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!
Top Three Most-Asked Questions about Ballet La Crosse
The talent was here, the desire was here, but until a few years ago, the opportunities to train professionally were sparse to nonexistent in the Coulee Region. A dancer with the drive to train beyond upper-level classes would literally have to drive—a long way—in order to train with a professional company. Ballet La Crosse changed that. Read on to see answers to three often-asked questions about Ballet La Crosse.
What is BLC?
Ballet La Crosse is a semi-professional ballet group with a dual purpose:
To increase exposure to and appreciation for classical performance arts in the community
To provide opportunities for area youth to gain training that mirrors that of the professional world
Ballet La Crosse has become an exciting addition to the local arts scene and provides a tremendous opportunity for young dancers, children and audience members alike to experience the magic of ballet.
Mr. Kennet Oberly, the original artistic director and choreographer for Ballet La Crosse, inspired a passion for ballet within a generation of dancers here in La Crosse. Under his direction and creative process, students have experienced the invaluable gifts that ballet can bring: hard work, creativity, attention to detail, patience and the love of storytelling. Mr. Kennet passed away in 2016, leaving a legacy of excellence and inspiration that will last for generations.
The creation of Misty Lown, owner and director of Misty’s Dance Unlimited, Ballet La Crosse continues to benefit from the guidance of internationally celebrated dancers. Miss Larissa Oberly, Miss Alexandra Meier, Mr. Dennis Williams and Miss Amanda Schams are the Artistic Staff.
Ballet La Crosse produces two shows each season. In the fall, they stage a full-length story ballet. In the spring, they produce a mixed-bill contemporary ballet. Both productions consistently sell out, fulfilling BLC’s mission to share beautiful classical performances with an eager audience.
Who is eligible for BLC?
Fall ballet auditions are open to dancers ages 8-18. Dancers don’t have to be students at MDU to dance for BLC, but they must take weekly ballet classes at a studio in order to qualify to participate. Spring ballet auditions are open to students ages 12 and up (Level IV and up).
What is the time commitment?
Dancers who earn a role in the fall ballet participate in a two week summer choreography camp. Regular rehearsals start the first week of classes and are held every Friday and Saturday until the performance.
In addition to choreography camp, Ballet La Crosse dancers are required to take Stay Strong classes at MDU, a ballet intensive or other equivalent training in the summer. During the school year, dancers must take weekly ballet classes, the number of classes corresponding with their level of training.
Entrance to Ballet La Crosse is via audition. To learn more about becoming a dancer with Ballet La Crosse, email email@example.com
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