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Is going back into the dance studio safe?

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Would you let your child go back into the dance studio ?  What would it take for you to be ok with this?  Since the hive is my best source of covid info and expertise, I thought I would ask here.

Is there any data on this?

I know we are seeing lots of outbreaks at gyms now.  Are people wearing masks at these gyms that have outbreaks?  

Or would you just not go back for a few months?  I am sure even if we went back there would be outbreaks and closures.  So I don't think that it would work out easily. 

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Not a dance studio, but an orchestra. I don’t know yet 😓 But we think it’s unlikely we let our kids back just yet.

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My dd was dancing at two studios in the spring when things shut down. A really big one and a tiny one. The really big one shut down and tentatively plans to open in August when schools do. The small one reopened as soon as it was allowed in May and dd has been back three times a week since then. I have noticed on FB other studios having summer classes and small recitals. 

I really don't necessarily think it is safe. I think, in my area, people are assuming risk and trudging forward. Cases are rising yet I don't hear many rumbles about things shutting back down. Schools supposedly are still set to open beginning of August. I guess I kind of think alot of these things aren't "safe". People are just assessing risk and making decisions to go on or to sit it out individually. 

I think safety protocols are hard to keep up in the dance studio setting. When we first went back our owner and the one other teacher were wearing a mask. They aren't anymore. The teacher originally cut classes from an hour to 45 minutes and she would come out and clean the waiting area in between. She has let up on that and classes are back to an hour again. I think she is still trying to keep up with better cleaning. There is hand sanitizer everywhere and she cleans the barre after they use it, etc. But I think it is hard to stay vigilant. My dd only has two other girls at her level so classes are small and it is the same girls and teacher she is exposed to all the time. (I do understand those people are exposed to other people so the exposure isn't strictly limited). Her other studio she would have had class with probably 20 different girls over the course of the week and four or five teachers so this is more limited at least. 

All that to say I don't really feel like it is safe if you are being extremely cautious or you have contact with high risk folks. We are doing it but we also have a ds working almost full time in a busy grocery store and we accept that risk. We are making some choices to go on with life while seeing a risk. 

About an hour from me a dance studio had a summer camp they limited to ten campers to supposedly keep distance. Turns out one teacher tested positive and last I heard four of the ten campers had tested positive and others were still awaiting results. These were kids like maybe 8-10 yo. :(

So I don't feel like I can say dance studios are necessarily safe at all. It is a risk we have assessed and are going forward with based on our personal circumstances. 

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This would depend on what the case rate is looking like in your area, what precautions the studio is taking, how big the classes are, and what your family's risk tolerance is.

My kids have gone back to some activities and not others. Our dance studio continues to offer zoom classes as well as in-studio classes and we have stuck with zoom except for one class that is only my children plus the teacher and everyone wears masks.

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Our studio is opening next week for In-person summer classes. We won’t be participating. 
 

Things are changing too fast for me to be comfortable with unnecessary activities yet. If all numbers In our state stay flat where they are now we probably will participate in-person in the fall. 

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Our dance studio shut down in March and reopened with precautions two weeks ago for limited class offerings. 

They have a limit of 6 students per indoor class now, when they used to have 14-15 in a class.   Outdoor classes, which are new, have a maximum of 9 students.

The students wait in their cars in the parking lot.  They are invited to come into the studio one at a time, with masks on.  There is a one-way flow of traffic through the studio, so they enter through the back door, remove their shoes, use hand sanitizer, and go to a designated marked spot in the studio to put on their shoes.  They have to be at their spot before the next student is allowed in.

They can remove their mask for class.  They each have their own barre.  There is no across-the-floor. 

Students must wear their masks to leave class one at a time, and exit through the front door.

The studio must be aired out and wiped down between each class for a minimum of 15 minutes.

My dancer takes a shower immediately after we get home. 

Given that three members of my household are going to work every day, I think the risk to our family of catching COVID at the dance studio with these precautions is low.  Infection rates in our county are low right now, but with all of the tourism opening back up I am more concerned that people will be bringing it from other states than that we will get it at the dance studio. 

Edited by Amy in NH
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Not dancing, but swimming.  Big no for us and it makes me so, so sad 😞 !!!!

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My dd’s dance studio restarted classes 1/2 way through May and just stopped last week. Spread in our area was very low then. They didn’t restart immediately when they were allowed to but waited a few weeks to see how things were going. 
Their rules were no adults in the building other than teacher, kids came in dance clothes, left shoes outside, hand sanitizer as they went in and came out. Smaller classes and spread at least 6 feet apart. They cleaned a lot in between classes. 
I decided to let my dd go to class with the proviso that if spread increased she would have to stop. To be honest I looked in the window the first day back and thought that the huffing and puffing going on was a huge risk if anything was going around. I felt like my dd was low risk herself and we were keeping away from everyone, especially older or at risk people, and wearing masks in stores etc. I’m really glad they quit last week though because things are starting to tick up a little here now.

