The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority. Our current plan is to provide in-studio, in-person classes and, for any families not comfortable returning to the studio at this time, online access to the in-studio classes as virtual participants. To help address the challenges posed by COVID, we are implementing many new protocols (i.e., policies, practices and procedures) based on guidance from the CDC and State of NJ Executive Orders and the NJ Department of Health. The protocols include comprehensive pre-screening and temperature checks of all students and instructors; distancing via tape-gridded floors, dedicated class-specific entrances/exits, limited class sizes; hand sanitizing stations, and usage requirements, at studio and dance room entrances/exits; mask wearing requirements; enhanced daily and interim cleaning; standardized responses to/actions related to any positive cases or reported exposure, drop off policy; and more. By working together, we can help keep everyone safe and provide an environment where the children can enjoy dancing. Please review our policies and procedures carefully to ensure you understand them as we start our new school year together. We will notify parents whenever significant updates are made to these policies.
Each of the following safety measures is described in more detail in the sections below.
DANJ facilities offer some advantages with respect to managing risks including: each dance room using a dedicated entrance/exit, and bathrooms dedicated to each dance room. Dance floors will be tape-gridded, providing the children with personal dance space. Student lounges will remain closed. Additionally, the office will be closed during class hours. All transactions will be handled online unless otherwise arranged. Visits to the boutique can be made by appointment. During classes, a studio director and/or manager will be on the premises.
Parents will not be permitted in the building (exception for preschool and combo class parents of children who may remain in the parent lobby wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing - after being temperature check upon arrival). We are fortunate to have many exterior entrances/exits which we will be utilizing for drop off and pick up. Curbside drop off will be at designated entrances/exits (doors will be clearly marked). Dancers must arrive promptly (preferably five minutes before class) dressed and ready for class (dancers may not change clothing while in the studio).
Upon arrival at the studio, dancers will be temperature checked by a DANJ staff member. Any student exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 including, but not limited to fever (temperature above 99.9), chills, cough, or shortness of breath will be sent home. Parents staying on the property should either wait in their vehicle or outside until pick up time. Your dancer’s room assignments will be posted on the website. (Preschool and Combo dancers will be dismissed from class directly to a parent/guardian.)
Dancers and parents should keep track of personal belongings when entering/exiting the studio. Please keep all belongings in a small bag. The Lost & Found will not be used during this time (we will have to dispose of items left at the studio at the end of each day). Note that dancers in multiple classes that are not contiguous (i.e., with one or more class breaks) must leave the studio during the break unless otherwise arranges with the studio directors.
When entering a dance room, dancers must use hand sanitizer. Each dancer will have their own 6 by 6 foot (or larger) taped-gridded area for dancing. In addition, ballet barres will be allocated to permit distancing. Dancers should limit personal belongings brought into class to such items as dance shoes, water bottle(s), hand sanitizer and tissues (we will also have a supply of hand sanitizer throughout the studio). Dance bags should be small and kept in an area designated by the faculty. Dancers should remove their street shoes before walking on dance floors.
Whenever possible, dancers' classes will be scheduled back-to-back in the same room by level (faculty will change rooms rather than dancers). Bathrooms will be available, but dancers are encouraged to use the bathroom at home before coming to the studio to help minimize the need at the studio. There will be no access to the vending machine or office for water (please bring enough water for each visit to the studio).
Everyone is required to wear face coverings while in the studio (see more on masks below*). As masks may become sweaty in dance class, we suggest bringing two or more masks to change into during dance and to wear when leaving the studio. Dancers will be permitted to lower their masks for short water breaks during class. Please remind your child to avoid hugs, high fives, and other physical interactions.
If a student exhibits symptoms while in class, a parent/guardian or emergency contact will be contacted to immediately pick up the child. While waiting, the student will be seated in a separate room away from others.
* The State of NJ Executive Orders and Department of Health guidelines have specifically addressed face coverings for indoor recreation, including dance studios. These orders and guidelines have been changing frequently - and we expect this to continue in the fall, especially as academic schools and colleges reopen. We have decided to err on the side of safety and start the school year requiring all faculty, staff and dancers to wear face masks. We will revisit this policy on a regular basis in conjunction with changes in public policy and experience. Any changes will be communicated to parents in advance.
