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Don't forget your own teachers in all this!


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With all the novelty of online classes and so on, free, paid or for charity, being offered from all round the world, and from some very good teachers, whether "big names" or not, I do hope everyone's still supporting their own teachers if they are offering classes and the like at the moment as well!  After all, they still need to make a living, and have costs to cover, and you want them still to be operating when things return to relative normality, whenever that may be.

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34 minutes ago, alison said:

With all the novelty of online classes and so on, free, paid or for charity, being offered from all round the world, and from some very good teachers, whether "big names" or not, I do hope everyone's still supporting their own teachers if they are offering classes and the like at the moment as well!  After all, they still need to make a living, and have costs to cover, and you want them still to be operating when things return to relative normality, whenever that may be.

Absolutely  , fortunately  for most people  their  ability to get interactive  teaching is down to their own usual teachers  or to  former  teachers  / people  we know iRL who teach but  we can;t physically make their classes normally 

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Well said Alison. I know exactly how hard the "ordinary" dance teachers that I know are working and how much they care about their pupils. 

I do think it is wonderful that well known people are doing what they can to support young dancers, and giving their time and expertise freely. I am sure they also face many of the challenges that regular teachers do, but I do think that there are additional stresses when there are personal relationships between teachers and pupils/parents, and a business to keep afloat too.

So I would share your plea for people to continue to support their core teachers if they possibly can. And not just financially. Please give them some feedback. I'm in a similar position as I've been trying to provide online support in my capacity as a volunteer sports coach. I'm not running a business, but I am trying to keep a club going, and I do genuinely care about the kids and want to give them something of value. It's so much harder and more time consuming to create online content than to deliver normal sessions and there will always be some ideas that work better than others. But it gets pretty demoralising when you get very little feedback. The dance teachers that I am close to have said similar. We are all missing human interaction, and particularly when creating pre recorded content it is quite odd to be talking to a camera with no idea what response there is. A quick message with a suggestion, even if its just can you speak a bit slower or move the camera slightly, or a comment about what you particularly enjoyed will probably  help your teacher improve and give them a real boost. 

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DD is trying classes with 'random' teachers and dancers, but mainly dancing with her own dance school and scholars scheme, and between them ( and the RAD app! ) she seems to have enough to do! 

 

It helps her to feel more 'grounded' when it is a teacher she knows, and a teacher who knows what she can do and although she enjoys the classes with other people, I'm finding she is happier when she has had a class with one of her own teachers. They chat and feedback ideas and comments. 

 

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@Peony - I would feed it back if I was you.  It probably isn't a reflection on what your teacher is offering (especially if they don't want to do ANY online classes).  More a reflection on the medium.  Online classes don't work for everyone and it is probably better for the teacher to know that.

 

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I would also let the teacher know that @Peony

Your kids' teacher may well be thinking that s/he is doing something "wrong" and that maybe your children are doing someone else's classes because they are better. They would probably rather know that your children aren't engaging with any online classes than be left wondering. I think that's important on a number of levels, including as glowlight says, giving the teacher some reassurance that it is the medium that is the problem rather than them, and giving them some understanding of where their pupils are likely to be up to when normal classes resume. If the teacher knows that online classes don't do it for your children, maybe s/he can think of some different suggestions?

 

By coincidence I've recently had exactly this conversation with a teacher that I am close to. Numbers at her online classes have dropped off somewhat and her immediate reaction was that its because she's not teaching well enough and her pupils must be going elsewhere. In reality there are probably multiple different reasons. Some children will be like yours and simply not enjoy online classes at all. I think at the beginning, even though it was obvious that this is a serious situation, there was a bit of an element of fun and excitement to trying out all these new types of classes and being off school, but as time has gone on, the novelty has worn off and lots of people, adults and children, are getting less enthusiastic about all kinds of things. Some families will be struggling more than others for space. Others will now have 2 parents working from home and multiple children homeschooling with a broadband connection that just can't cope. Some will be ill or have a sick family member who needs peace and quiet currently. Some families, sadly, will be starting to experience real financial hardship and dance classes may have become a luxury that they just cannot afford. There are so many possible reasons, some of which the teachers might be able to do something about and others not. But if they don't know they definitely can't help. Not that I am advocating sending a message that says "Your classes are dreadful. My children are bored stiff." But even negative feedback can be constructive if given well.

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Just as an encouragement,  I would have to tell you that all the students in one of my grades refused to participate in anything on line! Whilst the other classes were working at projects and attending zoom classes, this level virtually went on strike!   However, we started back last week in our studios and amazingly they are fine!  No idea if they were practising in their own way, but whatever they were doing they look okay and pretty much as they were two months ago! So don't panic!

