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Maidstone Dance Studios

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Young people

Part of the family

Maidstone Dance Studios logo

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.

Three winning drawings from the design your own leotard challenge. First place - Ayda, second place - Isabelle and third place - Emily.

Zoom in

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.

Safety first

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.”

Community spirit

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.”

Instagram post by Maidstone Dance Studios, text in caption.

Dancer appreciation post – A huge shoutout to all our amazing students who should have been at the theatre this week performing in Dance Fantasia 2020. We are so sad that you missed out on such a great experience at the Hazlitt. Thank you for everyone who’s posted DF show memories from years past.

With thanks to Maidstone Dance Studios