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Back to the studio - uniform ideas


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Hi everyone, I would be really interested in your ideas/opinions on this.  During the lockdown I taught on Zoom and particularly in hot weather did not require any uniform.  Now we are on the point of going back to live classes in a studio (spaced as necessary) I am considering the pitfalls of requiring normal uniform.  There are two groups that concern me.  Firstly the youngest ones, who come from school with a parent who helps them change in our dressing room.  As far as I can see parents won't be allowed in, it will be a "drop at the door" policy.  We will probably have to use the fire exit to go straight into the studio. Changing into tights and leotards on their own might be tricky, so I am thinking of specifying sports shorts or leggings and a close fitting Tshirt.  They can wriggle into these more easily, or beforehand in the car.  A ballet skirt over will be optional.  This will also be easier for them to cope for toilet visits and avoid wasting time.  Leotards can be a real nuisance!  I also feel this might be a useful approach for the teenagers who come direct from school on the bus.  Any comments?

 

 

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Hi. Interesting dilemma. 

I’m very much into trying to instil some kind of normality to our children. By letting standards slip slightly in uniform may not allow the children to mentally engage with the return to studio and more formal teaching. 
Just like a school not requiring uniform and allowing all pupils to remain in their own clothes then express their concern over children not engaging with formal education.  After all these months of embracing relaxation, I think it’s important to children to return to what they know best. Routine. 
As we know children can and will adapt. Using the facilities at their school before they leave for the day might help. Maybe concede defeat on the tights by allowing the younger pupils to all wear socks rather than tights in the early days. Could be another option. 
Seniors. Mmm, more challenging especially if they use the busses as there’s no time when the bell goes to change before the busses leave the school but without knowing your premises it’s slightly more challenging to offer a suggestion. Also girls v’s boys. How many pupils per lesson? 
My DD’s old studio are having to adapt the building to accommodate the change in rules. Which isn’t easy. Many call it quaint whilst others call it just old! Same wood panelling from my old days and that’s quite a while ago!! The vast majority of the pupils walk to the studio from their schools so can change there before they leave and those that do come by car have a space to change in. With less and less seniors embracing the bare legs rather than tights nowadays it wouldn’t be that unusual for girls to wear leotards/shorts with a short chiffon skirt over the top. 
PTA members have volunteered to create a roster to supervise the children upon arrival as just like your school, it’s going to be a parents free zone. Also there are so few boys in the entire ballet school girls could change in the corridor whilst still respecting their rights. It’s a dancers life afterall
Not too sure if any of that has helped. Just be reassured you are not alone. 
Excited for all the teachers and pupils finally returning to their beloved studios. 
It’s been a long time in coming. 

Good Luck.  ☺️🙆‍♀️🙆🏻‍♂️  

 

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Not that I have anything to do with the dance world other than as a watcher of performances, your thoughts seem good to me.

 

A couple of adult friends who have gone back to swimming and pilates are already togged up before they go and then just dry off and get home as quickly as possible.

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Really good point to raise Pas de Quatre!

And personally I think you are right re: little ones changing into clothes by themselves & time taken for toilet visits etc.....I think the sports shorts & fitted T shirt is a really sensible way to assist your pupils & parents....

Good luck to all returning to teaching & I’m  sure you all & your staff & pupils will so enjoy being back in their studios! 

 

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Just a thought, but if parents are going to have to drop little ones at the door, I would definitely ask them to ensure that their dc has used the loo before leaving home/academic school!  

 

Could you have a slightly delayed start time for classes, maybe with screens and/or extra teaching assistants/teen dancers to help the little ones get changed?  And “domino” the delayed start times to allow for the older ones to use the loos and change? 

 

I agree tights are the biggest nuisance.  Could Juniors wear socks and seniors wear footless tights/leggings?

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If it's any help the school where I work are asking pupils to come in PE kit on the day they have that subject.  School tracksuits encouraged.  Changing rooms will not be used.

 

I think shorts/legging and t shirt is a great idea.  Or maybe school PE kit?

