Dear MDU Family,
This evening Gov. Tony Evers addressed our state issuing Executive Order #94 that calls upon business leaders "to continue doing their part to keep workers, customers, and communities safe by expanding working from home options for workers, offering online or virtual services, and limiting the number of people in offices, facilities, and stores" - all things we are PROUD to say we have been doing since we re-opened in June.
We have been following our Safer Studio™ Standards every step of the way through this season and continue to do so. Our team members have work-from-home capabilities, we are fully tech-enabled with online and virtual options, and we have always limited the number of people in our offices, facility, and store.
We have had over 10,000 visits to our studio since re-opening and only 4 isolated reported cases of COVID-19 - that's less than 1/100th of 1% occurrence.
Our strong focus on safety has made it possible to maintain a very low-risk environment while allowing our young people to benefit from exercise and friendship in a safety-focused environment as well as the associated positive benefits on social-emotional and mental well-being.
We are proud to continue to be a positive anchor in the lives of our local youth and we look forward to seeing and supporting your children in classes this week. In the meantime, please join us in doing all you can to keep our community safe by wearing face coverings, keeping the recommended 6 ft distance from friends and classmates, washing your hands, and staying home if you are unwell. For the safety of our community, if you are unable to or prefer not to wear a face covering, we strongly encourage you to attend our virtual class options.
As always, your teachers and I thank you for your support.
Most parents know that when they have a dancer in the house, they have a child who seemingly thinks about dance all day long. They spin through their conversations with you, search endlessly for new dance music and continually hike their legs high on the walls to get a good stretch. Sometimes just watching them can tire you out.
But there’s good news that comes with having dance on the brain. Dance not only increases feel-good hormones like seratonin and endorphins just like other forms of exercise; it also changes the way you think. Just as dance exercises and stretches the body, it also exercises the mind, making it stronger, faster, more flexible and more capable.
Studies around dance and its effects on the brain are on the rise, especially as researchers are discovering its usefulness in warding off and treating neurological disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease and as therapy for development and mood disorders. Here’s how it works.
Dancing increases neuroplasticity. Learning to dance requires the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex to rewire. When this happens on a consistent basis, new neural pathways are frequently being formed. These new neural paths build different paths for transmitting information, so you can not only transmit more quickly but by creating many paths for accessing that information, you have more ways to get there.
Think about that in the context of making a decision or remembering something important. If you only have one pathway to get from recognizing the need for information and it’s not terribly reliable, you have a problem. But if you have several high-performance pathways, you have multiple ways to reach a good outcome.
Studies have also shown that dancing is the best exercise to improve cognitive skills at any age. More effective than crossword puzzles and reading, frequent dancers enjoy a 76 percent reduced risk of developing dementia.
And get this. Because dance requires several brain functions operating at the same time, it requires complete presence to the moment—the very definition of meditation but without the conscious effort to meditate. And we all know how good meditation is for reducing stress and increasing focus.
So next time your child starts up with the dance moves, you may just want to join them.