General Summary

Last updated 01.20.2022 at 3:00 p.m.

This summary page is intended to serve as a brief reference for general guidance on reopening activities within the dance field. Please be sure to reference the Standard Recommendations and Scenario Addendums for more in depth information and additional considerations for specific activities. 

This summary page was modeled in the format of the following page: (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SportsAndRecreationSummaryGuidance.pdf). 

Risk ProfilesDescriptionExample Activities (Non-Exhaustive)
Higher RiskLeast ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually; and least ability to: 
– Avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.)
– Clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individuals
– Not use shared equipment at all
Contact improvisation
Dance partnering
Close formation spacing
Large (over 10) group dance training and rehearsals
Moderate RiskLimited ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually; and limited ability to:
– Avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.)
– Clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individualsNot use shared equipment at all
Contact-less dance training
Duet, trio, and small group rehearsals (under 10)
Lower RiskGreatest ability to maintain physical distance and/or be performed individually; and greatest ability to:
– Avoid touching of shared equipment (including, but not limited to, barres, sound systems, dance floor, mats, media/live stream equipment, poles, chairs, tables, props, musical instruments, microphones, etc.)
– Clean and disinfect any equipment between uses by different individualsNot use shared equipment at all
Solo work
Solo teaching
Topic AreaMandatoryBest Practices
VaccinationAs per the Key to NYC Pass program (original date of effect August 16, 2021), people ages 5 to 12 are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO, and people 12 and older must show proof of two doses (except for Johnson & Johnson recipients) for indoor dining, indoor fitness (includes dance and other fitness studios), and indoor entertainment (includes theaters and performance venues). Starting January 29, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 must also show proof of full vaccination.

Proof of vaccination may include:
Excelsior Pass
NYC COVID Safe App
CDC Vaccination Card
NYC Vaccination Record

5-11-year-old children are required to get vaccinated to participate in high-risk extracurricular activities. These activities include sports, band, orchestra, and dance.

All private-sector employers in NYC must see proof of employees’ first dose by December 27th and proof of a second dose by Thursday, February 10th (unless the employee got the single-shot Johnson & Johnson). Those employers are required to sign and publicly post an affirmation that they’re complying with the mandate.
If 12 years of age or older, and at least five months out from original vaccine series, receive a booster dose.
Physical DistancingA distance of at least six feet must be maintained among individuals at all times (even when outdoors), unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance. The core activity does NOT apply to exercise or dance activity.

Provide distance markers or taped-off areas in studios and theaters denoting spaces of
at least 8 feet apart (10 feet preferable) for dancers engaged in dance activity.

Prohibit higher-risk activities where physical contact cannot be continuously avoided (even when outdoors), and discourage hands-on adjustments in classes 

For media production and/or documentation of dance activity, encourage the use of dedicated work zones within the facility or location and establish a system that prevents overlapping the media teams and other patrons/dancers/teacher/audience members.

For outdoor dance classes, rehearsals, and performances, limit class, rehearsal, or audience sizes in accordance within capacity limits and the social gathering restrictions that are in effect within the region.
Reduce capacity within studio, theater, or performing arts center in which dance activity is being implemented. Consider reduced capacity for office-based work or non-dance activity as well.

At least 8 feet (10 is preferable) between dancers who are side by side and at least 10 feet (12 is preferable) between dancers who are in front or behind 
At least 12 feet between any dance teacher and the closest individual.

At least 12 feet between the perimeter of any dance activity area and the closest audience member.

At least 6 feet in all directions between audience members.

At least 6 feet in all directions between musicians who do not require their breath to play instruments or perform.
If musicians’ performance space is not sectioned off, at least 12 feet between musicians and the closest audience member.

At least 25 feet between any live singer and the closest audience member.
Use free-standing barres when possible.

Consider cohort or ‘bubble’ style activities.

Consider a hybrid remote and in-person model of any and all dance activity.

Make remote options available and accessible (for rehearsals, office-based dance work, performances, etc).

Implement and encourage the use of appointments, reservations, and/or remote check-ins

Conduct activities outdoors, to the extent practicable.
On-Site ActivityImplement touchless payment options or pay ahead or reserve options.

Limit in-person employee gatherings to the greatest extent possible and consider use of other methods such as video or teleconferencing whenever possible.

Monitor and control the flow of traffic into the studio, theater, or performing arts center.
Prohibit or limit guests/spectators on site

Close amenities, where applicable, including locker rooms and dressing rooms, communal showers, common seating areas within the studios, theater, or performing arts center, and water fountains (however, hands-free, contactless water bottle refill stations may remain open).

Double cast repertory to build in safety measures should a dancer contract COVID-19 or experience related symptoms.

Lower the intensity of dance activity to promote normal breathing, lower air turbulence, and lessen droplet spread whenever possible.

