YORKTON -- An 18-year-old from Weyburn is questioning a COVID-19 guideline that stops dancers above the age of 18 from participating in classes or virtual performances.

Paris Lyon, a dancer who will have to stop group competitive dance after her birthday on March 29, started a petition asking the Saskatchewan Minister of Health and the Business Recovery Team to let those in her situation finish the season.

Dancers have been in-studio since September, but virtual performances are replacing in-person competitions. As per the Government of Saskatchewan’s guidelines, groups of eight or fewer dancers under the age of 18 may be in a space together, but dancers over the age of 18 are only allowed to do solo virtual performances.

Lyon will still be able to perform her solo, but not in her group dances after she turns 19.

The government said the rules are in place for adults to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“The suspension of sports and activities for adults was put in place to help reduce the movements of people and, consequently, the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Allowing training and conditioning of athletes 18 and under was to ensure some level of physical activity for youth in the province,” the Government of Saskatchewan said in a statement. 

Lyon said she isn't asking for any exceptional changes that jeopardizes the health of others, just that those born in the January to June 2002 be able to finish the season they began in the fall.

"What's the difference of me going to class on a Sunday as an 18-year-old and then going to class on a Monday as a 19-year-old? " said Lyon. 

In the first week, the petition on Change.org has collected more than 2,000 signatures to have the restriction lifted.

Lyon said the petition needs 5,000 signatures to make an impact, and she hopes to see change I the restrictions before studios start filming performances after Easter. 

“Last year COVID hit right before we started dance competitions, so we lost our senior year,” said Lyon, adding many of those in her age group also lost their high school graduation and first year of university.

“We’re trying to redeem one thing and dance is, you know, really important to our physical and mental health and we need this, we really truly need this.”