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!
Dear MDU Families,
All, thank you for your patience. I thought I could get this out yesterday, but Isabella's ACL repair surgery was rescheduled at UW-Madison Hospital yesterday! We are very thankful as it was canceled because of the quarantine. The surgery went great and she will be coming home today <3.
Parents, we thank you SO much for your support over the past weeks as we transitioned to distance learning and dancing safer at home. Together we have done perhaps some of the most important work of this season - that of providing kids an anchor to the familiarity and comfort of their friends, peers, and teachers during a very difficult time. And, yes we did some dancing! We even did some GREAT dancing! But, this season - more than any other season - we have truly embodied what it means to be MORE than just great dancing.
Now, it goes without saying that when we chose our theme for Recital of "Vision 2020" that finishing the last 8 weeks of our season at home was not what we envisioned. It's not what any of us envisioned. But, as I share the following plans to finish our 22nd season strong and prepare for the future, I am at peace with the care we have taken and the decisions we have made. At all times, and in all ways, we have gone above and beyond to provide love and life for our teachers, our students, and our families and will continue to do so as we move forward.
Our plans for Recital, Summer, Fall & More are described in this 20-minute video presentation and outlined below.
Coming Back Together:
We take the safety of our kids and families and our responsibility to our staff and the community seriously.
Any considerations to move towards face-to-face service is being done with the utmost care and consultation of our local leaders and authorities.
We will be offering two opportunities for families to reimagine recital and to showcase the accomplishments of our ALL of our students. Learn more at our Recital Page.
If you have not yet received your costume, you will receive a separate email regarding a time for Curbside Pick-up later this week.
Performance Company Competition and Ballet La Crosse Performance
Our team is working hard on rescheduling options for these events with vendors. Stay tuned for more information!
A Special Note for Seniors
As dancers, our hearts ache for our graduating seniors knowing that "Finishing Strong" for them is not just about ending the year well. It's about the finish line of their entire dance journey with us. Our teachers will be helping all our older students, but especially our seniors, process the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany loss in their classes during the coming weeks and helping them to know that it's okay to be sad about what "cannot be" and still be grateful for what "can be". They are not mutually exclusive. Sadness and gratitude are both valid, and normal, responses. But, as for much as this has been hard for our upper-level students, I am confident of this - THEY WILL RISE AND SHINE. So, it is in this spirit, that I ask ALL MDU families and students to help us in acknowledging all the pieces of the journey of our upper-level students and supporting them as we share their senior stories with you in the weeks to come and livestream a special Senior Night that they will be helping to put together as part of our Red Carpet Recital Experiences. Please keep your eyes peeled for those details and get ready to cheer them on <3.
Summer and Fall Schedules
As we look to transition from Safer-at-Home to Phase 1 of recovery we have a relatively high degree of confidence in sharing the following dates.