I have hesitated to send additional updates because, as you know, there are so many things that are still up in the air! Again, I thank you so much for all of your patience and understanding, your willingness to try new things, your contributions to Not Just Dance and a huge thank you to those that have bought discounted tickets and continue to register for workshops and summer camps despite all of the uncertainty. We so appreciate everything you are doing. We are trying to stay upbeat. But, let’s face it – it is hard! We pray that everyone is healthy and doing the best you can with our new “normal”. We miss you all so desperately and can’t wait to be back in the studio!
Per the Governor of VA, all non-essential businesses remain closed through May 8th. In addition, the stay at home order continues beyond that, leading to even more confusion on interpreting where we stand. Since that announcements, there has been more guidance provided by the federal government and the CDC on how to re-open states. While we may hear new updates from our Governor in the next few days, I wanted to give you all an update based on everything I know as of 5:21 pm on April 22, 2020.
Not Just Dance will continue to be physically closed through May 8th. Of course, if there are changes such that the state of VA opens sooner, we will make adjustments. However, that seams very unlikely. Therefore, our virtual classes will continue through, at a minimum, May 8th. Tuition payments will be collected on May 1st. The good news, for most of you, is that is the last tuition payment for the 2019-2020 school year!
The uncertainty related to our opening causes us to not be able to make concrete plans for rescheduling A Chorus Line and starts to put the performance of Seussical, on the originally scheduled dates, in jeopardy. You all have probably heard about the phase 1 and phase 2 openings. With a phase 1 opening, we would be able to do “some” activities related to our classes at the studio. It leaves open the possibility of rehearsals with smaller groups, holding private lessons and holding some of our dance classes. We could also do things like try on costumes. However, we will need to be at a level 2 to have have performances. Since we have a lot of experience with running rehearsals and shows in a short period of time (aka our “Best 2 weeks of Summer”), we have no doubt we’ll be able to do a quick turn around as it relates to the performances. We are also defining processes for how we will operate in order to ensure the safety of our students and the staff once we do re-open. For example, not allowing students to congregate in our lobby area and wearing masks, etc.
So, here’s what we currently know. If we are able to open mid-May, we would have the exact right number of weeks to pull off rehearsals and shows for all of our shows (A Chorus Line, Seussical, Willy Wonka, Twisted Tales, Reluctant Dragon) by the end of June. This is the soonest we could complete all of the performances.
Which leads us to a discussion about one of the summer camps – Music Man. This camp is scheduled to run at the end of June. Because of the uncertainty of when we will open, we are forced to consider moving this camp to Aug. 3 – 14th (the only 2 week gap in our entire summer schedule). Further, registrations for camps have completely stalled. Back on March 13th, registrations for all summer camps were going well. There is usually a bump in registrations following shows, as cast members talk about “what’s next” with their friends and make plans to be with their peers in the summer. Since we haven’t had any shows and give everyone’s uncertainty about summer plans, registrations have slowed considerably. And, Music Man has the lowest registrations, making us question whether we’d even have enough students to proceed. The only way to rectify this problem is to have performances. And since we can’t have performances, we need to make decisions based on the current enrollments. Because we don’t know when people will start to register for the summer, this is another piece to the puzzle that points towards delaying this camp until August. We will be reaching out to all students who are currently registered for a Music Man about moving to the postponed dates. They will also be given the option of getting a refund.
How can we help everyone plan?
- Music Man will move to Aug. 3 – 14th
- If VA re-opens in May, all performances will be completed by the end of June (with keeping whichever shows we can at their currently scheduled dates).
- If VA re-opens in June, all performances will be completed by the end of July. Because our camps are held during the day, we don’t see any impacts to any other camps and they will continue as scheduled.
We have discussed what would happen if the re-open happens even later and we feel confident that all performances will happen at some point before we open for next year at the end of August.
We know that you will want to know exactly when each show is going to happen. And, we would love to be able to tell you that. As soon as we know when we are re-opening, we will give detailed information on how this will all work. Again, we thank you for your patience.
What we do know for sure is…
- We will continue to offer discounted tickets. These tickets are good for ANY Not Just Dance show in 2020. Please use the discount ticket form (convenient link is on the home page of our website). Once we open, this discounted ticket form will “disappear”.
- We WILL hold our Virtual PANCAKE BENEFIT. We had planned to have our 2nd Annual Pancake Benefit on June 20, 2020. Given the uncertainty of when we will open (and the very real possibility that we will need our facility to host a show on June 20th ), we have decided to make this event a VIRTUAL event. Proceeds from this benefit will help fund new equipment, facility improvements and operational expenses related to performances. There are 3 ways to get involved participate, purchase tickets and give a gift.
To participate – please sign up for an audition slot. Auditions will be held on Wednesday May 6th (virtually). Check out the website for all of the details!!! We are also doing some fun things with ticket levels. Be sure to look on the website for details.
Finally, I wanted to talk a little about next year. COVID-19 has again wreaked havoc on plans! We have learned that MTI is delaying the release of licensing for Newsies JR until 2021. This causes us to have to pick a different show. We are currently looking at some FANTASTIC options and will let you all know soon. And, of course, we will plan to do Newsies in the 2021-2022 school year. I have started to update the website with information about next year. If you look under “classes” you will start to see some new selections. Normally, we open registrations for the following year on May 15th. This is still our goal and I am madly working towards that goal. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about next year.
Again, thank you so much for all of your support! Please let me know if I can answer any questions.