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Thanks for the input - it is good you don't seem to find the idea too strange.  Rules governing the number of pupils in the building at any one time are also strict, so no older teenagers can come in to help.  

 

The pupils are all incredibly keen so not a problem with needing uniform to create discipline.  There is only one infant school within walking distance, and they would be brought by a parent/carer, so from my point of view it is just the same as someone parking a car and then walking a short distance.  Junior schools are further away and older students are all at senior schools which for some strange reason are out of the town centre.

 

Even when children have been to the toilet immediately before the class, there can still be some who need to go again.  My theory is that they don't drink enough during the school day and then have too much when they come out - then the inevitable happens!

 

Longer gaps will be needed between classes so one group has completely finished and gone before the next can be admitted.  Hands sanitised on the way in and on the way out, belongings stacked.  These areas wiped down with disinfectant before the next class can come in etc. means we also will be on a very tight timetable and the actual length of classes may need to be shortened to allow for this.  So it is going to be challenging starting up again.  Even so, it will definitely be more fun than Zoom! 

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Personally I don’t think uniforms and learning or discipline are linked so I’d be more than happy with non uniform! My kids would have been fine dressing themselves independently in leotards but some struggle so options are good. Getting changed at school won’t work as they are on strict staggered finished and parents not to go on site. Little ones could be changed in the car before arrival. I’ve got to say lack of waiting areas and loos is a concern of mine as a waiting parent😫 it’s been fine over the summer but when people are juggling work, other childrens’ hobbys etc not having anywhere to change, wait or use the facilities is going to become much more of a problem as alternatives are also shut. Obviously that’s not your fault or necessarily something you can alter!

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@Pas de Quatre I am completely with you, my younger classes are wearing shorts/leggings and a t-shirt unless they are completely competent getting dressed and going to the toilet without assistance. I’ve also adapted my timetable to start with tap so their parents can put their shoes on and tie laces before they arrive, then they can just slip their ballet shoes on independently. I think their problems with going to the toilet stem from the fact they get so confused and muddled as they roll down their leotard and tights, they end up with a big bunch of fabric rolled around their ankles so everything ends up on back to front upside down and inside out! 

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4 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

I think their problems with going to the toilet stem from the fact they get so confused and muddled as they roll down their leotard and tights, they end up with a big bunch of fabric rolled around their ankles so everything ends up on back to front upside down and inside out! 

 

I suspect it may not just be the little uns who find that  ;)

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10 hours ago, alison said:

 

I suspect it may not just be the little uns who find that  ;)

And especially if you wear a long-sleeved leotard that you need to wriggle back into  when it's already all damp from sweat.... and in a hurry because your next class is about to begin and there's a queue building up outside the loo...

 

Also needing to go to the loo immediately before class (or even halfway through) isn't just an issue for the littlies. It's very much a mature ladies' issue too!

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Now that you mention it a few years back I was prepping a group for their Inter Found exam and without fail one student would finish the petit sauté exercise and have to sprint to the loo! I was quite convinced I would need to send a form into the examiner so she could go to the toilet

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Is there any way to do a quick survey of parents of littlies and the older dancers themselves? Because what would work for some of dd’s friends who go home first and are driven to dance, would not work for dd (she has to travel by public transport straight from school to ballet, she uses the toilet at ballet to change and do her hair). 

 

In principle, I see no problem with no uniform for the older ones who know what you need to be able to see. But the younger ones may appear in school uniform PE kit (ours was tracksuit bottoms like clown trousers and a baggy t-shirt), which would obviously be a problem. Maybe you could specify the type of leggings or shorts you mean, so they can see you want eg cycling shorts not football shorts.

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9 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

Now that you mention it a few years back I was prepping a group for their Inter Found exam and without fail one student would finish the petit sauté exercise and have to sprint to the loo! I was quite convinced I would need to send a form into the examiner so she could go to the toilet

 

It's really funny you mention that, I always need the loo after saute exercise I thought it was just me. There's just something about it.  

