PORTLAND, Maine — EDITOR'S NOTE: In the above video, NEWS CENTER Maine's Clay Gordon demonstrates one of the proper ways to take off protective gloves.

For more than two months, dancers at Dance Moves Maine have been practicing through zoom.

"It's very hard to dance in a small space when you're used to dancing in a huge, beautiful 5,000 sq.ft. studio," said dancer Abby O'Brien.

"When you open a studio you do it to have a connection with the children," said owner Michelle Merrill.

Owner Michelle Merrill is ready to get that connection back.

But according to Governor Janet Mills' reopening plan, Merrill said dance studios fall under the umbrella of 'fitness and exercise gyms,' which she is trying to change.

"We work with children and we can comply with all of the checklists," said Merrill.

It's why she sent a proposal to the governor on Friday.

"We have a big open studio space. We typically don't use equipment. Any equipment we do choose to use, maybe a ballet bar, we can wipe down," said Merrill.

Merrill said dancers are also trained on how to properly distance themselves from others.

"We're not supposed to be touching each other or be near each other. We also all face the same way into a large mirror that the teacher can monitor all the kids in class," said Merrill.

It's something dancer Abby Obrien said she learned at a young age.

"Dancing is about spacing, so if you're a smart dancer, you are definitely able to keep space from others," said Obrien.

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Merrill also said dancers can't practice outside because studios have special floors to prevent injuries.

Merrill hopes her detailed proposal will allow dancers back into the studio, so they can continue doing what they love.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus


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