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I am so glad that we don't need to make this decision.  I mentioned on this board previously that my daughter had wanted to become a professional and was training at a very high level.  She decided about a year ago that she doesn't want that anymore, so we aren't currently facing the dilemma that you are.

Until the shutdown, DD had been dancing at a studio just 3 days a week for one and a half hours each day (down from the 6 days a week for 4-5 hours a day that she used to dance).  That studio (attached to a professional company) still has not re-opened.  It sounds like they are hoping to re-open for fall.  It is doubtful that my daughter will return.   She still wants to do a minimal amount of ballet, but she is okay with doing the Zoom classes in her home studio.  I know that it is hard on her current studio, but I really admire them for doing what is right to protect public health.

My daughter's old studio is back in session.  They have a list of precautions that they are supposedly taking, but I would never feel comfortable sending my daughter there.  I am well-acquainted with the studio and its owner.  I know that she took on a lot of debt to expand the studio, and I know that she really, really counts on getting as much in tuition as she can.  They have been posting pictures of the classes that resumed and, honestly, it looks like any regular classes.  There are way too many people in the studios, they are doing across the floor work, the kids are way too close together, etc.  It seems like a really bad idea to me, and I am so glad that my daughter doesn't still dance there.  

So, I guess I would decide based on several factors: how much risk you are willing to take, what your case numbers look like, how seriously that you think the studio is taking it, etc.  I feel for you! I know that these kids are missing the dance studio, and it is hard to keep training at home. 

 

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Our local dance studio only paused for a couple of weeks. They halted the tiny kid classes (3-5 yr olds) because the older ladies who help wrangle all the kids decided to stop helping. So, their classes are small (under 5 kids) considering how few wanted to continue with the risks. Summer classes are continuing for those to whom the risk is low enough. No masking. No idea on other precautions. It is a tough place to be in. (I.e., deciding whether to allow an activity your kid loves)

Edited by RootAnn
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49 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

Not dancing, but swimming.  Big no for us and it makes me so, so sad 😞 !!!!

 Summer swim teams starts this week. Indoor pool. I should email the coach and ask about safety procedures....but I keep putting it off....

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1 hour ago, amyx4 said:

 Summer swim teams starts this week. Indoor pool. I should email the coach and ask about safety procedures....but I keep putting it off....

Our summer league was cancelled in May 😞 .  Our year round team has started back up, but we are sitting out.  3 per lane and moving to 4  per lane (I think) when our state heads into Phase 3 on Wednesday.  I'm not super uncomfortable with the water if it is treated correctly, but not the social distancing piece.  My boys favorite thing to do in the world...

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Nope, no way.  Not until a vaccine is released and everyone in the family has gotten it.  All activities that can't be done remotely are cancelled.

Try watching dancers on YouTube.  There's classes and videos on everything else dance related.

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We've been struggling with this decision too and decided we would do it. DD was heavily involved in a sport (12-16 hours a week) and during the time off she decided not to go back. The sport has been back in session for a month now and her good friends there seem to have decided they no longer have time for her. The loss of her main activity, the source of most of her exercise, and her friends and coaches is just too much. The dance studio has put into practice every possible precaution and frankly, I'm more worried about her mental health right now and I'm willing to risk it. If at some point we decide the risk is too great, we're allowed to take the classes live online instead of going into the studio.

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My daughter's studio (part of a larger drama/acting/art school) started summer dance classes last week, then just shut down again for the remainder of the summer after a dance student started showing symptoms after a confirmed exposure.  They haven't decided what to do about fall classes yet, except for definitely cancelling at least one major show.

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I'm only doing outdoor-and-distanced gatherings right now.

I wouldn't participate in an indoor activity (even masked, even just sitting around) unless it was very important: so I wouldn't be considering indoor high-exertion activities for my kids.

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No, we are not doing anything indoors (away from home) except grocery shopping and health care (and that masked) until about Labor Day, or later if it still isn't under control locally. 

My state's new cases are noticeably up in June vs. May & I don't think things will get better until people seriously.just.stop. I'm hoping for B&M school families' sake that we can get things under control so they can have partial openings (e.g., maybe K-2 + SPED services in person). So DH and I decided no in-person day camps for DS (although I could use the planning time!); no in-person scout things unless 100% outdoors; drum lessons via Zoom; church online; walking/running for exercise and occasionally going to the pool (masked except in the water, and they're capping at I think 50% capacity). Our library has contactless pickup. Restaurant food (about once every 2-3 weeks) is only take-out.

I definitely would not do something strenuous with other people indoors this summer in the US, since respiratory transmission is widespread.

