Professional Dance Safety: Covid 19 Guidance for professional dancers

Today, we are delighted to launch our publication Professional Dance Safety: Guidance for developing COVID-19 policy & protocols for professional dance workers.

This guidance was commissioned by Dance Ireland and prepared by Peter Jordan of Slua Event Safety Consultancy, in consultation with Dance Ireland. It contains essential information to support a safe return to work in dance whilst living with COVID-19. It provides a detailed overview of current health and safety advice, information on how to create a safe environment for rehearsals and performance, and how to respond if a case of COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed in a cast or crew.

This document has been reviewed by Dr Nick Allen (Clinical Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet) who is a special advisor on dance and COVID-19, and further reviewed by medical consultants Medmark to ensure it aligns with current public health advice in Ireland. It has also been reviewed by consultants working on behalf of the Arts Council and the expert group for the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Media & Sport and has been approved by the Government for publication (April 2021). 

We have been advised by the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Media & Sport to encourage you, all of our Members, to share this document and to add to your website that this is the guidance you are using as you re-open your own rehearsals and practices.
Here is the suggested text that should be used on your website, or displayed in your rehearsal/production/performance venue: 

'We are committed to the Health & Safety of our staff, performers, crew, audiences and the general public. We are operating under the agreed protocols described in Dance Ireland’s Professional Dance Safety: Guidance for developing COVID-19 Policy & Protocols for Professional Dance Workers a copy of which can be found here.'

This ensures that we are all adhering to the same high standard of safety compliance as we work together to enable dance work to continue. 

It has taken us eight months to reach this point of publication, and we are very grateful for the support of everyone who contributed to the process, including members of the working group who, as active members of the professional dance community, reviewed initial drafts and offered feedback and advice. We are also grateful to The Arts Council for their support in seeing this Guidance through the review and approval process.

As society slowly reopens this Summer, we hope for a gradual return to full professional activity in the arts and culture. We look forward to being able to come together and dance in a safe and supported way; to rebuilding confidence in our art form as a means of communal expression; and to ensuring there are opportunities for emerging talent to thrive in a changed environment.

Read the full guidance here

Who is this guidance for?
This guidance is intended to support professional projects or productions, employers, performers, and creative personnel working in dance or movement; Professional performers, for whom dance performance is their main occupation, and pre-professional dancers, who are undertaking advanced level training or are recent graduates in dance (as per Dance Ireland membership criteria).

How do I use this guidance?

The Executive Summary on page 7 in the guidance, provides an overview of this document; who it is for; how to use it; and next steps.
We recommend reading the guidance in full before proceeding with your projects.

The first few sections of this guidance will build knowledge of current government guidance and offer insight into how this impacts professional dance activity, and the role and responsibilities of the company and/or employer in ensuring a safe working environment.
This includes, for example, the induction training you and your team will need to undertake, health screening and testing protocols, the specific risks of COVID-19 in dance, and how to stay safe in rehearsals and performance (particularly in close contact); and an example studio set-up is provided.
A template Risk Assessment is provided in the appendices, along with a template Company COVID-19 screening document, and a sample COVID-19 suspect case log. Additional information on risk and testing protocols is also included in the appendices, as well as links to further information and guidance.

Please note:

  • There is a lot of information in this guidance, so we suggest you bookmark this document for easy access for all your projects.
  • This document will be updated as legislation and health guidance evolves.

If you have any specific questions that are not answered in this guidance, please email

Read the full guidance here