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!
Why Children Need Grit, and How Dance Makes a Difference
Gritty people have a growth mindset; they don’t give up.
This paraphrased quote is from author Angela Duckworth, who popularized the word “grit” with her famous TED Talk about the power of passion and perseverance. She wasn’t talking specifically about dancers, but she could have been!
Children need to develop resilience in order to learn from their experiences and grow into their full potential. This is why we value determination and tenacity so highly here at Misty’s Dance Unlimited, because we know these are beneficial qualities to have in life, in or out of the dance classroom. But can you teach a child these qualities; to be more resilient, more gritty? We believe the answer to that is YES.
In dance class, we want our students to know we care about them and want them to succeed. But we also want to hold them to age-appropriate, growth-driven standards—high standards that will require their hard work, practice, and focus for achievement.
Dance, like life, can present its challenges: the step might not look correct yet; your body might be sore or injured; the audition answer might be no; you might even fall down every now and then. Allowing a child to simply walk away from those challenges (or give up on them) only teaches the child that hard work need not apply. Persevering through those challenges, however, teaches them to bounce back; to build the work ethic they will need throughout their childhood and young adult life.
These lessons in dance will be hard at times, no doubt. As parents and teachers, we know there will sometimes be tears or frustrations. But that won’t stop us from encouraging these kids to push themselves. They are amazing kids who will go on to persevere through a tough exam at school, bounce back from a job they didn’t get, or work through a strained friendship. They are amazing kids who will become amazing adults because they have been challenged by failure and fueled by success.
At Misty’s Dance Unlimited, we want you to know that this message is very important to us and close to our hearts, and it helps us coach the best out of your child, day in and day out. Through dance we’re teaching them how to be grittier and in turn, empowering them for the future.
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