Well, it has been a while since writing a blog and usually the subject topic is something of a lighter subject.
To begin, on the 23rd March 2020, a lockdown on the country was introduced. Meaning that the Academy had to close temporarily, all businesses had to also close unless they were a Key Worker.
In the interim, a timetable was compiled together to allow students access to free FaceBook exercise classes, conditioning classes and fun dances for family. Also on this timetable, specified classes that would be held via Zoom meeting, which would allow children to dance along side myself and be visual to myself. These classes due to being working from home, parents were paying a smaller fee in order for the children to continue learning their competition and show pieces.
The financial situation of every person is different, and an understanding of this is known by myself. Hence the timetable having free classes through FaceBook.
As a small business owner with no premise, I am unable to apply for a grant in order to keep an income here for myself. I am eligible for Universal Credit which is a good start however once bills and direct debits have been taken, does not leave a lot to play with. (Not that we have anywhere to go / spend it on!)
For some people this will be great period to save money as they will not be spending it out and about, so some will be perfectly happy. But I know that a lot of people will be struggling throughout this period.
After week 6, the classes were working on Zoom, despite some internet issues, signal issues and the laptop overheating, but I have noticed that the motivation from the children has dropped somewhat. I am unsure if anyone has had the same feeling in the business? But, I am hoping that the numbers of our Academy do not decline because of this break.
Boris Johnson spoke out on the 10th May, talking about the time frame in which businesses will remain closed and lockdown measures still enforced.
Unfortunately, nothing has been mentioned about the Arts industry.
It is one annoyance for us, all-be-it we are a small business and can be classed as a sport or hobby, we are still a business. But nothing has been mentioned about what may happen for us.
The only little bit of information we received was that pubs and restaurants, will reopen slowly at the start of July, as long as social distancing measures are still in place. This, from what I can gathers, means that we may not be open until the same date. Depending on results, social distancing rules and other sports rules and regulations etc.
So, therefore, our show in June has been officially cancelled and will need to be rearranged. I did have a slight worry that there would be not as many people being able to make another date, due to holidays etc, but as it stands, travel will still not be passed until after the summer holidays at least. I will be re-arranging the date during this week and will be looking at August. Should you be a member of the Academy and have a provisional holiday booked, please inform Miss Sophie ASAP as we want to have as many people attend this Celebration as possible.
As for costumes, it will be sent via message what colours your costumes are to be. Reminding you to look at the running order as should you have a quick change, it will not be wise to have a tricky costume. Keep it simple for the children. Usually a base leotard is wise as that can stay on for the majority of the show for quick changes and t-shirts and leggings/ shorts etc can be slid on over the top.
Also, I have received a few questions about Scarefest in October. Unfortunately, I have no information on this and cannot answer any questions. All theme parks are obviously closed until further notice, so until I receive an email or contact from Alton Towers themselves, I will not be able to answer these questions.
What I am hoping to do in the foreseeable month, is that we may be able to meet on a playing field to learn material and dance through as a team. Keeping socially distant at all times, means we cannot work on formations as much as I would like, but something can be put in place for that in the meantime. With this, we will be able to meet and rehearse and learn any parts of choreography which some may be finding difficult.
As it stands at the moment, it is a very difficult and rocky road for SEDA and a huge thank you to all those who are still supporting us and rearing to get back into the swing of things!
On a positive note, I would like to say to everyone, that the amount of choreography they have had to learn over Zoom, knowing that they are visually opposite on their screen and have to work purely by themselves.
I am so incredibly proud of everyone as it is not an easy thing to master. Learning choreography over a screen, listening to the commands and instructions in great detail, not to miss out any counts etc.
It is a HUGE challenge and they are really doing well.
I know it is difficult for everyone and motivation is hard when trying to get them to dance and practice at home. Unfortunately we have to take the good with the bad.
The idea for me during lockdown was to have the children complete physical challenges at home, linked to dance, so that they would return equally strong, motivated and with a few tricks up their sleeves. I know that some have been completing these challenges which is great. But when we return, it will be a hard few weeks of training but I know the kids will be put 100% in.
What we need to remember is why we dance? Why we are part of a team? What do we miss the most?
How can I keep motivated at home?
Ask the children these questions and see what they come up with. From this you will be able to work out whether they have lost motivation, lost their connection with dance, and whether they will come back stronger from this.
Thank you for reading this information, and I hope to keep you all informed as much as I can throughout this period.
Keep the videos coming in, pictures, messages etc. It's the only thing keeping me going!
Lots of Love,
Miss Sophie xXx