Alter choreography to avoid physical contact, close spacing, floorwork, and traveling across the floor. If floorwork is necessary, the floor should be disinfected before and after use.

Use voice amplification technology and/or reduce music volume to reduce vocal effort, which lessens droplet spread.Incorporate live musicians only when consistent space assignments, regular cleaning of instruments and/or sound equipment, and low music volume is possible.
Protective EquipmentMasks are required to be worn in all indoor public places in New York State unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

Wear an acceptable face covering at all times, provided that the employee or patron is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate such covering.

When it interferes with a core activity such as hair, makeup, or wardrobe, dancers may temporarily remove their face coverings and should don them as soon as possible

For media production and/or documentation of dance activity, ensure that all employees, cast, and crew in close proximity to dancers without face coverings wear both an acceptable face covering and eye protection for the duration of the activity requiring proximity. All employees, cast, and crew should also wear gloves or practice hand hygiene before and after such activities.
Encourage or require use of masks, even if dancers/office-based workers/audience members/renters/etc are fully vaccinated.

Have dancers arrive “camera ready,” to the extent possible.

Mask use should be maintained and promoted through signage throughout the building.
Hygiene, Cleaning, and DisinfectionConduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the studio, theater, or performing arts center and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high risk areas and frequently touched surfaces. 

Ensure that equipment, including dance floors, is regularly cleaned and disinfected using registered disinfectants, and that individuals are not sharing equipment without cleaning and disinfection between use.

Maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Adjust hours of operation as necessary to enable enhanced cleaning procedures.

Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations on site.

For facilities with central air handling systems, ensure central HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with the currently installed filter rack and air handling systems.

Facilities that do not have HVAC systems installed, do not control the HVAC system within their facility, or have a central air handling system that are unable to meet a filtration rating of MERV-13 or greater must adopt additional ventilation and air filtration mitigation protocols per CDC and ASHRAE recommendations.
Open windows and doors to maximize air circulation.
Stagger studio/theater occupancy times with enough time between each user for air to recirculate. Consider an interim cleaning/air circulation period of at least 30 minutes.
Create a space for performers to place bags so that social distancing can be maintained among belongings. These areas need to be cleaned after each dancer removes their bag.
Studios with wheelchair users should have dance floors cleaned after use, prior to use by another party.
Consider the use of a Box Fan Filter System.
Once a day vinyl flooring should be cleaned as usual, followed by cleaning with 90+ alcohol in sprayer to spread solution. The mop pad should be washed with bleach in the washing machine between uses. Disinfecting the floors with this alcohol solution should ideally happen prior to every class or rehearsal. 
Encourage patrons and dancers to bring their own personal equipment and refrain from handling another patron’s equipment.
CommunicationPost signage inside and outside of the studio, theater, or performing arts center, consistent with DOH COVID-19 signage, to remind employees and patrons/dancers/teachers/audience members to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.

Develop a written Business Safety Plan as per the NY Forward industry guidelines outlining how your workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Conspicuously post completed safety plans on site for employees. 
Ensure that teachers and faculty have reviewed the best practices for dance studio and theater spaces.
Consider developing webpages, text and email groups, and social media.
Screening and TestingEnsure that employees whose job functions involve close or proximate contact with others have been tested for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test prior to their participation in on-site activity, and continue to be tested on a regular schedule thereafter when on site or location.

Following a positive COVID-19 test, individual should isolate for 5 days. According to the CDC, if you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

Following exposure to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask around others for 10 days and get tested on Day 5 following exposure. If individual is not boosted or unvaccinated, isolate for 5 days and get tested on Day 5, then continue to wear a mask for 5 additional days.

Implement mandatory daily health screening practices completed using a questionnaire for employees, patrons, and, where practicable, contractors and vendors.

All employees, patrons, contracts, and vendors who complete a questionnaire must provide contact information for the purpose of contact tracing and notification.
Screeners should be provided and use PPE.

An individual who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms must not be allowed to enter the facility.
Designate a central point of contact responsible for receiving and attesting to having reviewed all questionnaires

Designate a site safety monitor whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan.

Notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual at your studio, theater, or performing arts center.
Following a positive COVID-19 test, isolate for 10 full days, and make sure all symptoms have resolved and subsequent COVID-19 tests are negative before ending isolation.

Perform screening practices remotely before individuals report to the studio, theater or performing arts center.

Accessibility should be taken into account when screening persons with disabilities.

Screen individuals at or near the building entrance to minimize the impact in case of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Allow for adequate social distancing while individuals queue for screening and/or building entry.

If temperature checks are performed, use contactless thermal cameras in building entrances to identify potentially symptomatic individuals and direct them to a secondary screening area to complete a follow-up screening. If not possible or feasible, a temperature check may be performed using contactless thermometers.
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