Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan challenging for some fitness, dance studios

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Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan challenging for some fitness, dance studios
WATCH: Some fitness and dance studios are trying to fit the parameters for Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan, which is proving challenging – May 27, 2020

Phase 3 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan is set to begin June 8.

Gyms and fitness facilities are included in the third phase, but some businesses are struggling with the parameters put in place.

Saskatoon spin studio owner Shaina Lynden was initially ecstatic when the provincial government announced fitness facilities would be included in Phase 3 of Re-Open Saskatchewan.

In a statement to Global News, the government of Saskatchewan said, “Group dance and fitness classes can only be offered if physical distancing can be maintained at all times, with no more than ten people per class in a space that allows for increased ventilation and air circulation.”

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When it was announced classes would be limited to 10 people, Lynden realized it wouldn’t be financially feasible to operate at those numbers. Classes normally have over 35 riders.

“To be honest, we were very deflated that some of the limitations just would make it very challenging for us and for other local boutique style studios across the province,” Lynden said.

Saskatoon dance studio Ignite Danceworks has been teaching classes online in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

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“One of our biggest things is the mental health of our children and easing up that anxiety, so in order to keep the structure and normalcy we decided to keep our classes going the exact same as they had been,” Ignite Danceworks owner Michelle Fracchia-West said.

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While the classes have been going well, nearly 50 fewer classes are being taught each week. Fracchia-West has had multiple phone calls with the provincial COVID-19 hotline because there has been confusion if she can open during Phase 3 or 4.

Ignite Danceworks won’t open studio doors until Phase 4, but can teach private lessons outdoors before then.

“We have this huge space that we can operate in and we’re not allowed to do anything and yet you know you have other businesses that are able to open in spaces that are much smaller capacity,” Fracchia-West said.

Both Fracchia-West and Lynden hope the provincial government can adjust parameters and consider the ability to physically distance instead of just the number of patrons.

“We’re also still hopeful that our pleas to the government to just revisit some of their policy in place currently [and] would still allow us to open sooner,” Lynden said.

Both studios are putting plans in place for when they do eventually open.

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