As communities around the UK emerged from its first Coronavirus necessitated lockdown in 2020, the government announced that providers of ‘out of school settings’ would be permitted to resume ‘in person’ activities from June.
With strict new Health and Safety measures, and exhaustive cleaning regimes in place, community dance schools reopened their studios to young students who had been receiving their tuition via ‘Zoom’ during lockdown.
Fylde dance school Barbara Jackson’s Theatre Arts Centre enlisted industry Health & Safety professional Mark Prince from ‘Mark Safety’ to consult and assist in the application of strict new Government Guidance and Legislation. “We’ve Worked with Barbara Jacksons to put in place risk assessments and staff training in ‘Covid Secure’ safety measures” says Mark. “We can ‘hand on heart’ say that the team are as dedicated to employee and student’s health and safety as they are to performing arts and dance”.
Langley Dance and Theatre Arts Academy in Blackpool opened its doors for a series of Summer workshops, with strict ‘Covid Secure’ procedures in place. One way systems, sanitising stations, social distance floor markings and separate entrance/exits for each studio are just a few of the adaptations necessary for opening safely and reducing the risk of virus transmission.
”it’s wonderful to see their smiling faces now they’re back in the studio” reported Miss Lorraine, principal of Barbara Jackson’s a week after students had returned to ‘in person’ classes. ‘It’s hard work. In addition to teaching, we are also full time cleaners now!’
Classes at dance schools are now scheduled to allow for the studios to be exhaustingly sanitised prior to the following lesson.
The schools have retained ‘Zoom’ for the teaching of some classes, and students are aware that in an ever-changing situation it might become necessary to resume online learning should an increase in the virus’ prevalence cause future restrictions be imposed. ‘Zoom classes’ will probably be an integrated avenue of teaching applied by all Dance schools for as long as this health crises endures. But at least for now, students have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment, thanks to the necessary hard work of dance teachers, all acutely are aware of the benefits of confidence and personal development that ‘in person’ out of school activities encourage in the young people of our community.