MSSoD Covid-19 Updates
March 19, 2020
Dear MSSoD Families,
Before I begin, let me say how much we miss all of you and your sweet dancers! We should be in the studio preparing for our recital and it’s very hard for all of us to not be engaging with your dancers.
With Coppell ISD closed until at least April 3rd, and the great likelihood it will be longer as DISD, RISD and many others have shut down indefinitely, I have made the decision for everyone's safety to cancel all in-studio classes through April 30th and longer if needed. There will, of course, be no April fees charged.
Also, after much consideration, staff discussions and speaking with the Majestic Theater I’ve made the very difficult decision to reschedule our May 16th recital. If we do not return until May we cannot possibly execute the show your dancers deserve in the few lessons we would have together before our show.
However, as the saying goes...the show must go on and we will have a show! Your dancer has worked too hard for months on technique, dance vocabulary, strength and stamina to cancel our show completely. We have dancers, costumes and music so our new plan is to extend our dance season into the summer and end with a recital. The staff and I are very excited about this!
Once we are able to be back in the studio, we will resume our normal weekly schedule of classes. Plans for all of this are still being worked out and much of it will be determined by when we can return. We feel after this strange and difficult time returning to some sense of normalcy is important for all of us, most especially our wonderful students, and they deserve a chance to show off and shine!
Here is our current plan to keep the studio going and our dancers moving until we can all return:
As everyone has paid their March tuition, next week we will have several virtual classes available for dancers to continue their March lessons along with Instagram and Facebook live classes they can join. Info on how to access these classes will be sent out soon and on our website.
Beginning in April we will have virtual classes for a nominal fee with lessons for your dancer using the platform Thinkific. Info on how to access these classes will also be sent out soon and again on our website.
Keep following us on Social Media and checking your email. We will be live-streaming classes, issuing challenges, have social media takeovers by teachers, fun things to keep our dancers engaged!
** I’d love for our youngest dancers to join me tomorrow, Friday, March 20th at 10:00 am for an Instagram Live class @mssod_
I’ve got our favorite songs and dances ready to go!
The most important thing is our students, their families and our MSSoD staff stay healthy. We will be together again, we will have a show to perform and we can’t wait to see our dancer's shining faces live and person again!
Please give all our love to all our students and let them know that we miss them very much,
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Dear MSSoD Family,
Let me start by saying that I greatly appreciate all the support we received from my previous email about our studio’s prevention steps. We truly think of our dancers as our own family and miss them!
On Friday Coppell ISD announced a one-week closing of school to allow staff time to prepare for a possibility of a longer closure, which would include plans for online and alternative curriculum delivery, should it be necessary. Today, CISD added the suspension of all extra-curricular activities through March 31st. As part of the Coppell community and with our dancer's health and safety in mind and per our long-standing policy to close when CISD does, MSSoD will also close this week, Monday, March 16- Sunday, March 22.
We greatly hope we will only be closed this week; we do still have a recital to prepare for! Costumes are arriving, music has been edited, your dancer has been learning choreography in classes. Your sweet dancers have invested months of time working hard in class preparing to perform for you in May. To that end, we will make up these lost classes closer to the show when our dances are finished.
We are also very aware of the possibility that we may be out of the studio longer than one week, but that does not mean we can’t dance and continue recital preparations and choreography! Our teachers have spent a tremendous amount of time over spring break meeting about virtual solutions, talking with teachers and industry leaders from around the country, attending webinars with other teachers working on virtual dance classes.
Although we will not be holding classes next week, all our staff will be busy filming video classes for your dancers. If we need to go to virtual classes the following week we will be prepared. While virtual dance classes are not a long - term solution, there is no replacement for the interactions and corrections from teachers and no substitute for the community of dance, online resources can be successfully used to bridge a gap during this short time.
We know this week there will be some bored kiddos and we want to keep them dancing so we do have a new page on our website! Click here for online dance resources, a music playlist for our youngest friends stretching, strengthening and barre classes, new combinations and new steps to learn, coloring pages and more to keep your dancer moving!
The health and safety of all of our dancers, parents, and employees is our top priority. We appreciate the trust you place in us with your dancer's education and feel blessed to have you a part of our MSSoD family. Together we will get through these challenging times and enjoy a return to normalcy.
Yours in Dance (and health!)
March 13, 2020
Dear Family Members of Melva Smith School of Dance,
As a valued member of our dance family, I wanted to reach out regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our community and families.
I would like to reassure you that we are adhering to the CDC Guidelines as the health and wellbeing of our students, their families, and our staff are our top priority. We will continue to monitor and implement the local, state, and federal recommendations as they’re announced.
We have also been making plans on how to proceed with our season should we be forced to take time away from the studio as a class. We are still planning on our May 16th recital and still need to prepare. To that end, I’ve been meeting with industry leaders in the dance studio world through several webinars, group chats, and Facebook groups as we all try to navigate these unexpected and uncharted waters. Information is changing hour by hour and we are working diligently to stay updated while striving to keep our dancers dancing during what might be a “new normal”.
We take pride in our facility and how it operates and would like to highlight the policies we have in place at the studio to help our dance families stay healthy and safe.
Prevention Steps in the Studio:
Sanitizer: We have hand sanitizer in each studio, as well as at the front desk and we encourage you to utilize it.
Handwashing: We have antibacterial soap in the bathroom and encourage frequent handwashing (for at least 30 seconds before rinsing). We’ve also added a lyrics sheet in the bathroom so you can sing along for an appropriate amount of time!
Discouraging close contact: We have adjusted certain aspects of our classes to ensure dancers are not in too close of proximity. We will not be holding hands or doing partner work. We will also not be giving hugs or hi-fives and are asking dancers to skip those as well. We love them enough to forgo their sweet hugs for their safety!
Props / Shared Items: We have discontinued the use of hand-held props, sports spots, and mats.
Surface Cleaning: Between each class, we are wiping down frequently touched surfaces and equipment such as the barres, doors and doorknobs, chairs and benches, etc.
Deep Cleaning: Each weekend we are deep cleaning the studio.
Sneezes and Coughs: We are encouraging dancers to cough and sneeze into their arms, not in their hands.
Staff: Only staff feeling well (without symptoms) will be in the studio.
Water Bottles / Food: We are going to continue to remind students not to share any food or drinks of any kind. Please be sure your dancer’s name is on their water bottle to avoid any confusion.
How you can help:
Don’t bring toys from home.
Don’t send your child to the studio if your child or a family member is sick.
Children missing a class due to illness will be granted a make-up session.
Don’t break any formal quarantine/government restrictions.
Encourage your child to cough and sneeze into their arm not in their hand.
Alert us if your child does have COVID-19 and have been to the studio within the last 14 days so we can contact their peers.
Coppell ISD has announced its policy for reporting Spring Break Travel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Identified Level 2 and 3 Countries. That information can be found here
Also, here is the latest information for CISD and Covid-19 announcements.
As COVID-19 continues to be part of our daily conversations, we know that children will be talking about it too. Here are two pediatrician approved resources you can use to help them understand what is happening. Please review the materials before sharing with your children to ensure they are age-appropriate for your child’s understanding and feelings.
Brain Pop video here
NPR video here
Wash Your Lyrics website here - make your own “how long to wash” poster.
In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to monitor the situation and pass along any pertinent information we gather.
At this time MSSoD remains open unless or until directed otherwise. Each family is encouraged to make their own decision about coming to the studio, please do what you feel comfortable with and what makes the most sense for you and your family.
The well being of our students and families is a top priority! Please know that we are here to address any concerns or issues, and are happy to hear from you on additional ways we can keep our community healthy!
Owner / Director
Melva Smith of Dance