February 11, 2022
Dear MDU Families,
Today the Onalaska and Holmen School Districts announced that due to a sharp decline in cases, they will no longer require the wearing of masks in their facilities as of Monday, February 14. We have noted the same sharp decline in cases in our programs and will be following suit. The updated policy for MDU will be effective Monday, February 21 as our studio is closed for Intersessional Break next week.
Every day that we can get where children can fully express themselves in the classroom and teachers can have full communication, including facial cues, we will celebrate! And, if there are days ahead where cases rise to a point where we have to revisit our mask policy, we will do so.
In meantime, all other risk-mitigating factors remain in place and parents are asked to keep their children home if they do not feel well and to keep up with other healthy habits such as good hand hygiene, hydration, nutrition, and sleep. Anyone who would still like to wear a mask to class for comfort is welcome to do so and plenty of masks will still be available at the front desk.
I want to thank our faculty, families, and students for their support over the past two years. Working together, we have kept our classrooms open continuously since June of 2020 and we are working on our return to the stage for Spring Recital! Now that’s some awesome teamwork!
Thank you for your support! With appreciation,
Dance Studio Dress Codes: What’s the Point?
Many dance studios require students to show up looking alike in terms of clothing and hair. Color-level leotards indicating mastery of certain competencies (much like martial arts belts) are usually expected, and girls’ hair must be in tight buns. These standards follow the dress code of the American Ballet Theatre, a national company that is a flagship institution for dance studios.
Student dress codes offer many benefits to dancers, and understanding those benefits will help when you hear that call yet again from your child’s bedroom: “Have you seen my leotard?”
Safety—Hair must be tied away from the face so dancers can see instructors and each other at all times, allowing them to read cues. Jewelry is minimized because if something flies off during practice, another dancer may step or slip on it, causing injury. Dance uniforms must be fitted to the body so instructors can clearly see the dancer’s form and technique, making adjustments when necessary. Proper technique protects dancers from injury.
Identity—When students walk into the studio, they get to leave behind their other identities and reinvent themselves as dancers. There’s a whole body of psychology regarding how our clothing impacts our perception of ourselves—ask any police officer, cheerleader or nurse—and the dance studio is no different.
Community—Dancers who dress alike see themselves as part of something larger. Watch your favorite sports teams. Even in warm-ups, they are all dressed alike. Simple, standard practice uniforms create a sense of belonging and community among dancers. They don’t preclude individual contributions; all dancers are still invited to be uniquely themselves. They do contribute to a setting in which each dancer takes joy in seeing everyone succeed together.
Learning—Uniforms reduce distractions and facilitate learning. When they’re all dressed alike, dancers are not feeling the need to adjust their clothing or compare their outfits to others in class. Focus and discipline are enhanced, and dancers can move in unison more easily as they see everyone else looking the same.
If your dancer has class a few times a week, keeping track of uniform leotards and tights can be a challenge. Get to know other dance parents and share ideas and resources for keeping your dancer dressed for success. Most of all, understand that the purpose of dress codes goes far beyond just looking cute.
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