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18 minutes ago, Dance*is*life said:

Just as an encouragement,  I would have to tell you that all the students in one of my grades refused to participate in anything on line! Whilst the other classes were working at projects and attending zoom classes, this level virtually went on strike!   However, we started back last week in our studios and amazingly they are fine!  No idea if they were practising in their own way, but whatever they were doing they look okay and pretty much as they were two months ago! So don't panic!


thank you for this, it does help. It looks unlikely we’ll be back before September (which would mean 51/2 months off), unless maybe summer classes are offered. Are you expected to have any special measures in place in your classes where you are? 
One of them has totally lost all enthusiasm for ballet at all and is saying she doesn’t  want to go back. I think her teacher would be rather upset if she knew this ☹️ The classes aren’t live so their presence isn’t missed as such. I feel that she’s a bit rude not to even try but on the other hand all control on her life has been taken away and perhaps this is one of the few things that she can still have control over. thus I’ve just left it now, it’s good news that perhaps it won’t be a total disaster when classes start again!

 

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I think as well as struggling with the medium the classes are delivered through, be that zoom or video, there is also the frustration of lack of space and suitable floor. It's hard to keep up the motivation if you are dancing in a very restricted space on a less than ideal floor, in our case carpet.

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  • alison changed the title to Don't forget your own teachers in all this!

I do hope you can start before September - that is a long gap!  We only stopped for just over two calendar months.  I was very frustrated trying to teach on zoom.  The majority of our students live in apartments and the floors are tile on cement, so no space and impossible to jump at all!  We do have aĺl sorts of regulations, but we're coping.  What I do think is that children are resilient and once they start again, I'm sure their enthusiasm will return.  Their sudden disinterest is probably a protective measure to keep them from agonising too much about missing dance.........

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22 hours ago, Dance*is*life said:

I do hope you can start before September - that is a long gap!  We only stopped for just over two calendar months.  I was very frustrated trying to teach on zoom.  The majority of our students live in apartments and the floors are tile on cement, so no space and impossible to jump at all!  We do have aĺl sorts of regulations, but we're coping.  What I do think is that children are resilient and once they start again, I'm sure their enthusiasm will return.  Their sudden disinterest is probably a protective measure to keep them from agonising too much about missing dance.........

Where are you based? I've had enough of zoom now! I'm itching to get back but sense tells me September might well be it. Unless I try running classes over the 'summer holidays'. Some children are going back to school next week but I can't apply the same distancing measures to dance classes (nor would I want to) so it's just about weighing up the risks. It seems most dance schools are staying shut until maybe gyms etc can re-open. I'm so worried that I'll have lost students due to lack of interest; there are some who I've not seen or heard from in ages and I don't even know if they're going to come back! It's a very anxious time....

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If I recall rightly from previous posts @Dance*is*life is in Australia, which has so far had just over 100 Covid-19 related deaths in total since the outbreak began. 

It is great to hear of something approaching normal life returning anywhere and I really hope our Australasian friends continue to stay safe as their lockdowns ease. But Australia and New Zealand are some of the least badly affected countries in the world so far and the UK is one of the worst. We are still seeing more deaths per day that Australia has had in total. It is lovely to hear positive stories and it does indeed give us hope, but I think we need to bear in mind that the background is very different. 

Given the severity of the outbreak here, and the fact that we are approaching what would be the summer break here anyway, I think we probably do need to prepare ourselves and our children for the fact that there are unlikely to be any face to face classes before September at the earliest. If things improve sooner than anticipated that will be a bonus, but with it becoming clearer that the majority of schoolchildren will not be returning in this academic year, I think it is hard for dance schools, sports clubs etc to do anything different. We have pretty much mentally written off my son's sports season, though he is still training, but for fitness and fun, rather than because he anticipates the return of competition.

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No I don't live in Australia!!!!  Quite the opposite!  I live in tiny Israel which is 373 times smaller than Australia - their population density is 3 people per sq.km and ours is about 400 per sq.km!  The UK has a population density of about 280.    So yes you're quite right - it's impossible to compare figures in Australia with the situation in the UK.  I think the problem in the UK was that flights continued from the problem countries for a long time and lockdown started later too.   I have a lot of family and friends in the UK, so naturally I am very concerned for them.  After two months plus lockdown, our figures in Israel were pretty low with only a few new cases,  so they decided to gradually open schools and kindergartens and are slowly getting back to what is now the new normal everywhere.   Unfortunately, it only takes a single student or teacher to test positive to see dozens being placed in quarantine, so it is still a bit scary.  I'm really happy to have started teaching again,   but I keep well away from all the students and really just hope for the best.

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I have begun new risk assessments and a social distance policy as even if classes cannot resume until September these things will still have to be in place. Studio space is now marked out to ascertain safe numbers , my classes are already small, most have single figures in a large hall. 

 

One of my findings was that 2 metres square was a smaller area to move about in than I let my students perform in anyway. It was surprising to me to see how small two metres actually is (length of a Barre). They will definitely have to take turns a lot more and when waiting, stand in their designated area, rather than huddle together at the back, it will be an opportunity to learn instead of talk!

