EAST LANSING - Upon entry you are met with a basket, temperature checks, and green tape to guide you to where you need to be.
Tiffany Burton owner of Spartan Dance studio, is filled with emotions while explaining how the pandemic really took a toll on the arts industry and her students.
“To have hundreds of kids, who worked so hard to get to that first stage opportunity, all for that not to happen was disappointing and we were still hopeful at that point. We waited and waited and as months went on, we had even more disappointed kids.”
However, she knows the value and importance of keeping students and their families safe and healthy. The protocols set in place as the studio prepped to reopen are of structure and spacing.
With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially opening gyms and fitness centers, after 6 months of virtual classes or summer camps, locked doors and empty parking lots, September 9th, 2020 was the first day that Spartan Dance could have students at a limited capacity. Though classes definitely had a new look to them.
Dancers wore masks as routines were taught at a more broken down and slower pace. Each dancer was placed in a square on the floor to encourage social distancing while moving. The baskets they receive upon entrance resides either to the side or behind their specific square to reduce touching of others things and contamination.
All instructors have masks on as well and the dance studio has also added a virtual element for those students who want to continue on in learning but stay at home to do so.
While Tiffany Burton and Studio Manager Shawn Heethuis collaborate to make sure all protocols they planned work, they also look with smiles on their faces into the studios as students plie, happy to be back up and running.
Their journey to today has been quite a ride of emotions but they know as they continue forward they can only hope that the pandemic starts to go away, a vaccine is made, and that they can begin their competition season.
For more information on protocols and next steps at Spartan Dance and Fitness visit their website at www.spartandance.com
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