Edited by whitehawk

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Our area is down to zero Cases right now so I’m leaning towards allowing summer dance with the understanding we will pull the plug if numbers start to climb. I think winter dance may not happen so if she could dance for a few weeks now that would be good for her. Her summer job was cancelled.
Most everyone wears a mask here in public.

If we were in a no mask area or with lots of cases then no way. 
 

I doubt competition season will happen this year and she’s a senior so this may be her last dance session. Gyms don’t have the go ahead to open in NY yet anyways so for now the point is moot. 

Edited by Hilltopmom
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My daughter is back in the studio.  She danced at two different studios during the school year and is at a new one this summer.  The one studio did zoom classes and started back the last week in May, did a video recital the first week in June, and started their summer classes the following week.  She is taking two classes their a week, which is 3 hours each week.  

The second studio did their classes online from mid-March until the end of May.  My daughter went each week to demo for them.  They had two weeks back the first two weeks of June and then did their final recital.  That studio is done now until they start back in September.

The third studio allowed her to join them this summer.  My daughter is going to major in dance this fall, so I needed to find something for her to stay in shape with this summer.  She also would have gone crazy without dance.  She was used to dancing 20 hours a week until mid-March.  This studio tried to do zoom, but their dancers didn't care for it.  They took a break for April & May.  They started up in June and will have 8 weeks of class for June & July and then a recital the first week in August.  She's dancing about 5 hours there now each week.  

We took her two weeks ago to a national dance competition in MO.  I felt that they took precautions to keep people safe.  

Our area had a spike of cases in April, but the numbers have since dropped.  I feel fine sending her to dance.  

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Ours just sent out the protocol to open after the 4th of July weekend. They seem to have procedures to prevent infection including bring your own water bottle, disinfectant on contact surfaces, temperature check etc. But, it is a hard “no” for us as we will avoid any indoor exercise type of situation. I cannot see it working for us.

Edited by mathnerd

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DS is going back next week.  They've drastically reduced class sizes to just seven people per class so there is plenty of room to spread out.  It was hard to get IN to the classes he wanted because of the reduced sizes and our combined work schedules.  He needs it.  He'll be going just one day a week for less than 3 hours of instruction, but it's 3 hours of instruction more than he's gotten over the last FOUR months.  

During the month of June they were offering one-on-one private lessons in studio, and of course prior to that there were zoom classes which did not work at all for DS.    The month of July is the summer session, and they've built time into the schedule to allow the studios to be cleaned between classes.   Summer classes will be heavily technique based- lots of stretching, flexibility and conditioning, with a few combos thrown in here and there. It's more about getting back into the groove over learning anything new and exciting.   Students are also not allowed to arrive early and must leave right after class, parents are not allowed to hang out in the studio at all and should wait in the car.  No eating or drinking, no changing clothes at the studio.  They bring their dance bag and a water bottle with them into class and anything they take off/put on goes right into the bag (like in the case of a shoe change).  No barefoot dancing allowed for the time being, which is difficult for our dancers who are used to doing everything barefoot. 

We've discussed how the fall/competition season might look and it's just too soon to say.  I greatly dislike the rules I've seen put out by a few competitions that went ahead and held a summer competition season.   He only has two years left at the studio and hopes to dance professionally beyond high school, so I really hope they can come up with a good solution for next year.  As it is, I'm super hesitant to lay out money for extras like a solo or a duet, let alone things like competition fees that may-or-may-not be refunded in the case of cancellations. 

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I shut my dance classes down on March 11 and haven’t returned to that studio or held classes in my smaller home studio yet. At this point I think I’ll have to cancel my October events. That’s when I teach at a convention and have a theatre rental for a show. If I can’t get classes going in August, my troupes won’t be ready for anything in October. 
 

It’s weird not being in the studio at all and I miss dancing (and getting paid) but I don’t see things turning around in the next 30 days. 😞

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Just an update on dd's dance classes. Most of the students are attending live instead of on Zoom, so they decided to take the classes outside while the weather is nice. They are dancing on a back parking lot which has been marked with spots 6 feet apart. They still need to be screened for health and use hand sanitizer. Until today they had to wear masks into the class, but were allowed to remove it while dancing. Starting today, with the rising Covid cases, they have to wear the mask while dancing unless they have a medical reason they can't.

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I wouldn't even consider it unless I had a very serious dancer, and then I would be looking long and hard at their precautions and thinking hard thoughts about risk vs reward. 

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My 16yo who does Irish dance is going back to dance class today for the first time since March. The dance school is holding classes in a different space, at another school's dance studio rather than at our regular gym or church hall. The floor has been taped off in a 10 foot square grid pattern, with each dancer assigned to a square. There is a well articulated safety plan, with smaller classes, masks, no parents in studio, hand sanitizing on arrival and departure, waiting in the car, and entering and exiting one at a time, etc. I am not 100% comfortable with the idea, but my kid really wants to try it and I trust them to behave responsibly. I discussed the plan with my ex to hash out whether or not we are insane to do this, and kid also discussed it (virtually) with pcp this week, who sounded supportive. Our area is at a level 3 reopening stage, with falling numbers to support the changes.

