Dance schools had to close in most countries. Since they were not prepared for this radical change, we offer some useful information.
1. Regarding the pandemic
Rely on official information only, mainly by the World Health Organization www.WHO.int/emergencies/
2. Distance learning
A certain part you can do with a little help from friends, for the rest find a professional. Ask him to show you similar work he has done. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially your school’s website. Do not improvise, just copy the best examples you can find, improve later.
2.1. Include online classes on dance history, anatomy, music, costuming, makeup for dancers, nutrition, injury prevention and other topics you do not have time to teach usually.
2.2. Post exercises to keep fit and ready to continue when school reopens.
2.3. Ask parents to encourage their children to repeat what they have been taught, or improvise.
2.4. Post videos with routines to learn.
2.5. Students will follow online classes if: (a) they are well done; (b) they will count in evaluating their overall progress; (c) they will be combined with classes in school.
2.6. Online classes can count towards International Certification only if they are combined with conventional classes. CID accepts only hybrid courses, that is where part of the 150 hours required for a Level is done online.
3. Keep in touch with students
3.1. Send emails or text messages regularly, make sure they keep dancing and do not get bored or depressed.
3.2. Call them or their parents, tell them about your plans for the future.
3.3. Ask students to visit your website regularly. Give them a phone number to call for advice and support. Assure them that risks for young persons from this virus are minimal.
3.4. Hold online events through videoconferencing.
4. Upgrade your school
Use the period of closure to reorganize, to plan, to promote your school and to attract new students.
4.1. Renovate your premises, improve facilities, decorate with good taste. Make it a place one wants to be. Your entrance should draw attention, provide information there and attract passers-by to enter.
4.2. Redesign your website, make it better than other schools, install visits counter. Enrich your pages in social media, interconnect them, increase the number of visitors, enlarge your network.
4.3. Rethink the curriculum of your school: eliminate underperforming classes, include new forms of dance. Find ways to evaluate teachers objectively.
4.4. Ask a management professional to report if your school is well managed (legal, accounting, marketing, human and other aspects).
4.5. Find ideas for improvement in the CID system. Apart from www.CID-world.org there is an archipelago of CID websites. They contain a vast amount of information you do not have the time to get during your usual schedule. Data is objective, no private interests involved. Contact CID for advice.
5.1. UNESCO pioneered Distance Learning (like most other innovations) 20 years ago
5.2. The competent umbrella organization is ICDE (International Council for Open and Distance Education, a partner of UNESCO based in Oslo www.ICDE.org
5.3. The text above is posted at http://CID-world.org/distance/ and regularly updated.
5.4. Post announcement of your classes at Instagram #CIDDanceEvents and the CID Panorama.
6. Added later
6.1. Many schools are now offering online classes, so it is very easy to get ideas.
6.2. We use the term “distance learning” as it is used by UNESCO and other official bodies. Distance teaching includes classes on television and over the telephone, as well as online classes over the internet.
6.3. CID offers guidance in opening online dance classes – write to the CID Secretariat.
6.4. CID sends scanned certificates and will be sending originals on parchment paper as soon as postal services resume operation.
Dance schools reopening
Schools will reopen, expecting much less students. This is a challenge, you want to be among those who will survive. When the pandemic broke out we advised distance classes as a temporary measure. This is what we advise now:
1. Do not give up. Dance is a vital necessity, it has endured all kinds of calamities since humanity exists, it will flourish again soon. Show that you are confident and dedicated, let others abandon, you are here for the long haul.
2. Intensify advertising and promotion. Open accounts at all social media, work on them seeking followers actively. Focus on what your school offers better than others.
3. Mention hygiene practices you take: Washing hands frequently, wearing face masks or transparent shields, keep 2 meter distance between dancers, install open-circuit air-conditioning or strong ventilators, disinfect handles, floors, dressing rooms.
4. Start small group classes or individual teaching. Listen to the fears of students or their parents, find ways to accommodate them. Better operate below cost now than lose students.
5. Offer International Certification to show that your classes are serious. All educational institutions offer valid documents, dance schools are no exception.