Maidstone Dance Studios
Part of the family
Maidstone Dance Studios prides itself on being a caring and family orientated dance school. This is evident in its Instagram feed, which is full of encouraging posts and comments acknowledging the #MDSFamily. Its response to COVID-19 restrictions has had the same sense of community at its heart. When the studio closed its doors temporarily in March, Principal Zoe Harrisis said, “Whatever the next few months have in store we will come at it with positivity.”
Keeping it social
Social media has remained a big part of the school’s ongoing communication with members and families throughout the lockdown period. Fun challenges have been a regular theme, from ‘MDS bake off’ to ‘Jump and leap photo challenge’, as well as activities, competitions and routines for dancers to follow and practise.
For the school to remain sustainable they needed to find a way to continue to deliver high quality classes to help students to develop their dancing skills, and to support their teachers. All classes moved to the Zoom platform to allow teachers to see and interact with students, and to give as close to a face-to-face experience as possible.
Miss Zoe, as the students affectionately refer to their teacher, said, “At MDS the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, so I wanted to reassure students and parents of the measures we put in place to ensure online safety during our classes. We have a new Online Safety Policy as well as updating our Code of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers to reflect the changes in teaching practice.”
Moving and motivated
Maidstone Dance Studios has continued to communicate with parents on safeguarding, policies and fees, as well as short, medium and long-term plans, and teachers have consulted the dancers on their opinions as well.
The approach has been welcomed by parents, who have expressed their thanks to the “fabulous ladies” who have kept lessons fun and engaging, with chats about what children have been up to, and games like ‘D.A.N.C.E Scavenger Hunt’.
“Thanks for all you have done to keep the kids moving and motivated.”
“You have all made lockdown more bearable, and kept some normality for them.”
“You’ve all been a constant in such turbulent times. Squad will be stronger than ever after this. Can’t wait to see what they achieve when they are all back together.”
Miss Harrisis concludes, “One thing we do know for certain is that now, more than ever, there is a need for community spirit, and we could not be more proud of our students and families for adapting in these difficult times.”
With thanks to Maidstone Dance Studios