July 13, 2020
Dear Not Just Dance Families,
It has been a little while since I’ve done an update and figured you might like some information about re-opening procedures at Not Just Dance for the fall. Again, I’d like to start by thanking all of you for all of your support over the past few months! Since the last time we spoke, we have successfully completed performances of A Chorus Line and our Twisted Tales production of Mr. Goose’s Charlie Chocolate and the Charming Chips and are ½ way through with the Seussical performances. In some cases, we have been able to secure the rights to do a digital ticket and in some cases, we were not granted permission. Our audiences have been small but so amazing and supportive. Thank you to everyone for following our guidelines for reopening for students and for patrons. Not Just Dance has produced Level 1 reopening Procedures (following a pandemic), reopening procedures for patrons attending performances and reopening procedures for all of our summer camps. We are working on an update for Level 3 reopening, so you will have the specifics for when students return in the fall. However, for today, I’d like to focus more high level on what reopening, in general, looks like at Not Just Dance.
We will be offering both live and virtual classes. What that looks like will depend on the type of class. Also, you don’t need to commit to either live or virtual at the start of the year. You can start virtually and change to live further down the line. Or, you can start live and switch back and forth throughout the year. If we need to close the studio again because of the pandemic, all classes will go to virtual within 1 week of the closure.
Because we will be offering virtual classes, our policies will be updated to include information on expectations for attending Virtual classes. At this point, we plan to continue to use Zoom as our platform for virtual classes. We have learned a lot over the past few months and are incorporated what we have learned in how we use the technology and how we update our policies in terms of student expectations.
For private coaching which includes private voice lessons, all of our teachers are offering virtual classes. For live classes, we have made the entire studio available to our voice students. In person live classes can be held in the theatre, on the dance floor or in our music room (in the front). All options provide over 10 feet of separation between the teacher and student. If you would prefer a live lesson, we do have at least one teacher available for live lessons. Also, if you would prefer lessons in the theatre (where lots of feet of separation can be offered), simply let us know. Our default room is the theatre for all live voice lessons.
For dance classes, we will offer live instruction, with the option for students to attend dance classes virtually. If we know that all students will attend live, then we won’t initiate the Zoom meeting room. However, if a student would like to attend a particular class virtually, we just need to know and will make sure the student has the appropriate information to attend virtually from home. This option will be available throughout the year. And, in fact, when you look at the dance class dates and information on the website, you’ll see that there are virtual classes already on the schedule.
For all theatre classes, students will get the most by attending live. However, we will allow students to attend these classes virtually as well. That way students can still learn music and choreography remotely. We ask all parents that would like to start theatre classes virtually to have a conversation with me so I can understand your concerns and what your thought process is for when you might be comfortable returning to live classes. Obviously, at some point, we will need to have students attending live. However, that date will change depending on the class and the date of performances. All performances will be live. Since there is no way to predict what will happen with future closures, for now, we are assuming all performances will happen as advertised on the website.
For Tech Theatre classes, we are still discussing what virtual might look like. At this point, we are planning for Tech Theatre classes to be live classes.
All of the information about the classes, the dates, tuition, auditions etc are on our website. For those that have already registered, please double check the start dates.
Thank you again for all of your support. We look forward to serving you in the new year as we all work together to safely return to classes.
Owner, Not Just Dance
This update was created on May 4, 2020 at 6 pm
I hope you are doing well. At the same time, I want to acknowledge that I have no real understanding of how the pandemic may be affecting you. So, please accept my wishes for your health and the health of your loved ones.
As a customer of ours, I want you to know that we are ready to serve you, whenever you are ready. If you need us now, we are ready. If you need us in the future, we will be ready. And if you need us in an entirely new way, we will do everything we can to get ready. Please let me know if there is a new or better way we can serve you.
We continue to decipher the information we are getting from the state, the CDC, OSHA and our licensing companies in light of what would make sense for our families.
When Not Just Dance reopens it will not look quite the same. We are actively working on our new procedures, following all of the guidelines. So far, the studio has undergone a very DEEP cleaning. We will continue to enforce new cleaning procedures. When we open, we will have new procedures for entering the building (using both the front and back door, locking the door, etc.), how many people can be in the building, wearing of masks, washing of surfaces, checking students, teacher health, etc. In addition, the schedule we used to have can not remain in place as there were too many overlapping classes. And, NOT all classes will immediately be invited back to the studio, they will remain “virtual”. For those students invited into the studio (for those things we just can’t do virtually), it will be an “optional” invitation, meaning, everyone needs to do what is best for your individual families. Every class will continue with a virtual presence, so that all students will be able to participate.
