Where is my spot?
By Tiffany Matthews
Being Face to face!
When we got the announcement that we could open face to face classes again I did a little dance! After months online we were desperate to get back and see all our wonderful little dancers. I immediately started thinking about how different they would look after all this time. Toddlers definitely change quickly! The excitement of being in a dance space again with ACTUAL human beings was just brilliant. Then, I was suddenly hit with lots of risk assessments, could we run covid safe classes? And the headache of re-opening began. Each venue might have different procedures, all parents needed to be informed, all class numbers needed to be limited, square footage of studios needed to be worked out….. the list was endless!!
After spending a couple of weeks working out logistics with quite a few late nights, I started to worry. What if the dancers didn’t enjoy lessons? Would the children struggle with the differences? What if they missed some of the things we couldn’t do? Panic started setting in and I was so upset that everything I had tried so hard to set up within my sessions would be gone. Having worked to establish and personalise my classes and get to know all our families which is so important to us, I was worried all this would go. The fear of things not being the same was niggling at me. This, along with mummy duties and schools re-opening was like one big headache! I’m sure most parents felt the same!
Go, go, go- planning and preparation!
Putting the worries aside I decided to focus on one thing- getting our dancers dancing in classes with us again. I pushed forwards and organised to open as soon as I could, with all the right safety preparations in place. I’m not going to lie…It felt like I sent hundreds of emails to everyone to organise everything. We would use spots, dancers would sanitise on entry, we would limit numbers of dancers and adults, masks would be worn, we would limit props, adapt our lesson plans to reduce any contact and give parents the option of props bags. I felt like it was all go, go go! Slowly, a plan was coming into place and we had a date for opening…September! I was full of excitement but then a little bit anxious at the same time.
It was that familiar feeling I would have every September whilst teaching in schools. The worry about going back and not being able to do anything! Silly really. You ask yourself ….can I still teach? Do I remember how? Every year would be the same process and within 10 minutes of your first lesson it was like you had never been away! Tappy Toes was the same. I shouldn’t have been worried. Our first lessons went brilliantly and our little dancers showed their resilience and awesomeness!
Our dancers (old and new) were not fazed by Tappy Tiffany wearing her ‘window’ (clear plastic visor). In fact, not one pointed at it or mentioned it! The masked adults surrounding them, that they had sadly become familiar with, was not a worry for them at all. Looking for a spot was fun, and occasionally picking it up and dancing with it was fun too! Placing any borrowed props in the ‘big red bucket’, was brilliant. Each dancer took it in their stride and after doing this once they knew exactly what to do! The props bags have been a great success and they love receiving their stickers from their grown-ups. We are even mastering the air high fives now in week two. As Tappy teachers we just could not be happier seeing our dancers do fantastic things in front of our eyes again!
It just confirms to me why I like working with young people. They are amazing! They are resilient and full of wonder and take everything in their stride. Us adults have a lot to learn from them, when we start worrying about all the silly little things that ‘might happen!’ Their ability to adapt to change is far better than we think, and they quickly settle in. It’s like they have never been away. It may be 6 months, but we are all doing great!!
Covid Safe Classes
If you would like to join us for our Covid safe dance classes, please visit www.tappytoes.com.