March 15 UPDATE Starting March 19 all classes are moving online. I'm not sure when we will be back to in person classes, but we will remain virtual for at least March, and possibly longer.
March 11- class updates regarding covid-19 Dance provides a valuable sense of community, stress relief, and a range of wellness benefits that we could all really use right now. I would like us all to be able to continue enjoying our dance classes together as long as that is feasible so I wanted to give some updated information to hopefully help folks feel more comfortable heading into this class session. I will be keeping track of best practices as suggested by the CDC, state government, and local officials. I have also been in contact with Studio Helix and, through them, Thornes on their own preparations for keeping things running smoothly. The full Studio Helix policy is attached at the bottom of this message.
Cleaning Thornes and Studio Helix have both ramped up their cleaning schedules and have extra supplies on hand to keep up with this. Please make sure to wash your hands before class. Studio Helix also has hand sanitizer in a dispenser on the wall in case you want to use it.
Potential closures If anything changes within the official recommendations and there is restricted movement of people in our area, or if Thornes closes, or anything similar I will move to live streaming classes from my home studio. In this case we could continue classes virtually using zoom or a similar service so that we could still continue to learn and dance. Since the situation is rapidly evolving there could conceivably be a time where I need to cancel in person classes and switch to remote classes on short notice. Normally when I cancel for inclement weather, etc., I update the website (on the homepage under ‘updates’, the general class information page, and the class registration page) and I send an email to all enrolled students. I will continue to do this so please check your email and/or the website before driving to class if you have any doubts about whether there is class. If it is helpful I can also post a message with the date for every single class day saying “In person classes are on for [date]!”
Sick days and refunds Please stay home if you are feeling sick, even if you are feeling just a little off. I will film the new material from class each day so you will not miss anything if you stay home. I won’t automatically refund all sick days because my income depends on teaching and I can’t afford to keep teaching if I do that (it is also a ton of extra administrative and tax season work for me to account for refunds), but the current policy allows for refunds in the case of emergencies. If you end up in a situation where you are having a difficult time financially, especially now with potential lost work time due to the virus, please reach out to me because that would fall under ‘emergency’. I don’t want anyone to be in a precarious financial position due to signing up for dance.
Personal space Several other teachers have posted about no longer giving hands on corrections. I do not do hands on corrections anyways so there is no change here- I will continue to not do them. I will limit the class size so that there are fewer people in the room and we will have more distance for personal space. Please also maintain space from each other and don't be offended if someone asks for additional space.
Spring show Many of you had asked even before this new situation whether there would be a spring show. I am not sure if there will be a show this session, though I have been leaning towards having one in June. I will make a decision on that, in consultation with the enrolled students, part way through the spring session as circumstances continue to develop.
Also, here is some advice from a friend and fellow dancer who is a primary care physician in western MA: If you are sick and think you may have coronavirus, stay home. Call your doctor's office for instructions. If it is after hours and you are very sick and think you need to go to the ER, call the ER before showing up; they will give you instructions. Do NOT go hauling off to a doctor's office OR an urgent care OR an ER and walk in without announcing yourself and expose everyone there in an uncontrolled fashion. Most places in MA do not have access to testing, so triage and exposure control are really important to try to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities - who are often at the doctor's office or hospital with other issues already. If you are sick and you have access to a mask and for some reason are NOT home, WEAR the mask because that will protect everyone around you from what you have. The metal piece goes over the bridge of your nose and you pinch it to the shape (and under your glasses if you wear them), then pull the rest of it down to rest against the bottom of your chin. Note: You do not need a mask if you are not ill; COVID19 is spread through droplets which are absorbed through the eyes as well as the nose and mouth, so a mask does not keep you from catching it.
Studio Helix Policy COVID-19 is impacting our community more, so we'd like to share how we're responding at the studio. As we're committed to providing a safe place for individual sessions and classes, please see the below for the steps that we've taken and please be assured that we're responding as needed to new information.
Studio cleanliness: - Surfaces (door handles, light switches, bathroom keys, stretching equipment, etc) are regularly disinfected with a diluted bleach solution - Spray bottles with diluted bleach for cleaning mats, weights, Pilates equipment, etc. are distributed throughout the studio - We're asking that students bring individual mats and props for classes and to clean them thoroughly with the provided bleach solution before and after use - Please feel free to wash your hands at the sink with soap and water - Hand sanitizer dispensers are filled (please let us know if they get low) - Thornes Marketplace is responding by regularly disinfecting common areas in the building along with having employees stay home if symptoms are present
Studio Policy: We ask that patients, clients, class participants and practitioners who are experiencing symptoms of illness to please stay home. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to: - Elevated temperature - Runny nose, cough, sneezing - Stomach / intestinal discomfort