Updated: Apr 22
Four weeks ago when I had my first meltdown of COVID-19, I was overwhelmed with my inabilities and my incapacities. I literally could not point to one skill I had to or one ounce of strength to face the economic devastation, continue to do what I love and protect the people I love. All I had would become all I needed...FAITH.
As we enter week four of CDPA online programming I am ever grateful, amazed, impressed and excited about what we are accomplishing and what we are learning. Is it perfect? Oh no! But we are in the process of perfecting each day as we try, learn, shift, share, engage and (when we get kicked off of the internet) RE-engage! THANK YOU for allowing CDPA into your home so that we can continue to be a part of your child's life.
Thank you to the over 60% of our client base that responded to my Survey Monkey giving us great feedback. I hope you are able to recognize my response to your reflections and needs as we continue to develop our schedule, programming and best practices for this undefined, uncharted territory of teaching dance online. I am so glad to see that 74% of you are VERY SATISFIED and the other 26% are SATISFIED. If that doesn't accurately reflect all family's experience, I promise you that I am trying my very best and my teachers are giving it their all. We will continue to improve and I hope that will make a difference for you all too!
I am also pleased that 75% of our respondents are happy with the value and consistency that efforts to keep dance in place has provided to the student and the family. With less than 14% experiencing a difficult transition, we feel confident that we are on a good track and now that we are better equipped, we can turn our focus to help that 14% have a better adjustment to this new platform. If you are struggling, PLEASE reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 321 960 5916 (text).
Tonight our teachers met and discussed the responses to the challenges of this platform and I have ordered them from most challenging to least in order share with you all.
70% Miss dancing with people.
This is a huge part of why we dance and why we are involved in extracurricular activities. Guess what? We miss you all too! We are going to try to put more time in the class for socializing or connection using pair share and breakout rooms. You can help us out by periodically dancing with your child! Play one of our dance party playlists from the website!!
35% Distractions in my space (i.e. Animals, Siblings, Parents)
As teachers we have this too! Have you seen my crazy cats?? We are going to be reminding the students to maintain focus even when there are distractions and do our part to help them learn this important aspect of self-discipline! You can help us out by securing animals as possible and reminding siblings that there is dance class happening!
26% Casualness of surroundings.
I get it. You see my Christmas Tree, my sofa and right next to me is my coffee pot (quarantine Heaven). We are going to try to help our students to disassociate themselves from the casualness of the space by reminding them that the space where we dance is in our hearts. You can help us out by giving reminders before class, helping your child prepare the space for class and perhaps if you would not jump of the sofa....(they have to get that from somewhere!)
25% Being able to see the teacher
Is this missing the teacher or physically not being able to SEE the teacher? Either way we are going to do a better job of making sure we are visible to each student and they can see the exercises and choreography. You can help us out by securing the device at an angle where the child can see or using an HDMI cord to project onto a larger screen! (wait until I lose some weight please)
19% Being seen by the teacher. My Space, and The sound. THREE WAY TIE!
Yes. Yes. Yes. I am right there with you. As teachers we want to see everyone and give feedback to everyone and it is challenging in small spaces, with alternative flooring and latency in sound production. We are going to be helping the student to stand in a place that enables the teacher to see them more clearly and we may make suggestions on use of space. We are constantly learning and trying new ZOOM hacks on sound but we cannot control bandwidth and provider strength, inclement weather and ghosts (somethings we just can't explain). You can help us out by having the student use a consistent space for dance and work 10ft from the device. Prepare a space that can be designated if possible and make sure your computer/device settings have the speaker volume turned up. Also check your settings in the ZOOM app as well!
15% Intimidated by family.
Remember that your child is used to attending dance class with their friends and not with mom, dad, sissy, junior, the washing machine, Jeopardy, the dog barking and the lawnmower! Dance class is a place of autonomy for even our youngest at 2 yrs old. It is social setting that belongs to them and it is difficult to feel so exposed and intruded upon while trying to learn. We are going to use encouraging words and verbal cueing to help students separate from the interplay of the home environment while taking class. You can help us out by allowing the student some space and separation even though you may feel you are needed for controlling the device. It is important too that the student knows that the dance teacher is in control of their study and progress. It will help them to learn self-discipline if parents and/or siblings are not involved in giving corrections during dance class time.
The remainder of the categories were less than 10% of a concern and I was glad to see that we are all willing to be patient with technology and its glitches. THANK YOU for that because I, and my teachers, have each had a really "bad day" or two with technology frustrations. We want to do our BEST for you and your child and we feel TERRIBLE when we cannot control the connectivity (play on words)!
All in all, I feel good about what we are providing because I know that we are also working daily to do more...better. For those interested in classes for adults, please always feel free to join the FB LIVE offerings which includes stretch class, alignment, and yoga (hey all the things you asked for - almost). We will be working to add things now that we are becoming more settled (like my favorite suggestion "Ballet for Quitters") I loved your suggestions! When we come through this, it would make me so happy to have adults and siblings participating in classes because they have enjoyed them through this season of confinement! Now is the time to try something new! I am...sleep :)