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Our state has rising numbers(although not crazy high yet) so I'm not comfortable with indoor activities. I let the kids try TKD in June when they started classes again but we stopped after a few weeks. They have extra hand sanitizer and bring their own water bottles but that is it, those things don't help at all with a disease transmitted in the air. I thought the teacher would do more and cases keep rising so I can't agree to it in good conscious. I told the teacher at this point I would only be comfortable if they were doing class outside but with the current heat they would have to change class times and as it seems no one else cares that is not going to happen.

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My boys were all in taekwondo. 2 were in Judo and Hapkido. Those two aren't happening for who knows how long. Probably until a vaccine is ready but I'm seriously thinking of letting them go back to tkd now in the summer. We are hanging around 1.5% positive tests for some time, only have 30 in the hospital for the entire state, and no one we know is restricting much of anything. I think since the studio is just opening and there will be an open door for summer etc I might let them join just for a couple months or when I see things start to change. I am watching carefully because I'm sure once school starts again and we people do more inside together for the winter things may start to fall apart up here if that happens then we will self isolate again. 😞

Edited by frogger
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I think when I wrote this our cases for the state were around 200ish a day.  Now they are close to 1000 a day.  So even though my two oldest are serious this is not in the table now.  I am betting it will be off the table for a long time now because of the rise of cases in our state.   I don't know that governor will issue that everyone must were a mask because of the supreme court's ruling in May.

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Oh wow, I didn't realize this was an older thread since it appeared to be bumped. Sorry about the rise in cases. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

I think when I wrote this our cases for the state were around 200ish a day.  Now they are close to 1000 a day.  So even though my two oldest are serious this is not in the table now.  I am betting it will be off the table for a long time now because of the rise of cases in our state.   I don't know that governor will issue that everyone must were a mask because of the supreme court's ruling in May.

Locally, the studios opened and then were shut down again in a couple of days due to new government orders (skyrocketing cases). So, they are all closed again.

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I think it’ll be a long time before I can reopen my studio. My home studio just isn’t large enough and the studio I rent doesn’t have windows that open. I think you’d need serious fresh air and industrial fans to be safe with all of those dancers breathing hard while working out. I just don’t have THAT much insurance! I miss everybody, but this isn’t my livelihood and I have a kid who can’t risk lung infections. 
 

I’m going to have to get my brain around online classes, but that won’t cut it for my troupe dancers. 😩

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5 hours ago, mathnerd said:

Locally, the studios opened and then were shut down again in a couple of days due to new government orders (skyrocketing cases). So, they are all closed again.

Yeah same thing here from what I heard from a friend.   Our ballet school never opened.  We have been closed since March.  But a friend had her kid go to another ballet school for a month.   But they are no closed because the county has a mask mandate for when you are inside and then maybe the cdc or someplace is telling saying not to wear masks when exercising so they closed. 

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20 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I think it’ll be a long time before I can reopen my studio. My home studio just isn’t large enough and the studio I rent doesn’t have windows that open. I think you’d need serious fresh air and industrial fans to be safe with all of those dancers breathing hard while working out. I just don’t have THAT much insurance! I miss everybody, but this isn’t my livelihood and I have a kid who can’t risk lung infections. 
 

I’m going to have to get my brain around online classes, but that won’t cut it for my troupe dancers. 😩

Totally the right choice.   We have been doing online classes and intensives here .   Not as good as being in the studio, but it has been a boost to my dancers.

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On 7/16/2020 at 11:44 AM, frogger said:

Oh wow, I didn't realize this was an older thread since it appeared to be bumped. Sorry about the rise in cases. 

It's only 2 1/2 weeks old, but that's how fast cases can rise. 

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My dd is doing an online summer intensive every morning and is dancing in person at her studio a few classes per week. They have 5 or so dancers in a class with a long list of rules and precautions, including having masks on the whole time. Dd got used to dancing in a mask much more quickly than I expected.

She is graduating next June and applying to college dance programs and year-round training this fall. She will have to start submitting video auditions soon. If she didn’t need to be at the top of her game right now she would just be training at home. We are being very careful in all other areas to compensate as much as we can and to keep risk of infecting others low. I know the other dancers’ families and they are taking things seriously as well.

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6 minutes ago, lovelearnandlive said:

We are being very careful in all other areas to compensate as much as we can and to keep risk of infecting others low.  

Dance lessons in this situation are reasonable to me, there is a different risk: reward ratio than dancing as a casual EC. 

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