 

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21 minutes ago, Peony said:

That’s because you’re crossing your legs in batterie 🤣

 

Yes definitely.  There's something about doing saute in second position followed by changements that makes me want the loo.  I don't have it with anything else in class especially not grand allegro when I'm usually focusing on not falling over my feet and not colliding with anyone else.    

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Definitely the first petit allegro exercise(s) with sauté in 2nd and échappé to 2nd being the worst! Is it partly because there's usually quite a lot of counts of bouncing up and down on the spot? I find that assemblé, jeté, sissonne, all the dancey across the floor exercises and all the grand allegro are fine.

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A bit late but your uniform thoughts look pretty good to me Pas de Quatre 

As an adult will be back in the studio for first time on 19th Sept (or will be Oct 3rd if dont book fast enough!) 

In current times there are lots of changes and in this studio the changing rooms are not open ( though the loo is) we will

have to only use studio ( which is large) for changing and preferable been told to come as dressed for dance as poss. This certainly makes a difference to what will wear and I’m thinking just track suit bottoms ( gathered at ankle) and T shirt top so can just pop a sweat shirt or jacket on and travel in same clothes. 
Because this particular studio has possibly 25-30 attenders we have been split into two “bubble” groups ( Giselle and Aurora) and you can only book a class ( no drop ins) in your bubble week so it’s only fortnightly in the studio. There is a maximum of 10 in each group and you can only book 7 days( or less) before your class. Obviously if dance group is smaller then rules may not have to be so strict but some system has to be devised to make it fair for larger groups. There are lots of windows so ventilation not a prob and no required masks unless you want to. 
Because this is a large studio some diagonal work will be possible but in some smaller studios dancers dance within their own square. 
It is ridiculous but feels really daring going back to dance in the studio but this is only one reopened locally in Brighton so far and seems really well organised re Covid. 
Good luck to all those returning to studio too but am also very pleased teachers are still continuing Zoom for some classes even though back in studios from September. 
 

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@LinMM that's really interesting to know what's happening in your studio and the precautions.  

 

Neither of my teachers are going back to studios yet so I'm still on zoom.  I must say I'm a bit apprehensive about going back myself although I do miss doing proper centre work.  I've learnt a lot from taking zoom classes though so I'm so glad to have had this option.  

 

 

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The London class I go to has also now had the okay to return. 
This studio is more problematic as is in the basement of a church so ventilation is not so good so more of a risk 

More than half this class are 55 and above and travel quite a way like myself up to London so some not so keen to go back because of the travel etc. Also it’s 10-11.30 in the morning so travel is in part of the rush hour not exactly something to be relished. Needless to say this is my favourite class of the week usually and feel very privileged to belong to it ( quite a lot of older ex professionals from top companies attend) but in that respect I’m an “also ran” lol as one of the amateur dancers who also attend.  But it’s such a lovely group of people it’s hugely enjoyable to do. 
Anyway next week two are going to go into the studio to see how it could be set up for Zooming from the studio( it has been zoomed so far from various teachers houses since April). This would be great as the studio in Covid times will only hold seven plus teacher so those not in studio can do at same time via zoom at home. I have no idea how or if this will work. But again may have to devise some fortnightly system of attending in person though personally not sure if am ready to travel up to London regularly at the moment so at this point would be happy to continue with Zoom for a while longer. 
I think it’s going to be a mixture of Zoom and studio for quite a while yet. 
One of my regular class studios  in Brighton has been taken over by gym equipment for the foreseeable future 😩 and I heard another place a sort of mixed Arts centre with dance studio  ( which I didn’t attend) has gone after 25 years due to rental issues    😢
The other studio I use in Brighton is not open for dance yet but has just started offering yoga classes again. This centre is zooming the yoga classes at the same time. 
This one has a reasonably large studio but under Covid rules can’t see more than 8 at a time will be allowed in one session. 
None of the studios seems to be planning on opening changing rooms yet so being ready for class on arrival looks like the new normal and longer time between classes etc so groups don’t mix. 

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