August 25, 2021

Dear MDU Families, 

Thank you for a great kick-off to our 24th season of “More Than Just Great Dancing!”. We are now a full week into our season and it has been amazing to see kids and families back in the building.  

As the leader of our studio community, I have the great joy of seeing the excitement of the kids and teacher returning to class. I also have the great responsibility of navigating a continuously changing situation as it relates to Covid-19. 

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, MDU has provided clear communication and real-time decision-making. This has allowed us to offer continuous programming with only .0002% incidence of Covid-19 while providing consistent access to the benefits of dance such as physical fitness, social-emotional health, and mental wellness. That’s the joy part!

Now for the responsibility part. At MDU, we make all of our Covid-related decisions based on a variety of inputs, including local and national sources, as well as industry and studio data.  I wake up every morning, search the data, and track the trends. I also consult with our county, speak with other community leaders, and pray for wisdom.  I’m pleased to say that MDU is still doing extremely well in terms of cases as shared above. That’s why we began our fall season by continuing our summer policy of mask recommendation, not a requirement. Our community, however, is not doing as well.  The cases reported yesterday morning were double what they were the week prior and the 7-day average is one we have not seen since February. 

In my Welcome Letter from one week ago, I shared that we would escalate our policies if cases continue to rise. As such, beginning today (8/25/21), the following mitigation measures are being implemented: 

  • Masking required for students in preschool to age 11 while indoors.
  • Masking strongly recommended for everyone 12 and older while indoors.
  • Masking required of teachers while working with students unless in a private lesson. 

We will continue monitoring the situation week by week and will make you aware of any changes.  If community cases continue to rise, potential escalation of policies may include closing the lobby to reduce traffic, further limiting class sizes, greater physical distancing requirements in classes, and/or masking requirements for all ages.

In closing, I fully understand this message will cause relief for some and disappointment for others. Some will think it’s too much and others may think it’s not enough. This is the nature of the times we live in. But, it’s also in our nature to adapt and to support each other.  Our kids are mirrors of our reactions and emotions, so let’s focus on what’s positive!  In a time when our community is welcoming Afghan refugees who have lost all, we have much to be thankful for. Thank YOU for your support!

Sincerely, 

Misty Lown



Safer Studio Policy Archive

July 2021

MDU Dancers entering 6th grade and up,

Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer? Would you like to be a mentor and friend to a very special dancer at MDU? We are seeking positive, responsible and outgoing students in 6th grade and up to volunteer at the studio to be a "Buddy" for our Darby's Dancer program for the entire upcoming dance season.

Darby’s Dancers is a wonderful program for children with special needs who receive the chance to develop a love for dance and performance.  The organization was launched by Valerie Jones whose daughter, Darby, was an avid dancer. She had Down Syndrome and died of leukemia in 2013. MDU provides classes, a teacher, classroom attire, shoes and Recital costumes at no cost to participating dancers. Each child is paired with an MDU student volunteer (buddy) to work with their dancer all season.  This is an incredible and rewarding opportunity to set yourself apart as you prepare for college entrance applications and future job opportunities.

BUDDY EXPECTATIONS:
*Attend Darby’s Dancers class every Wednesday at our HOLMEN dance studio within the Boys & Girls Club. Classes will be 5:30-6:00 PM (Younger) and 6:15-7:00PM (Older) You can be a buddy in one or both class times.
*Encourage all Darby’s Dancers
*Assist Miss Denise in making the class fun and encouraging for all participants 
*Set an example by wearing proper class attire (MDU red t-shirt, black leggings and ballet shoes with hair in a neat bun)
*Model great classroom behavior
* Attend Meet and Greet with dancers on Friday, Sept. 3rd from 5:30-6:30PM. (At ONLASKA studio)

BUDDY BENEFITS:
*Earn NHSDA (National Honor Society for Dance Arts) points for volunteering
*Earn volunteer hours for your school NHS program
*Learn new skills and grow in leadership
*Develop new friendships
*Perform on stage at recital with your Darby’s Dancers class

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
*Complete  THIS Darby’s Dancers Volunteer Application by Friday, August 6th.

For additional information on the Darby’s Dancers program, please visit darbysdancers.com.

Thank you for your interest! You will be notified of your volunteer status by August 13. Please email Kris.mistysdance@gmail.com with questions.

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