At Misty’s Dance Unlimited, LLC (MDU) the health and safety of our members’ staff, students, guests, and communities have always been our highest priority;
a commitment that has only been heightened at this time in history. That’s why we have used local and national guidelines to inform our best practices for service continuity and re-opening.

Because dance meets imperative student needs for physical, social, and emotional well being, we are committed to helping our staff and students navigate reopening. We follow the Safer Studio™ standards put forth by our national association, More Than Just Great Dancing!® along with the utmost care and consultation of our local health departments and locally available information.

Governmental Regulations
MDU follows the Governor’s Executive Order #82, which mandates the use of masks inside buildings and advocates the same for clients until Sept. 28. We also adhere to the Governor’s Emergency Order #1, which allows for exceptions.

Education
MDU staff, parents, and dancers are informed about the symptoms of COVID-19 including, fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea (watery), sore throat/congestion, headache, chills, muscle and joint pain (multiple), nausea or vomiting and, loss of sense of smell.

Dancers and staff should STAY HOME if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. They should also notify the studio owners/administrators and contact healthcare providers if they develop symptoms. If in doubt, sit them out.

Return to Training
  1. MDU follows a phased approach to reopening physical services.
  2. MDU’s reopening plan:
    1. Reinforces an attendance policy that does not allow employees to work when sick or students to attend classes when sick.
    2. Reinforces of proper hygiene and health standards with all staff members and students, including frequent handwashing and/or sanitizing, not touching the face, and sneezing and/or coughing into elbows.
    3. Increases frequency of sanitation in high traffic areas and high touch surfaces of the studio such as barres, floors, counters, stereos, and bathrooms/locker areas.
    4. Adjusts studio operations based on public health guidelines and recommendations regarding PPE, assembly/gathering/occupancy size, and social distancing where possible and practical.
    5. Adjusts curriculum and teacher training to reduce or eliminate hand-holding, equipment-sharing, and mingling where possible and practical.
    6. Communicates a clear policy for each phase of opening regarding student drop-off and pick-up, lobby availability, and amenity use.
  3. MDU has a variety of service options available including private instruction, small group instruction, traditional classes, and online instruction where possible and practical, to meet the needs of students and staff as well as for the ability to maintain service continuity in any situation.
  4. MDU has a clear system of communicating the status of classes, such as a “green, yellow, red” protocol. Green indicates it is safe to attend face-to-face classes. Yellow indicates a cautionary change to service delivery. Red indicates clients should stay home and attend class online.
  5. MDU understands that unlike older children and adults, young children cannot be expected to maintain social distancing at all times. Therefore, we focus on a hierarchy of measures beginning with avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms, frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene practices, amplified cleaning, and minimizing contact and mingling.
  6. If MDU receives a report of exposure risk, any affected classes will be notified, and exposure-risk level cleaning will be enacted. There is absolutely no penalty for absence and classes may be made up in-person (space permitting) or online (anytime).

Additional Considerations
As MDU we are proud of the work our team has done since 1999 to create the highest quality experiences and environments for our staff, students, and guests. Because of this groundwork, and the strength of our network, we believe our studio is in a strong position for a gradual and responsibly phased reopening. We are honored to continue to serve our community in this time.

Sincerely,
Misty Lown


Safer Studio Policy Archive
  • 923 12th Ave S, STE 103, Onalaska, WI 54650
  • 608.779.4642
  • info@mistysdance.com
  • 923 12th Ave S, STE 103, Onalaska, WI 54650
  • 608.779.4642
  • info@mistysdance.com

Dancing for a living

So your child wants to become a professional dancer

After a steady diet of “Dancing with the Stars”, “So You Think You Can Dance” and “World of Dance", many young dancers today aspire to do it professionally. They may love dance, they may work hard, and they may even be quite talented, but the truth is only 3 percent of people who go into dancing actually become professionals.

 

What’s the difference between the 3 percent and the other 97? The answer depends on whom you ask, but pretty consistently the pros will tell you that, aside from solid training, it comes down to these five characteristics: creativity, perseverance, stamina, passion and versatility.

 

Obviously, consistent training is critical. But equally important is having a realistic understanding of what it means to be professional. Only then can you determine whether you’ll have what it takes it truly takes to succeed.

Understand the life of a professional dancer

Learn the realities of a career in dance. If your child wants to pursue a professional career as a dancer, here are five difficult truths they’ll need to understand.

  • When starting out, auditioning, not dancing, will be their job.
  • Professional dancers train five to six days per week for six to eight hours a day.
  • The average professional dancer’s salary is $33,000 per year, so most dancers need a side job to pay their bills, not to mention the costs of training and dance classes.
  • The majority of professional opportunities are in New York City, particularly for Broadway or stage shows, and in Los Angeles for commercial work, though there are also pockets of opportunity in other cities such as Atlanta, Miami and Chicago.
  • The average retirement age for professional dancers is 35. It doesn’t take long before their bodies demand a different course.

Never too early to prepare for a dance career

If your child can accept those realities, here’s what they’ll need to do to prepare.

  • Solid, consistent and near-daily technique classes. Remember, professionals spend 40 hours a week dancing, many hours of which are continuously perfecting technique.
  • Training in a variety of dance styles. When the job market is competitive, the more versatile one’s skills, the more jobs they’ll qualify for.
  • Training with companies of interest. Summer intensives offer a wonderful opportunity for dancers to meet professional dancers and company owners. Not only do they get to learn from several different teaching styles, but they also grow their networking circles which can help lead to professional work down the road.
  • A mentor. Some dancers find mentors within their studios. Others find them through guest teachers at their studios or through those summer intensives we just discussed.

Many paths to professional dance careers

Because dancers retire at an early age, many feel they need to start their careers as soon as (and in rare cases before) they graduate from high school. They skip college, thinking that the four years it would take to earn a degree is four years off their careers. That attitude, however, is shifting.

 

It’s still not uncommon for dancers to head straight to the coast after earning their diplomas, but increasingly professional dancers will tell you that the extra technical training gained in college—or a full-time academy training program—is just one benefit to continuing their education. Many dancers find their time in college and certificate programs help them establish stronger professional connections, make better career decisions, mature as dancers and understand their bodies in ways that prevent future injuries.

 

Nevertheless, one size does not fit all. While university studies may be right for some dancers, others may already have the connections and know-how to go straight to work…auditioning, that is.

Consider life after dance

As you help your dancer determine which path may be best for them, take time to consider life after their time as a professional dancer is over. Do they anticipate wanting to try something completely different? Or do they anticipate wanting to maintain their connection to dance and grow into new areas within the industry? Physical therapy, photography, choreography and teaching are all options for the latter. Having some idea of what they want after dance can help inform some decisions now, particularly whether to continue some form of education or training right after high school or down the road.

 

Whichever path your dancer chooses, it helps moms and dads to know that even if your child becomes one of the 97 percent rather than the 3 percent, the lessons they learn through years of dance training and pursuing their dreams can apply successfully to any profession that follows.