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

Getting the most from summer dance intensives

Getting the most from summer dance intensives

It’s that time of year when dancers are off to various summer workshops and dance intensives, a time for them to hone their character as well as their technique.

 

If you’ve looked into summer training options before, you know they can be pricey—typically northward of $1,000 plus room and board. But many excellent opportunities are also available in the 7 Rivers region that can cost you a fraction of that amount without room and boarding fees.

 

The key is to look for workshops and intensives that will bring in different, high-caliber teachers and choreographers from outside the region. That’s because one of the primary benefits of a summer experience is to work with professionals from around the country (or the world). Regardless of whether you travel locally or globally, here’s what your dancer can gain from a summer workshop or intensive.

 

  • An opportunity to explore different types of dance. That’s not only fun and challenging, it’s also important if your dancer wants to continue dancing post high school. More than ever, colleges and professional companies are looking for versatility.
  • Improved technique. Oftentimes, hearing the same correction they’ve heard from their teachers finally sinks in when offered by an outside pro. (As a parent, you know how that goes.)
  • New challenges to stretch them as a dancer and push them mentally. Look for a program that will press your dancer, increasing their strength and flexibility and boosting their determination. If there’s ever a time to get out of their dance comfort zone, it’s during a summer workshop or intensive.
  • Connection to professional, influential dancers who can help your dancer if they’re looking for a career in dance.
  • Increased independence. A summer dance experience farther from home can help your dancer (and you) be more prepared when the time comes for them to leave the nest.
  • New friendships. Much like a traditional summer camp, your dancer will meet new people and make new and lasting friendships among people who share their love for dance.

When looking for a summer dance program, you’ll first want to consider your dancer’s goals. Do they want to improve ballet technique? Do they want to explore modern dance? Are they more interested in something novel, like the Rockettes?

 

Once you know your dancer’s goals, it’s time to look at what you can afford. Budget can be a make or break factor, so be sure to look at costs and give yourself time to budget for them. In fact, now’s a good time to start saving for the 2018 season.

 

In addition to affordability, of course, you’ll want to be assured of quality. Look for a brand you know with highly regarded faculty and a track record of providing productive summer experiences. If looking at an opportunity farther from home, also be certain to assess the room setup and safety measures around where dancers will stay and how they will travel to and from classes.

 

For dancers who train all year, summer dance intensives and workshops can offer an unusual opportunity for growth—not just as a dancer but as a person.

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