DANJ facilities will be thoroughly cleaned/sanitized daily in addition to cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and high-touch areas during class hours. Dance rooms will be cleaned with each turnover of dancers (i.e., before each class or group of classes with the same dancers). Ballet barres will be sanitized after each ballet class. We are using enhanced air filters, cleaning products and disinfectant. Our facility and outdoor waiting areas will be marked with ample signage and spacers to aid in proper hygiene and social distancing.
Please discuss the COVID Policies with your children. If your dancer or anyone in your household has any symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature above 99.9, please do not bring them to the studio. Furthermore, if you suspect that your dancer or member of your household may have COVID, or been exposed to someone with COVID, please do not bring them to the studio for at least 14 days following the known/potential exposure or until you have received negative test results (in all cases, please keep us informed regarding any plans you have for testing as well as the results, when received; and do not return to the studio without receiving clearance from the Studio Directors).
Dancers will be screened for symptoms prior to being permitted to enter the studio and participating in classes. It is our expectation that you will notify us if any member of your household tests positive for COVID-19. If a family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please self-quarantine per your doctor’s instructions before attending the studio. It is strongly encouraged to stay home if you or your dancer has been in close contact to a person with COVID-19. If there is a COVID-19 diagnosis or contact, DANJ will maintain the confidentiality of the individual while mitigating the situation, including complying with any DOH contact tracing obligations. If a dancer exhibits signs of illness during class, we will contact the parent/guardian for pick up.
Please notify the studio (call and/or email) if your child will not be attending class. Live-streaming will be available for anyone uncomfortable attending in-studio classes. All interactions with the studio office (e.g., registrations, enrollments, payments, etc.) will be online or over the phone. In-person visits to our boutique can be made by appointment. We will be requiring parents to sign a COVID-19 waiver prior to in-studio classes beginning.
DANJ staff members will be following the same safeguards in place for the dancers. Our faculty remain committed to creating a positive, constructive, healthy environment. They will be giving verbal instruction throughout class, but will not be giving hands-on corrections (i.e., no tactile touch or feedback).
As noted above, we are not comfortable with conducting acro classes in the current environment (there are protocols for acro that involve personal mats and continuous cleaning and hand sanitizing, but we do not feel these methods are sustainable for the children or the faculty). However, we will offer acro privates for those interested, which will mitigate the risks associated with group acro lessons.
To help protect our community, please pre-screen your children before bringing them to the studio. If the answer to any of the following questions is "yes" for your child (or for you if you are a dancer age 18 or over), please do not bring them to the studio and notify the studio office. Use your best judgement regarding keeping them home and/or consulting a physician.
If we learn that a dancer, faculty or staff member has tested positive for the COVID19 virus, we will promptly notify (anonymously) all families with dancers who have been in the same room(s) over the prior two weeks. Any such individuals will not be permitted back into the studio before fulfilling the recommended quarantine period and presenting documented negative tests.
If any children develop symptoms while in the studio, they will be taken to a dedicated waiting area; and their parents will be notified to pick them up immediately. That individual should not return to the studio for at least ten days, unless presenting a documented negative test and the symptoms are no longer present. Parents of children in the same room(s) for the prior two days will be promptly notified (anonymously).
If a student attends a school or other organized activity that has taken action, such as a suspension of classes/activities and/or quarantine requirements, such student should respect/follow the same approach with respect to DANJ classes/activities. For example, if your school suspends classes/closes for 14 days as a result of positive case(s) or exposures, you should notify the studio and only attend virtually (over Zoom) for such 14-day period.
We ask that parents contact the DANJ studio directors promptly in the event of any situations that might introduce additional risk into our community including the following: (1) any positive COVID cases in the student's household; (2) any exposure, by anyone in the student's household, to someone having tested positive for COVID or awaiting COVID test results due to COVID symptoms; (3) a situation in the student's school or other organized activity that has resulted in the organization suspending in-house classes/activities.