Ballarat dance schools are among hundreds across regional Victoria begging the state government to be allowed to open under the newly relaxed COVID restrictions.
Under the current third step restrictions, dance schools are in the same category of gyms and not allowed to operate, which has left at least one dance school owner feeling "broken".
"I feel like it's deja vu because we already went through this after the first lockdown. Everything was passed and ready to go and we were operating successfully and safely, and unfortunately we have to do it again," said Anita Coutts of the Anita Coutts School of Dance.
"We were operating quite successfully doing all the right things as far as cleaning and sanitising, social distancing, keeping all the parents out of the building ... right now I just feel a bit broken."
In a bid to resume classes, Ms Coutts said she might even consider conducting classes in the car park as outdoor exercise is permitted.
"The size of studios allows for plenty of social distancing, and we are teaching students who are under 18 predominantly."
With regional schools cleared to reopen for term four Ms Coutts says dance schools should be allowed to do the same.
A petition calling on the state government to allow dance studios to reopen has been circulating throughout Victoria's dance community, gathering more than 5000 signatures in 24 hours.
"I'm just waiting day to day, just watching whether anything changes and whether our petition is heard," she said. "I'm hopeful but the waiting game is exhausting."
Dance Arts Alliance chair Mike Harrison-Lamond said while a large portion of regional Victorian businesses were able to reopen, nothing had changed for regional dance studios who were teaching online in empty buildings with no COVID cases in their towns all because they had been classified alongside gyms.
"This is a disgraceful way to treat an industry that provides incredibly important social, physical and mental development in the lives of young Victorians," he said.
"In June the Victorian Government acknowledged us as a low risk activity and we went back in line with schools. Now they think we are the same as gyms, it makes no sense."
Mr Harrison-Lamond said dance studios provided vital wellbeing, social and physical health to young Victorians.
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The recent sole trader grant of $3000 is the first support that many studios have received, but Mr Harrison-Lamond said the "tragically small" amount barely covered a few weeks of rent in a commercial property.
Ms Coutts said she was luckier than some with several staff members eligible for JobKeeper allowance which was helping keep the business afloat.
But a recent survey from Ausdance Victoria found 92 per cent of dance studio owners across Victoria were worried their business would not survive until March next year.
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