BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) – The new normal—that’s a phrase many are saying when it comes to what our world will look like post-pandemic.
Dance studios like Turn it Out Dance Academy in Bellaire are now allowed to open across the state of Ohio. So, the question is, how are teachers and students staying safe and socially distanced? That’s a plan Mandy Doyle, owner of Turn it Out, has been working on for weeks. And—she says it’s working.
When it started, we just closed for a week. Then, we closed for the second week. Then we realized, ‘okay, we have to close until further notice.‘MANDY DOYLE – OWNER, TURN IT OUT DANCE ACADEMY
That’s the story many business owners faced when the Coronavirus hit. But for a dance studio—they knew they couldn’t go weeks on end without lessons.
Reopening wasn’t even in our thoughts. We wanted to keep the kids engaged in the lessons. So, we went to zoom. My whole staff, and thank you TIO staff, you’re amazing. We created an entire library of YouTube classes for our kids to take.MANDY DOYLE – OWNER, TURN IT OUT DANCE ACADEMY
The virtual classes worked, but the teachers were itching to get back into the studio. So, Mandy came up with a three-part plan to have ready for the moment they were allowed back in. The first phase is solos and duos only. Phase two allows older kids to return with socially distanced numbers they must stay on during class.
So, the format is going to be different. We’re not going to go across the floor or do routines where we’re touching. But—the great thing about dace is that there’s so much you can do in that stationary spot. Just having the kids back in here is going to feel great. Essentially… hopefully… phase three would be by mid-June and would be a full studio opening, but with a new normal.MANDY DOYLE – OWNER, TURN IT OUT DANCE ACADEMY
No one is allowed in the lobby. Class times are staggered. Staff members must wear masks. But when the doors opened yesterday, none of that affected the kids. They were just excited to be back in the studio dancing and replacing hugs with socially distanced handshakes to create their own “new normal.”
For a while, not everyone’s going to feel comfortable coming in. And that is okay! Everyone should come when they’re ready. So, in the meantime, we are zooming every class for those who want to keep going at home. And I think that will probably continue for a while. I mean, really, until there is a vaccine or there is 100% guarantee that this thing is in control, I think we are going to be following this new normal.MANDY DOYLE – OWNER, TURN IT OUT DANCE ACADEMY
Although the plan isn’t exactly ideal, Mandy says being able to see their kid’s reaction when they walk through that door for the first-time a while… makes it all worth it.