That being said, and assuming there are no changes to what Governor Northam announced today, Not Just Dance will open “for some classes” and at a “level 1” starting on May 15th. The following shows will be postponed: A Chorus Line (already postponed), Seussical and Willy Wonka. We are also considering moving Twisted Tales (we will make that decision soon). Level 2 is needed for full rehearsals and for performances. According to what we heard today, level 1 will remain in effect for 2 to 4 weeks. With a May 15 opening at level 1, counting forward 2 to 4 weeks puts us between May 29th and June 12th. Performances are only possible at level 2 IF the licensing agencies allow for streaming licenses. We are seeing some promising new information (as of today) from MTI – the licensing agency for Seussical and Willy Wonka.
We will follow up later this week with a draft performance schedule and our policies/procedures. We will then follow up with individual e-mails to particular classes to discuss specific plans.
The good news… we now can start making a real plan for re-opening! We are less in limbo. 🙂
And, we know that we will be good to go for all of our summer camps!!!!
Seussical and Willy Wonka performances WILL be postponed.
Not Just Dance will clearly communicate our NEW policies for opening at a level 1 for May 15th with an understanding that we will continue with virtual learning, at a minimum, until we are operating at a level 2.
Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide you with excellent service and for YOUR support of us. Your support, in whatever form that takes, means the world to all of us at Not Just Dance.
Reminder: Sign up for a virtual audition for the Pancake Benefit. Auditions are Wed from 6:30 – 9:30. Sign up for a virtual time slot via the parent portal.
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.
March 24, 2020
Dear Not Just Dance Community,
We are deeply saddened by the news that all Virginia schools are closed until the end of the year. We know this is an especially difficult time for students and their families. For our students this means no more time hanging with friends at school, no proms, no school shows, no graduations, etc. Oh yes, and it also means you are learning how to “learn” differently. We especially feel for our theatre community, to include your teachers, your administrators and all those who help you to grow as theatre professionals on school grounds.
We know this also means that you are wondering what happens to Not Just Dance. The fact that schools are closed does not necessarily affect us. However, the fact that the Governor does not feel its safe to have groups of 10 or more gather, for the next 30 days, does have a significant impact on our business model. We will absolutely do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by physically closing our doors until April 24th. However, we WILL be open “virtually”. At this point (as of 4 pm on March 24th), we plan to continue with all activities that are on our schedule, just in a different format. This includes classes, workshops, performances, auditions and shows. The only show that has been postponed, at this point, is A Chorus Line (which was set to open on Thursday). Our audition workshops will be held virtually. Our classes will be held virtually. If necessary, auditions will be held virtually. While this is not ideal, we can make this work. In terms of our performances, we are exploring all potential options. If necessary, some dates and times might need to be adjusted. Also, the licensing companies are working with us to allow things that in past would never have been allowed (such as live streaming).
Thank you so much for your support and your patience as we work through all of the unknowns. Many of you have reached out to offer words of encouragement. Thank you! You have no idea how much your support means to us. Unfortunately, our fixed costs still exist, such as rent, utilities, etc. We have invested a lot this year and so have you! Let’s see this through to the finish line. Please trust that our team is working on creative solutions. We welcome your ideas and suggestions. We can do this together.
Parents – please be sure that you are checking for e-mails from us with details on how virtual classes will work. Also, be sure to watch my videos which include important information. If you have questions, I have e-mailed you dates and times for parent meetings. There is no agenda for these parent meetings. These are purely to help facilitate the flow of information. If you do not have any questions at this time, you do not need to attend the parent meetings.
March 21, 2020; 5:00 pm
Dear Not Just Dance Community,
What a crazy ride we have been on for the past week! I want to start by thanking the community for all of your support. All of your e-mails, phone calls, text messages, facebook messages of support mean the world to us. Thank you!
We know that this is a very difficult time for you as you all deal with the stresses in your homes. At Not Just Dance we are committed to providing all members of the community with some consistency. We are pleased to announce that we will begin on-line classes tomorrow and will continue to provide additional resources for all of our families.
- On-line, one on one voice lessons begin tomorrow. All of our voice teachers are available for this service. Contact us if you would like to add voice lessons.
- We have provided all of our families with links to pre-recorded supplemental materials for rehearsing and practicing at home.
