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!
What to Bring to Competition: A Dancer’s Checklist
Dance competitions offer opportunities for your dancers to show their love of dance and the chance to show the results of their hard work and many rehearsals throughout the year. While you can’t walk away with trophies every time, you can win at being prepared for the event. Beyond costumes and shoes, seasoned dancers know that packing other smart supplies can help them be prepared for any situation at a competition.
When planning for competition, consider the What Ifs:
What if there’s no parking near the venue?
A rolling suitcase is a wonderful investment for a dancer who may have to haul her gear a long way. A roll of quarters is also helpful to have in case of the need to feed a meter. Comfortable tennis shoes are a must-have for faraway parking situations, as well as for running around between dances.
What if we have a wardrobe malfunction?
Dancers’ costumes take a beating during every performance, and the odds of something snapping or popping increase on competition days. Be ready for every costume contingency with a mini sewing kit and safety pins. Some dancers have been known to turn to super glue and duct tape. Seriously.
What if we get hungry?
Assuming the venue will allow you to bring your own snacks, remember complex carbohydrates and healthy proteins are the way to go. If the venue won’t allow outside food, plan your escapes between dance numbers to grab a healthy snack offsite. You’ll also want a lot of water for your dancer, so a refillable water bottle can be a big help.
What if we get bored between numbers?
Sometimes you’ll have long waits between performances, so bring something to do. Think of things that will help your dancers bond as a team as well as quiet items to help them have some down time throughout the busy day.
What if something hurts?
Anticipate sore muscles, blisters and nervous tummies. None of those things may happen, but it’s best to be prepared just in case.
The “What Ifs” can be endless, but we’ve put together a checklist based on the needs we’ve seen in the dozens of competitions we’ve attended.
Costumes and all related accessories
Spare tights in appropriate colors
Thread to match each costume
Portable spot remover
Extra clear or tan bra straps for female dancers
Dance shoes and straps
Undertard if your dancer will be changing backstage
A small cooler
Yogurt or cheese
Prepared fresh veggies
Nuts or nut butter
Money for snacks if outside food is not allowed
Eye shadow, blush and lipstick in performance company colors
Foundation or loose powder if your dancer prefers
Makeup brushes, cotton balls, Q-tips
Spray bottle with water
Hair accessories for each dance clearly labeled
Hair nets to keep buns tidy
First Aid & Physical Needs
Feminine hygiene products
Instant ice packs
Instant hot packs
Nail clippers and file
Extra copy of dance music
Journal, book, or homework
Phone and charger
Money for souvenirs or programs
What if something goes wrong on stage?
In the words that our Miss Shayna, MDU school director, says to every class of little ones...."Just keep dancing!" Great advice for competition, stage and life!
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