
For proof of your membership with Ausdance VIC as your peak body please email our Membership Coordinator, Alison McIntosh-Deszcz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary source information from the Department of Health and Human Services is available here:
You can also go here to access the latest Restricted Activity Directions as PDF or Word files:
These are separate documents for metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
Are professional dancers able to record promotional videos at this time? And if so what are the rules around choreographing with dancers?
The best place to look for information is the Coronavirus Roadmap site for Metropolitan Melbourne: or Regional Victoria: Scroll down to ‘tourism, culture, entertainment, events, sport and recreation.’ Available information about creative studios can be found there.
You can also download a copy of ‘How we work – roadmap’ for both Regional Victoria and metro Melbourne.