A petition, that has already secured 20,000 signatures, has called for dance schools to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

The petition was launched by Benjamin Stokes, owner of Commotion Performing Arts and support network Studiosavvy, to highlight the impact of COVID-19 closures on dance schools.

Mr Stokes said the wellbeing and safety of students was his primary concern, however, with other businesses allowed to reopen, he wanted dance schools to be considered.

“It is merely holding up a big exclamation mark or a big arrow saying hey please don’t forget about us, and look at us over here, and please look at us with a deep understanding of how we actually operate because we do run differently to gyms and we do run differently to gymnastic clubs,” Mr Stokes said.

Samantha Egan, a dance teacher in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury region, signed the petition and said reopening dance schools was important for the physical and mental wellbeing of students.

Ms Egan said the move to online learning meant many students were no longer able to attend class due to a lack of equipment or space in their homes.

“A lot of students have lost motivation as well, they don’t have a lot of room to dance or to dance safely and enjoy their movement,” Ms Egan said.

The petition calls for the government to consider the reopening of dance schools in Stage 2 of easing the COVID-19 restrictions and to allow thousands of students to return to dance training.