Advice for dance teachers during COVID-19

It’s with great sadness that, as of Friday 20th March 2020, all dance schools in the UK have been forced to close until further notice. We understand that many dance teachers are self-employed and how concerned you must feel about the lack of information and support available from the Government. We’re constantly checking any announcements and hoped that we’d hear something more last night particularly with regards to those of you who are self-employed. We’re hoping that there’s more support for the dance teacher community coming soon, and we’ll keep you up to date with any news and assistance that becomes available

*EDIT* 27th March 2020

It was with great anticipation that we listened to the Chancellor’s announcement last night (26th March), with regards to the support they will offer to the great many of you who are self-employed dance teachers. The grant, worth 80% of your monthly average profits has been broadly welcomed, but there are a few points to note that we have listed belowThe scheme is open to those with profits of less than £50,000 annually

  1. The scheme is open to those with profits of less than £50,000 annually
  2. It is capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month
  3. You are only eligible if you registered your 2018/19 tax return (so no new businesses)
  4. Payments will come directly from HMRC, backdated from March – but not until June
  5. Grants will be taxable

Full details can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Let us know how this impacts on your business by joining the conversation on our Dance Teacher Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dancewearcentralteacher/

On a more positive note, we’ve been closely following how dance schools have been adapting over the last week and are amazed by the resilience and ingenuity demonstrated in order to keep your students dancing! To help support the dance school community at this time we have pulled together an article outlining the main sources of advice and resources to inspire and motivate you through this difficult period.

Dance teacher community

Don’t forget, you can share ideas, inspiration and reach out to other likeminded dance teachers, by joining our Dance Teacher Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/dancewearcentralteacher/

This is a great place to discuss the challenges you’re facing and help each other by sharing not only your problems but also your solutions to help everyone in our community through this difficult time. We will also be posting regularly in here, so we encourage your comments and experiences to inspire and motivate us over the coming weeks.

Examination Boards

There’s also advice being offered by your examination board, plus resources they may have available, particularly within your member areas. Keep an eye on their Facebook pages as they are updating them regularly with advice.

ISTD

Latest ISTD announcement
Facebook page

IDTA

Latest IDTA announcement
Facebook page

BBODance

Latest BBO Dance announcement
Facebook page

Royal Academy of Dance

Latest RAD announcement
Facebook page

NATD

Latest NATD announcement
Facebook page

B.A.T.D

Latest B.A.T.D announcement
Facebook page

UKA Dance

Latest UKA Dance announcement
Facebook page

Online classes

Many dance schools are moving their classes online so students can take part in classes remotely.

If you wish to look into offering this to your students, we’d recommend that your first call should be to your insurance company to ensure you are covered to offer online classes. Just to be on the safe side, ask them to confirm this in writing.

Online content can be a combination of live classes and pre-recorded on-demand content.

All of the dance examination boards have released their own advice. Please see links above.

Which online platforms can you use?

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some fantastic platforms currently being used by dance teachers:

Zoom – sessions of 40 minutes or less are free https://zoom.us/ 
If you are new to Zoom, here is a useful YouTube video explaining how to set up and use this platform

Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com
This is a useful channel if you already have a dance school Facebook page

Skype https://www.skype.com/en/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com

Communication with your students

Keep your students up-to-date with your plans via emails and social media. Let them know when you are hoping to put your classes online.

Things to consider;

  • It is likely students or the parents and guardians of students, will need to log in to a platform to access these classes
  • Create simple guidelines of how to install any new software
  • Bear in mind that the devices will vary – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, TVs etc – so consider this when sending out your instructions and when planning your class content
  • Create simple guidelines of how to log in and access the class
  • Create a timetable of your new virtual classes so your students know when to be available
  • Will it be a live class? Or is it on-demand?
  • Will the teacher be able to see the student? Or will it be a one-way class?
  • How much space do they require and how can they make that space as safe as possible?
  • What should students wear?
  • Should they warm up beforehand? Or is this included in the class?
  • Do they need any equipment?

Encourage student interaction

Your students are going to miss you and their classmates! Think of ways to try and engage with them outside of class times. Do you have social media channels? And if not, can you set these up? Think of ways to keep in contact with your students and to keep them in contact with their dance friends using dance related challenges and activities.

Please note that as the COVID-19 situation develops, the advice is evolving on a daily basis. The above was collated and correct at the time of publication (24th March 2020).

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