A note to students from Director of Dance Susan Haines about Winter Quarter 2021 Dance classes

four dancers balance on one foot with back legs and arms extended

We are able to offer a few dance classes in a Hybrid format for Winter. (Hybrid allows us to meet in person with the ability to return online based on Covid case numbers)

These classes will start the quarter on Zoom until January 18, following the university guidelines to ensure all F2F students can be tested after the break.

Beginning Contemporary, Ballet 1, Contemporary 2, Contemporary 3/4, and Choreography 3 will be offered as a Hybrid format.

All other dance classes will be offered Remotely. Please check Classfinder for details about your classes and email your instructor with questions.

The Hybrid classes will be meeting in smaller groups, wearing masks, dancing in 10 by 12 foot boxes to maintain distance and meet all safety protocols.

Students do have the option to stay remote for these classes.

COVID Tests Required

All WWU students attending in person classes must have proof of a negative test every two weeks and must complete the WWU Symptom Attestation form each day prior to visiting campus. These protocols have been put in place for the safety of all students, staff, and faculty. There are no exceptions to these rules.

Safety Procedures

Cleaning procedures for classes will be handled by our excellent Custodial team. All spaces and high touch surfaces will be cleaned before and after each class use.

Studio Air Quality and Ventilation

Commissary Studios will be used for Beginning Contemporary and Ballet 1

Ventilation is measures in CFM (cubic feet per minute per person). The usual CFM for commercial spaces is 10 CFM. The recommendation for Covid safety is to increase this to 20 CFM. With ten students at a time, we are fortunate to have 50-60 CFM per person in the Commissary studios - which is three to four times the recommended level for safety using the recommended MERV-13 filters. Facilities Management will also be increasing the outside air percentage to 40-50% to support additional protection.

Mainstage will be used for Contemporary 2 and Contemporary 3/4

With nine students at a time, we are fortunate to have 140 CFM per person on the Mainstage - seven times the recommended level for safety using the recommended MERV-14 filters. Facilities Management will also be increasing the outside air percentage to 40-50% to support additional protection.

We have been doing extensive research on safe practices for indoor fitness and dance classes and have not made any of these decisions lightly; all are the result of lengthy discussions about the research data for safe practices in dance studios. The environments we've established far exceed the safety recommendations set by the National Dance Education Organization and Dance/USA. The superior ventilation, cleaning procedures, and testing every two weeks provides us with the opportunity to return F2F with "acceptable risk" as stated by the Incident Command group at WWU.

However, the only way to have zero risk is to stay remote. Each student and faculty must make the choice that best supports their circumstances with family, work, and health concerns. The safety of our students, staff, and faculty are our highest priority as we continue through the pandemic and remote options are available for all classes as needed.

Throughout the pandemic, dancers never stopped. We found ways to pivot (and even turn!) and continue our practice. We will continue to promote excellence in the field of dance and train the artists of the next generation.

Susan Haines
Director of Dance

Authored on

Dec 15, 2020 2:37pm

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