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

Dance Studio Dress Codes: What’s the Point?

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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