Different might just be better
Different might just mean better!
Hey everyone! I’m Oonagh Phelan, and I run Tiny toes ballet Cambridge. What a year 2020 has been so far! But as I prepare to get our classes back into our venues this September, I suspect that the last few months of the year will end up being amazing!
COVID-19 hit so suddenly back in March. We had just expanded our school by opening Saturday morning classes in central Cambridge when suddenly we had to close all our venues because of the coronavirus pandemic.
When everything went into Lockdown, we immediately moved classes online, and learned how to use Zoom. Despite some teething problems with the sound, (and with children and pets suddenly appearing on screen for everyone to see… I won’t name the one completely naked 2 year old who appeared on screen one Saturday!!), things settled down quickly. We soon established a new type of ballet routine for the 70% of our clients who booked in for term 5 of online classes.
Dance is a social thing, and doing class from your living room is never going to be the same as being in a hall with lots of other children and their parents, listening to music and dancing with lots of props and laughing with your friends and teacher. Even so, I was so impressed by how many children and their families logged in for 40 minutes or so of Tiny Toes class each week.
Our teachers Ella, Margherita, Sheena and I have loved getting to know you a bit better, and we’ll never forget this amazing time.Now, though, I’m spending a lot of time preparing for our return to venues, with lots of discussions with venues and writing up risk assessments. Things are going to be different from before due to the infection prevention precautions, we must take. But different might just been even better! Again, we may take a few weeks to settle into our new normal, but I think it’s going to be fantastic.
- There will be slightly fewer children in each class due to social distancing requirements
- Everyone will be spread out in the hall, not in a circle as before
- You will bring your own props to dance with - we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!
- Grown-ups will need to wear a mask to help protect those mums and dads who have underlying health problems, but who still want to enjoy ballet with their little ones
- Your teacher will be wearing a clear visor for at least some of the time, so the children can still see her face.
- You’ll enter the hall one way, and exit another way, and everything will be pristinely clean!
These and other precautions will make us all feel safe when coming to ballet class. What I really hope now is that the community spirit that developed during lockdown will just get stronger, and that children and parents attending our classes will feel a sense of friendship and camaraderie that will last as the children grow up. There is a saying that friends that dance together, stay together. I hope that is true for tiny toes pupils!