- We have provided all of our families with a few other fun activities to keep the FUN alive within our Not Just Dance community. Be sure to check our facebook page for updates.
- On-line dance classes will begin this week. We will send out specifics to our currently enrolled dance students.
- On-line theatre and tech theatre classes are being worked on and will be available soon. Specifics will be sent to those families.
We hope that we will all be able to return to our studio soon! We will continue to provide on-line resources for all of our families. We remain committed to provided all of you with exceptional service, albeit in a different format!
For those of you with tickets to an upcoming performance, we ask for your continued patience. Because of the uncertainty, we are not able to make “going forward” plans at this time. But, once we are able to make plans, we will be in touch with options. Thank you for your patience.
Again, I can’t emphasize enough the gratitude we feel for your continued support. As a small business, we rely on the financial commitments of our Not Just Dance families and the community, as we navigate these unchartered waters. I am also thankful to our amazing staff for their support and their willingness to quickly learn this new world of on-line learning. We know we will come out of this together. This too shall pass!
PS – Current families are encouraged to watch the video that was e-mailed on March 22, 2020 for future information.
March 15, 2020; 5:47 pm
It breaks our hearts that the events of the world disrupt the activities here at Not Just Dance. We are forced to make some hard decisions. The health and safety of the Not Just Dance community must be our primary concern in the rapidly evolving COVID-19 coronavirus situation. To that end, we have decided to close Not Just Dance and to postpone our performance of A Chorus Line. For everyone that has tickets to the performance, please hang tight and we will provide details about exchanges and refunds.
Not Just Dance will be closed from March 15 – March 29, 2020. We will re-assess by March 27th and send any further updates at that time.
At Not Just Dance, we have been carefully watching the events and educating ourselves on the best practices given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 coronavirus situation. The health and safety of our Not Just Dance community, our students, their families and our patrons, remain our primary concern. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Not Just Dance and Virginia (along with Fairfax County) continues to be designated as low risk. Based on that information, Not Just Dance plans to be OPEN and will immediately implement the following policy changes:
For classes (dance, voice, theatre):
- If your student has a fever or are experiences any flu or cold like symptoms, please do not come to class. (Parents, please follow the procedures for reporting absences.)
- If a parent has a fever or is experiencing any flu or cold like symptoms, do not enter the premises.
- All students must bring a labeled water bottle from home. Students will not be permitted to use the water fountain.
- All students are asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer: upon entering the building, whenever they wipe their noses and when they use the bathroom. We highly recommend that you use hand sanitizer in the car on the way home and/or wash hands as soon as you get home. Please review proper hand washing techniques with your students. We have put the lyrics to some songs in the bathrooms that they can sing while washing their hands.
- No food will be permitted in the studio.
- Not Just Dance will wipe down commonly used surfaces (door knobs, bathrooms, etc) frequently per the guidance of the CDC.
- Not Just Dance uses a cleaning service that follows the guidelines of the CDC for cleaning. These cleaning sessions will continue every week.
- Please review with the students that they should cover their faces when coughing or sneezing. If they cough or sneeze into their hands, they should immediately wash their hands. We have placed tissues in all rooms of the studio.
- No hugs or handshakes please.
For A Chorus Line:
At this time, our plan is to move forward with all performances of A Chorus Line, with the following changes to our performance procedures:
- Please see all of the guidelines above.
- We will limit the number of tickets sold to each show to ensure that there are no more than 100 patrons at each show.
- We ask that any patron who is sick or experience cold or flu like symptoms not attend the performance. (Note: We recognize that it is allergy season. If you know that your stuffy nose is a result of allergies, you are welcome to attend the performances.)
- Anyone who is sick or has a weakened immune system and is therefore uncomfortable attending the performance, who has purchased tickets, will be eligible for a full refund. If patrons choose to donate back the cost of the tickets to Not Just Dance, we would be most appreciative. However, we will waive our “no refund” policy for this performance. To receive a refund, please e-mail contact_us@NotJustDance.net or call 571-392-3209.
- Concessions and Star Grams will ONLY have pre-wrapped goodies. No baked goods.
- We are doing what we can to secure extra hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to have at the studio which will be made available to all patrons. (Note: If anyone in the community has these products and are willing to make a donation to Not Just Dance, we will gladly accept your donation as these products are hard to come by.)
We will continue to monitor this situation and if things change, we will use this website as a way to communicate any changes to these procedures/processes.
Fairfax County Coronavirus Information: