April 3 -
Dear Living Arts Dance Family,
As I sit down and communicate to you all of what Living Arts plans are moving forward, I am thinking of so many of you and how this crisis we are in is affecting your families.
Many of you are essential workers taking big risks, going out in this environment. Many are working from home with added pressures of family and keeping kids occupied while you try to work. Many have no jobs and wonder how they will take care of their families.
This is all very stressful. Even though dance is considered ‘non-essential work’, I am reminded daily of how essential it truly is to so many of our students and their families. Because of this, we are reinventing ourselves and our programs by adapting to the times.
I could have easily just shut down the studio when it was mandated and wait but, that’s not how I operate. With crisis comes opportunity. I will do absolutely everything I can to ensure that Living Arts still gets dance, movement and fun out to our families and community.
Dance is healing and vital in such unsettling times.
Current Decisions on Recital, New Classes and Dance Competitions:
Recital Plans: The June 6th show at East Lansing High School is cancelled. An outdoor recital is in the works for this summer at McCormick Park in Williamston - date TBD.
With the closure of schools, and them not opening at least until fall, we cannot plan to have a recital in a school building in the near future. Additionally, other indoor venue choices are not an option at this time, nor are they affordable for an event like ours. I had a feeling this would happen so we have come up with a strategy that can work and makes the most sense at this point.
I contacted the city of Williamston and we can host a recital at McCormick Park. We simply don’t know what things are going to look like 2-months from now let alone next week. So, the actual date cannot be set at this time until the Governor allows an event of more than 50 people to gather.
I really think this could be a fun event and I am envisioning possible food trucks and picnics in the park while watching your children perform on stage in this perfect outdoor setting.
Spring Classes: All of our new spring classes; Super Hero, Ada Twist, and Production Numbers, have been canceled. It just does not make sense to offer these at this time.
Dance Team Competitions: The two competitions we are scheduled to compete in, Headliners and Starquest, are still figuring our what they are doing. For now those competition dates are canceled, but plan to reschedule - dates/locations TBD.
Our Current COVID Dance Programing:
Class Choreography: We are planning our current classes to perform their dances at a recital this summer. Students will still be getting their choreography through video links and will be practicing and cleaning up the routines.
Talk to Teacher Time: All of our instructors are available for FaceTime or Zoom by emailing them directly to schedule a time. I am available most any time.
Live Zoom Classes: As a current student you and your family are welcome to take as many live Zoom classes starting next week. Stay tuned! Links to the classes will be emailed on Sunday.
Fun Social Media: We have a lot of fun social media interactions going on for those that are on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snap Chat. These virtual interactions gives your child a chance to engage in something fun and stay connected to the Living Arts Family.
10-Minute Move & Stretch: I am doing a 10-minute move and stretch session Live at 2:00pm on Facebook for anyone who needs to get up and stretch Monday thru Friday.
CLI Studio Partnership: Because Living Arts is a Partner Studio with CLI Studios, our students get to take advantage of their program and live classes from top industry professionals. This is a very valuable tool not all studios offer and certainly is helpful during this crazy time. Any previous student limits have been removed.
Nobody Signed Up For This:
So as you can see, Living Arts is doing our best to make this COVID thing work. I know many families are struggling with real life issues. Trying to figure out this whole video conferencing thing is another thing we all get to learn.
With things changing so quickly from day to day, our Living Arts staff is working around the clock to reinvent ourselves and get valuable content out there for your children to enjoy.
We are learning as we go and each day brings new challenges and new ideas. I hear and see how hard parents are working to keep their children in Living Arts. We are all here for you and willing to help out in any way we can.
If you or your child is having trouble with learning at home or how best to set up your space so your child can dance, please contact us. Me and our staff are more than happy to live chat if you or your student needs individual attention and help.
We get that you parents are not dance teachers. That’s what you hired us for. So, please let us help.
Please reach out to me with any concerns.
March 23 -
In light of today’s Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order for all of us to stay home unless you are a “critical infrastructure worker”, Living Arts intends to comply with this order and not require our instructors to come into the dance studio to record their class videos.