 

Hands on correction will be a no go area but given that teaching is undertaken online at the moment that is now happening anyway. 

 

My main concern is the management of students entering and exiting premises safety and without excess grown-ups and siblings. I have to also alter the timetable to allow for thorough cleaning between classes. So apart from waiting for an ease of restrictions I will not open until I am satisfied that this is sorted. 

 

I am frustrated that some sports may be allowed to resume, some of which involve using a shared ball (think football or tennis) but there is no real guidance for those whose disciplines which actually need personal space (be it Ballet or other exercise such as pilates).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting read Hfbrew! Great to have someone’s insight into how they will be running classes as and when we can return! I’ve had a few ideas of how I can run classes but it’s interesting to see how others may cope! I wasn’t sure whether to start another thread on how us teachers are going to cope going back!

 

I have 2 locations I teach at, 1 small and 1 larger! Can I ask please, how many are you limiting in your class? I have a mix of class sizes and it’s my larger class sizes I am worried about 😳 

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On 24/05/2020 at 23:13, SMabbutt said:

I think as well as struggling with the medium the classes are delivered through, be that zoom or video, there is also the frustration of lack of space and suitable floor. It's hard to keep up the motivation if you are dancing in a very restricted space on a less than ideal floor, in our case carpet.

 

This so much, it is really difficult doing classes over zoom in a tiny dance space and using a chair as a barre.  Some days I really don't feel I can be bothered, I want to pirouette and do grand allegro and jump and then am reminded that I'm in a small flat and need to remember my neighbours and not crash into the television.  I'm not surprised children are losing motivation or not wanting to do online classes.  I find them quite frustrating.  I do them because I do a very sedentary job working from home and want to stay in shape but it's not always easy after work to get up and dance.  

 

That said personally I can't do the ones on Instagram / youtube.  I find if I don't have the actual interaction with a live teacher, I can't retain interest.  One of my favourite in person teachers is putting workouts on youtube but even with them it doesn't engage me fully.  Whereas when there's an actual person on the other end watching me (or the bits they can see on the webcam feed anyway)  I'm a lot more motivated to do it.  It's weird but that's the way my mind works.  Anyone else feeling like that?

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20 minutes ago, Dancing unicorn said:

Interesting read Hfbrew! Great to have someone’s insight into how they will be running classes as and when we can return! I’ve had a few ideas of how I can run classes but it’s interesting to see how others may cope! I wasn’t sure whether to start another thread on how us teachers are going to cope going back!

 

I have 2 locations I teach at, 1 small and 1 larger! Can I ask please, how many are you limiting in your class? I have a mix of class sizes and it’s my larger class sizes I am worried about 😳 

The larger venue it's 12 down from 16

I have not accessed the smaller one yet but it will probably have to be 8 to be really sure. 

 

I am barely going to break even but safety is paramount.  

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Thank you for coming back so quick! It obviously depends on size of studio/room! Need to get measure out

Got DH lying on floor atm as a rough guide, 2meters square is not very big at all haha 🤣🤣 sort of ok to get older/teens to comply with that but thinking of my 2yr olds 😳😳

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40 minutes ago, Dancing unicorn said:

Thank you for coming back so quick! It obviously depends on size of studio/room! Need to get measure out

Got DH lying on floor atm as a rough guide, 2meters square is not very big at all haha 🤣🤣 sort of ok to get older/teens to comply with that but thinking of my 2yr olds 😳😳

Yes ironic isn't it, although in theory we can have early years back going under the umbrella of education, they are the classes that will be the most difficult to manage. Not least because they will need adults coming on site to help get them ready for class! So I have actually closed my nursery class for now. 

 

Whereas my older students, especially the vocational ones are furious if parents dare to even leave their cars! 

 

I laughed at the thought of your dh lying on the floor as a guide. But it's interesting isn't it to realise that 2 metres is not a large size. 

 

My studio markers are now 2.5 metres apart and still look too close for how I normally run my classes so I don't feel that spacing students will be any different to normal. 

 

It's what happens outside of that is concerning so me and my team will be walking through all the procedures before allowing students on site. 

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Thank you for your input. 
I think it’s a way off before we will be able to get back to our classes. Waiting to see when dd is able to go back to dance college plus all other voc schools etc!
Not been able to do any zoom classes as time spent with dd doing her timetable and then me doing zoom would mean poor DH locked in the bathroom from morning til night! So I’ve just been doing weekly challenges and grade videos! And hope that everyone will come back when it’s safe to do so. 
Sending love and hugs to all my fellow dance teachers out there and just lets hope we’re back what we love doing soon 🥰

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12 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

Apologies @Dance*is*life - I must be confusing you with someone else. I think I may be losing my marbles!

No need for apologies at all!  You actually gave me a laugh thinking of the contrast in size and population density between the two countries!   Mind you I can think some things we have in common - beach lovers, sea and wind surfers etc!!! 

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