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!
Dance is often viewed as simply an art form, which it truly is. But ask any dancer and they’ll tell you they’re athletes just as much as they are artists. Performing their art requires skill, muscle control and endurance. That’s why technique matters and is so fundamentally important throughout their dance experience.
Technique serves three primary functions:
When you put it all together, dancers find that with solid technique they move more efficiently while also expressing themselves more fully. Proper technique allows dancers to perfectly pair their fierce athleticism with their emotions and creativity to create true art.
What’s the best way to develop and maintain good technique? It all comes back to ballet and the building blocks of movement. Think of the basic plié, for example. Virtually every movement—from takeoff to landing—in jazz, lyrical, contemporary and modern dance—begins and ends in that one position. Ballet technique teaches proper alignment of feet, knees, hips and spine and creates muscle memory to ensure beautiful form, extension and lightness.
So the next time, you’re wondering why most dance teachers and studios push ballet in addition to the dance style your child loves most, remember it’s only because they want to keep your dancer injury-free and capable of mastering the movements appropriate for their level.
Think of it this way: technique creates the dancer while choreography creates the dance. You wouldn’t want one without the other.
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