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:
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!
Five quick tips for new dance moms
If you’ve just enrolled your child in dance for the first time, both you and your child are in for a treat. Dance helps develop discipline, responsibility and respect. It boosts self-esteem, teaches teamwork and helps develop wonderful friendships—not just for your dancer but for you, too.
But we know: it’s a little overwhelming when you step inside the studio for the first time. That’s why we’ve developed these five quick tips to help you and your dancer get off on the right foot.
Label everything, and we mean everything. Get a Sharpie and write your dancer’s name inside their shoes, bags and labels on their leotards and tights. One look at the lost and found at virtually any studio will tell you why that’s essential.
Stock up on twice—no, three times—the number of hairnets and bobby pins you think you’ll need. The hairnets will save you hours of frustration in achieving the perfect bun, and the bobby pins will perpetually disappear. Later, of course, you’ll find them on the floor of your car, the bottom of your child’s dance bag and too many other random places to mention.
Make friends with the other parents. Seriously, other dance parents can become life savers, especially when your child needs a ride to or from dance, when recital comes and definitely should your child join a performance company.
Trust the teacher. We all know our children are exceptional, special little people. So do the teachers. They want your child to have fun, be safe and learn a thing or two—if not about dance, then about life. As parents, we need to respect their expertise, even if it means they don’t advance your dancer to the next level. They’ve seen too many times the injuries and other difficulties that come when dancers advance at a pace that isn’t right for them.
Remember it’s your child’s activity. It’s tempting as parents to project our own hopes and dreams onto our children, but we also know the importance of letting them experience their own journey. So you want a ballet dancer, but it turns out your child has a gift for tap. Let your child tap. That’s the best way to instill a love for the activity and ensure your child gets all the benefits dance can offer.
Any questions along the way? Find that dance mom who’s been around for a while. The parents of children who’ve been dancing a while are happy to take newbies under their wings. And you may just end up with more BFFs yourself.
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