COVID-19 Corona Virus
We are currently the only dance studio in Tucson that has not already re-opened. I am cautious. I am concerned.
This is not a political issue. This is a safety issue. This is an issue that has deeply impacted one of our own dance families. A 12 year old sibling of one of our dancers contracted the virus at the very start of the outbreak. It was severe. Others in our dance family have lost family members and friends to this virus. Some of us have family members working in the emergency rooms and ICUs in Tucson.
At Gotta Dance! I have always treated the children like they were one of my own. I refer to us as a “dance family” because I feel that way and I teach your children that we are a safe space for them, whether they are a Tiny Tot who needs a cuddle or a teenager who needs a shoulder to cry on. We teach our dancers that we need to protect one another, whether it be physical spacing on the dance floor or feelings as they try something new. When we have had children with severe, life-threatening allergies, we have asked every family, every teacher and every dancer to participate in protecting our fellow dancers by not allowing certain foods at Parents’ Nights Out or not allowing certain foods in dance bags or replacing all the latex stretch bands. Was it a little inconvenient for the non-allergic? Sure. But they gladly did it to protect their fellow dancers. Enormous risk to one warrants a little inconvenience from all.
It is in this same vain that every dancer who enters Gotta Dance! will wear a mask for the entirety of the time they are in the studio. We ALL want and need to get back to dance. We have teachers who are high risk. We have family members who are high risk. The statistics that children rarely get symptomatic Covid-19 does not hold any weight as I witnessed what the family of the sick 12 year old went through. It is imperative that we partake in the safety measures and protect each other. If you don’t believe in this virus or that masks are a valid safety measure, look at it as any other rule in the studio. We have a dress code that dancers must abide by. We have rules about what types of shoes are allowed on the dance floor. This is simply another rule of the studio.
Let me put to rest right away any concerns about exercising with a mask. My son and other high level dancers around the country have been dancing masked all summer with no problems other than having to switch them several times per class due to sweat. We don’t work our dancers that hard! Legitimate science, peer-reviewed medical studies have established that the masks do not impact oxygenation.
If your child has anxiety induced by wearing a mask, it is sadly not time for them to come back to the studio and I hope you will consider our at-home classes. If your child has asthma, they are at risk for worse complications from COVID should they get sick. It sadly, may not be time for your child to come back into the studio. If you do elect to send them for in-person classes, it is all the more reason why every single one of us must wear a mask. If your child has allergies where lip and tongue swelling is a first sign of trouble or if your child has a cardiac/respiratory issue requiring visualization of their lips and mouth, it may not be time to come back to the studio. The alternative is using the masks with the clear plastic piece, allowing for full view of the mouth. I respect that all parents have to make the decision that they feel is right for their child. We are currently working on some exciting ways to make at-home dance more engaging and fulfilling. Stay tuned!
The bottom line is that these are hard times and hard decisions we are all making. Whether we agree or disagree with one another, we can always be kind and respectful. After all, we all have the same goal of allowing our dancers to experience the joy of dance!