We are moving ahead with the development and delivery of class videos progressing the learning of our students and giving them a healthy, physical activity to do during these next several weeks. All of this week’s class videos for Ms. Olivia’s classes have been sent and most of Ms. Susan’s, have too!
There will be 2020 recital and our dancers need to keep learning their dances. The more they practice and enjoy the love dance through Living Arts class videos, the easier it will be for each class to be show ready.
We know that times will be hard for everyone, including my family who rely on the income from Living Arts. We will not charge late-fees during this Stay Home, Stay Safe period.
Again, we intend to keep paying all of our instructors during this Stay Home, Stay Safe period and keep sending out class videos to be ready for the recital.
Thank you for being part of my family.
Together we will dance through this concerting time.
March 22 -
I don’t know about you, but that was one heck of a week! The next couple look to be very concerning. Remember, #socialdistance #donttouchanything #alonetogether.
For the safety of our entire dance family, Living Arts is following the State of Michigan mandate and has closed our studios to in-person classes until further notice. Our hope is that with the efforts of our instructors and understanding of our parents, Living Arts will perform Check It Out, our Spring recital, on June 6 at East Lansing High School. The show must go on...
Last week we uploaded the first of our warm-up and technique videos on our Living Arts Dance Studio YouTube Channel. Each day, our instructors will upload more and more videos. Please bookmark that page link so your student can access the latest videos.
The first of our class choreography emails will be sent to the Mason Monday classes tomorrow. Each week, all classes will have new choreography classes emailed to them, created by their instructor, to practice with and continue to learn their dances. These emails will contain the link to that week’s choreography and is the only way to access them. Please keep these emails for future reference for your child.
We are asking parents to make sure that their child actually does the movements shown in the warm-up videos, technique videos and practices the choreography for each class, for the normal time of each class. This activity is a great way to social distance and be connected.
We are here fo you and know how important it is to stay available and connected during this trying time.
As we all get used to this new way of teaching, learning, and accessing all this technology, we can stay connected through Living Arts dance.
March 15 -
I am touching base with you to let you know what is happening with Living Arts classes at this time. Both Mason and Williamston Living Arts Dance Studios will be closed for the week of March 16-19. I am not making any long term decisions because we just don’t know and can’t predict how this is all going to play out.
I did meet with our instructors today and we have come up with a plan going forward. I know how important dance is to our Living Arts dance family and I will do everything I can to try and bring some normalcy to this very unpredictable time. The safety of everyone is of upmost importance so we are developing an online program for our students along with other activities to keep all of our families active during this time of social distancing.
We ARE having a recital in June and need to keep preparing for it.
Here is the plan at this time:
All of our instructors are working this coming week on developing video content for our students.
We will be putting all of our videos on Youtube so you can take class at home. There will be warm up, technique and choreography videos. We will have videos for every class to practice on their own while we are not at the studio. It will be very important for our students to work on their dance technique and recital dances while we are away.
The worse case scenario would be that we are closed for a month. If this happens and I certainly hope it doesn’t, all of our dancers will need to have learned the choreography while we are closed.
We know that you may have questions about choreography or just want to touch base with your instructor since we won’t be in class. Both Miss Olivia and Miss Brielle can be emailed by their students to set up a time to video chat on Zoom. I am also here for all or our students even if they are not currently taking class from me.
Feel free to message, Snapchat or Facetime me any time Monday-Friday. I will do my best to respond quickly but please note that I do have a personal life as well. If I’m not available, I will get back to you as soon as I can. Once we start posting videos we will let you know via email, Facebook and Instagram.
This will be next Monday at the vary latest but we want to make sure we have the time to develop quality content for our students. We also plan to have some fun activities and I am constantly coming up with ideas. They will be fun and engaging for all of our dance family.
I am also a CLI Studios member where our instructors are constantly taking classes and learning from dance professionals. They are going to be giving me links this coming week for our students to be able to access their material for all of our students. This is a very valuable tool and one you will want to take advantage of. Our students will have the opportunity to take class from top professionals in the industry without having a CLI membership.
I know this is a very strange and unpredictable time and I assure you I will do everything I can to bring us through this with some sort of new normal for now. Dance is therapy for the body and soul.
Take care, be safe and spend quality time with your loved ones.