The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone – every person, every child, every parent, every dancer, every studio owner. And everyone in the dance world is eager to get back to dance. Most studios across Australia are already open in some capacity, but there has been much question about how to restart acrobatics safely. Here five tips from Acrobatic Arts for prepping your studio during the pandemic.
#1. Sanitising products
Make sure you stock up on cleaning products for your studio, for the extensive cleaning regimes you’ll need to maintain. 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. Keep hand sanitising stations at all entry points and around the bathrooms to ensure hands are clean upon entering and exiting each studio.
#2. Clear instructions and guidelines
Make sure you have clear instructions and guidelines readily available for parents, students and staff members so that everyone knows how they’ll need to conduct themselves and any new protocols they’ll need to follow. Send out an email with instructions, post guidelines around the studio as reminders, and have teachers remind students of the new rules for being in class. Studios can be shut down if they are not following protocols set in place, so educating your clientele and staff on the importance of these actions is imperative to the studio.
#3. Social distancing markers
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, and reinforce this spacing as often as possible.
#4. ‘Skill ladder’
Use a progressive syllabus. Working the ‘skill ladder’ is the best way to work during this time. For instance, because teachers cannot spot acro dancers right now, ensure student safety by working backward on the skill ladder. If a student cannot execute a back walkover, move them back to kick overs. If they cannot kick over, work back to kick and jump, and so on. Safety should be the number one priority in class, and you can work up to skills gradually, especially if students haven’t been in class for the past several months.
#5. Progress cards
Give your dancers progress cards. Students coming back may have to be in mixed level classes due to new schedules accommodating COVID-19 restrictions and class sizes. 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.
Thanks to Acrobatic Arts for this helpful advice.