Letter to the Editor: Dancing Around the Mask Issue

Dear Editor,

I am studying Communication and Dance here at Southern University. I love this school, and I am grateful to be able to attend in-person classes fall semester.

Wearing masks in class, around campus, and in the community has never been an issue for me; I believe firmly in following the requests of the state as well as the University.

But, one thing has been upsetting to me about the subject: dance students have to wear masks in class while dancing.

All dance classes at SUU are socially-distanced this semester. We are all assigned a large, taped-off square on the floor, and will dance in that square for the entire ten weeks of in-person attendance. I am farther away from my dance classmates than I am from my classmates in every other classroom. There are no desks, no chairs, and no areas that are high-touch (other than door handles).

The students are in the most socially-distanced scenario, but still have to wear masks while dancing. Like I said before, wearing masks while I am does not bother me, but when it comes to dance classes, I feel differently.

Masks makes it hotter and harder to breathe, making dancing much less enjoyable, and frankly, more dangerous due to lack of oxygen intake.

I also mentioned above that I am studying communication in addition to dance. In two of my communication classes, we are not required to wear masks in specific scenarios. First, when working in the radio station as a DJ (so that the microphone can pick your voice up), and second, when working as an anchor for the news station (while on air).

If there are exceptions to the mask rule made for the communication department, why are there not any made for the dance department?

An Out-of-Breath Dancer