COVID-19 Studio Class Update
Good Afternoon ESD and DSD Families,
We would like to begin by conveying our sincere appreciation for all of your kind words and concerns over these past few weeks! On behalf of our entire staff, we are missing our dance families so very much! We hope that all of you are staying safe and are staying busy with some of the classes that we have sent to you for your dancer to keep active. We also hope that all of our students are reviewing their recital dances for muscle memory so that they will not forget them. We are going to do everything possible for our dance recitals to happen if the situation allows.... even if we have to do them in the summer. We realize how much time and money our students and staff have invested to make this happen so we will do our very best. We have already paid for many services for the recital such as costumes, theatre rental, backdrops, t-shirts, etc. so we are certainly going to try our best! We will just play this week by week to determine this and what the date will be. We are still holding our original dates but we also sent our backup dates that we are ALSO holding in our first letter and those may change as well.
After much thought and research, we have decided to offer virtual dance classes as of April 1st using a program called ZOOM. This program allows all students to take from home with the ability for them to interact with their classmates and to receive feedback from the teacher. Here is what you will need: designated 6'x 6' space for them to take their class from your home. You will also need a computer or iPad for them to set up so that the teacher can see their full body. You can use a phone but it works much better on a bigger device. We ask that all students continue the normalcy of their regular classes with proper dancewear and shoes. We have been working so hard for the past week to get this program up and running with the technology and with our staff. Our staff is SUPER excited to be able to connect with their students again. We will also continue with their recital dances at the end of each class.
We ask that you remain patient next week as we run our full ZOOM schedule beginning on April 1st. The studio offers perfect flooring, lights, sound, and visibility for instructors to provide corrections. This new environment will not always reflect those former conditions, nor will you be able to ask Whitney or Angie at the front desk a quick question if something does not work properly. As this will be a learning experience for all of us, we welcome your valuable feedback and constructive critiques on how things may improve in this new setting. We feel confident that the dancers may come out technically stronger once this is over. We have the most dedicated and creative faculty and we know that they will find a way to make sure these dancers are getting what they need to be successful and challenged. Our staff has done MUCH training on using this program. The students may also take other subjects that they are not signed up for to help them explore new styles of dance. There is no limit to how many classes that they can take now that they have extra time on their hands. We have even added new classes that were not on the original schedule.
For the most part, your dancer’s classes will occur on the same day and time as their original schedule. However a few small classes have been combined so make sure you look thoroughly at the schedule to find your dancers correct class. The schedule will be posted on our website in the next few days. Please note that the classes are referred to as "meetings"? All classes /meetings will end 5 minutes before the end time. This is done specifically to allow teachers and students to logout of a class that has ended, and login into the new meeting/class that will begin. Instructions to come soon.
I believe the question on many minds is how we will handle April tuition. We are most concerned about continuing to compensate our staff, especially those who rely on this income as their livelihood. We also want to be able for our studios to survive these hard times which is completely dependent on our clients. It is our endeavor to provide full pay to our teachers, but this is dependent on your support which we need desperately to survive. We certainly do not want to lose any of our talented teachers. We hope that you will continue to support our studios. Our staff is committed to continuing the students training so that they can still feel connected to their teachers and dance classmates. From all the other studio Zoom classes that I have witnessed.... the students and teachers are so excited to connect with each other!
As you are aware, April tuition has already been posted to your account. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our dance families, we are discounting our clients April tuition by 10% to help alleviate the financial burden some may be facing right now. It is our main concern to keep our dancers training and learning no matter the platform. Zoom will allow us to keep working with our dancers and prepare them for their end of the year recital. Anyone that has already paid for April will receive a credit to their account once this is applied. We will continue to accept payments through your parent portal or by mail. We will be waiving the 3% processing fee that is normally charged when using a credit card.
On a personal note, it has been wonderful to watch all of the dancers who have been participating in the Instagram and Facebook daily challenges. Many thanks to our staff for participating in this to stay connected. We cannot wait to see your smiling and excited faces on Zoom! Further details coming Monday!
Although our studios remain closed, our office staff will continue to take phone calls and answer emails.
Tracy Solomon, Ashlie Wells- Directors Dothan and Enterprise Schools of Dance