The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone – every person, every child, every parent, every dancer, every studio owner. After months of isolation at home, some studios have made the decision to open for live classes this summer; many other studios will instead offer virtual offerings and remain closed for in-person classes. Either way, though, every studio owner wants to ensure that, when the time does come for re-opening, the studio is in pristine, clean condition, and that parents, students and staff feel safe and taken care of. Here are Acrobatic Arts’s top five tips for prepping your studio during the pandemic.
#1. Sanitizing products
Make sure you have ample cleaning products available at the studio. From hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, mat cleaning solution, sprays, bleaches and other cleaning solutions, have enough materials for the cleaning process for in between classes. Ensure you don’t run out! Keep hand sanitizing stations at all entry points and around the washrooms to ensure hands are clean entering and exiting each studio.
#2. “Acro islands” and social distancing
Make sure dancers stay spaced apart during classes. Make marks on the floor for the little ones, and put tape on the barres designating a good six-feet distance between students. In acro class, keep students in their spot with “Acro Islands”. Think the floor is lava so students don’t drift into other students’ spaces. For all classes, ensure you tape off the floor for students to be aware of their social distancing protocols. Reinforce this spacing as often as possible.
#3. Clear instructions and guidelines
Have clear guides and instructions of how people are to conduct themselves readily available for parents, students and studio staff members. Before classes return, send an email with instructions of how to return to class. Around the studio, post instructions as reminders, and have teachers remind students of the new rules for being in class. Studios can be shut down by a government body if they are not following protocols set in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so educating your clientele and staff on the importance of these actions is imperative to the studio.
#4. Progress cards
Hand out progress cards. Students coming back may have to be in mixed level classes due to new schedules accommodating COVID-19 restrictions. Progress cards are a great way to keep students on their individual training path. Certified Acrobatic Arts instructors, for example, can order Primary to Pre-Professional 3 level cards with all 28 required syllabus skills on each card. Students should keep these cards with their dance bag instead of the teacher holding on to them.
#5. Progressive syllabus
Use a progressive syllabus. Working the “skill ladder” is the best way to work during this time. Because teachers cannot spot acro dancers at this time, for instance, ensure student safety by working backward on the skill ladder. If a student cannot back walkover, move them back to kick overs. If they cannot kick over, work back to kick and jump, and so on. Keep safety as the number one priority in class, and work up to skills gradually, especially if students haven’t been in class for the past several months.
And of course, the best solution is to follow the guidelines specified by your local government and health authorities. Here’s to safe, clean, socially distant dancing…in person!
This advice was provided by the team at Acrobatic Arts.