Power in Numbers
A few months ago, we conducted a survey of More Than Just Great Dancing!® affiliated studios regarding our Safer Studio™ guidelines. When they results came in, I was FLOORED … in a really good way.
The statistics collected from this survey were uplifting to say the least! The numbers showed us that not only have our licensees been able to maintain a safe dance environment for their employees and students, they are doing so across multiple states, regions, provinces, and countries. Here’s what we found:
There were 156 studios surveyed, representing 42,000 students who have taken 142,000 classes since reopening. The student cases reported were 0.001%. Yes, you read that right—that’s an incidence of 1/1,000th of 1%, or in other words, very, very low. (This was based on 186 reports of COVID-19 among the 142,000 class contacts.)
There is great power in these numbers. Let me explain …
So much of what is happening in our news and media is about FEELINGS. Yet the FACTS show that it is possible to conduct ourselves in a way that greatly minimizes risk. And the facts we found within MTJGD confirm this truth: It is not only possible, it is happening! A Safer Studio™ means we’re meeting our kids’ needs, keeping our staff employed, and creating an atmosphere of trust for all. We’re showing our communities that we can operate with integrity, with well-being as a priority.
Now, each studio’s Safer Studio™ approach may vary slightly, depending on their local recommendations and health department requirements. But this survey also proves that we do not need to have the exact same model of safety at each business to do well; rather, each business owner uses the Safer Studio™ guidelines to construct their own detailed approach to doing business, with room to evolve as needed.
Dance, as I’ve said before, is meeting some crucial needs for our kids these days. It’s fueling their social-emotional growth, fostering much-needed connections with teachers and friends, giving them an outlet of self-expression, and providing mental and physical exercise for a healthy body. Now we are beginning to see the proof that we are meeting these needs in a safe and responsible way.
It is incredible to see these results but of course, the work is far from over: This new year still has its unknowns, even as we see glimmers of hope that the other side of the pandemic is getting closer. All of us have to remain committed to the safety and health of our students, to the balancing act of doing what’s right for as many people as possible, leading with our purpose front and center.
It’s having that purpose—and shining a light on it—that will continue to be a beacon of hope in your community. YOU have so much to offer.
And even as COVID-19 policies eventually relax and we adapt to another version of a “new normal” in the future, safety will continue to be at the forefront of what we do in the dance industry. A Safer Studio™ will continue to be more than physical safety from a virus; it will be a safe place to share feelings, to grow friendships, to bond through good times and tough ones, to build confidence, to see role models in action.
For the time being, the facts tell us the story we needed to know, to keep charging ahead with the important work—that dance class CAN be part of the way forward.
If you or someone you know leads a dance studio and is still trying to find that balance, our Safer Studio™ guidelines are available to members of More Than Just Great Dancing!®. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about joining. We want to get to know you!