Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols
Dancing For Joy Fall 2020

Classes Resume Sept. 28th - under current phase 2 guidelines (download PDF version)

Below are the policies and procedures adopted by our studios in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Our protocols are in accordance with indoor fitness facility mandates outlined by Washington State as well as federal and state workplace requirements. Dance falls under the team sports specific training guidance section of these mandates which currently allows 5 students and an instructor per studio.  We are constantly staying up to date on these mandates, as they are continually being updated and/or changed, and we will always update our protocols to meet or exceed the state guidelines.  All families will be asked to sign a Covid-19 specific waiver before participating in dance at Dancing For Joy.

In general, what this means for students:  

  1. Small class sizes - there will be a maximum number of 5 students per class.

  2. Show up, prepared for class, wearing a mask at the designated entrance for your class, socially distanced from other students (each studio will have its own entrance/exit).

  3. Student’s temperature will be taken, and logged, before allowing him or her to participate in class.

  4. Students will be asked to put their belongings in a specific area and socially distance during class.

  5. Dancers are allowed to remove their masks during class, but must wear them again when no longer dancing or when exiting their designated studio. This is in accordance with current state guidelines.

*Some exclusions/additions may apply for reasons of safety or instruction purposes.

*Some teachers may require masks even while exerting energy due to a “high risk or vulnerable” teacher or student within the class.  Dancing For Joy recommends having masks that are created for high energy exertion as a part of being prepared for classes.  Teachers are required to teach with masks on -  unless they have a pre-existing condition that makes them exempt from this requirement, if they need to quickly “catch their breath”, or if they are struggling to properly explain a combination or specific instruction due to the interference of their mask.  In these instances, we ask our teachers to maintain a safe distance (>6 feet) from our students.

*Some students may also have a pre-existing condition that makes them exempt from this requirement, if students need to quickly “catch their breath”, or if they are struggling to properly explain to the teacher a question due to the interference of their mask.  If at any time, a student feels the need to get a fresh breath of air while wearing a mask they are permitted to step outside (when it’s age appropriate), remove their mask away from any other people, enjoy the fresh air, and return to class as soon as they are ready.  In these instances, we ask our students to maintain a safe distance (>6 feet) from our teachers and other students.

*Students that are from the same household will not be strictly held to the safe distance guidelines (for example, siblings within the same class can be (<6 feet) from each other.

*Dancing For Joy also recommends that dancers pay attention to the weather forecast by bringing warm clothes, and something for precipitation according to possible weather outcomes, since dancers may be exposed to the elements more frequently than normal, due to the importance of ventilation, possibly waiting outside (before or after a class), and social distancing measures.

*Students will be expected to stay home if having symptoms of COVID-like illness; currently being tested, treated, or quarantined for COVID; or if they are considered a close contact of someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID.  They will be able to return to in-class learning once they meet return-to-activity criteria set forth by the local county health department or their physician. 

Our goal at Dancing For Joy is to make all of our staff and students feel as comfortable and safe as possible during this unprecedented situation.   If there is anything that makes you or your student feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time we ask that you please bring this to our attention.  We will address any issues you may have on a case by case basis.

Specifically, what this means for all participants:

Safety, Sanitization & Ventilation 

  • All studio floors, barres and any used equipment will be disinfected between classes.

  • Any equipment or items that are difficult to sanitize have been removed from the studios.

  • There will be a 15 minute buffer between all classes for cleaning and transition.

  • Barres or other equipment will not be shared among students during class. 

  • Bathrooms, lobby, door knobs, and any other common spaces or frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.  There won’t be access to the water fountain (please bring your own water bottle to class).  The water bottle filling station will be open, since it is hands free, by permission only.

  • The lobby and studio 1 & 5 windows will be open to the outside to increase air flow and fans may be used where needed.

  • The garage doors of studios 2, 3 & 4 will remain open during classes for increased ventilation.

  • Personal sanitizing stations will be located at ALL entrances/exits of Dancing For Joy.

  • Safety is our number one priority that drives what we do during this time, and Dancing For Joy is committed to using “Safety First” as our lens/motto for driving our decisions and protocols.  Safety will supersede all other rules.

Building Protocol - For all who enter (students, staff, and family members): 

Please do not enter the building if you have had:

  1. A fever within 24 hours or any other symptoms of Covid-19.  

  2.  If you have knowledge of a possible exposure to anyone who has been tested positive with Covid-19.  If you are considered a close contact of someone who is suspected to have COVID and you are required to quarantine, according to local health department guidelines.

  3. If  you are suspected to have COVID or  have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and have not finished your quarantine according to local health department guidelines    

  • Masks are required upon entry, if you do not have a mask with you, one will be available for you. (*However, we only provide disposable masks, and we recommend that people have a “sports-specific, or energy-exertion” mask for their personal use, we also recommend having more than one mask available for your use, because if a mask becomes wet from sweat it becomes ineffective.)

  • Social distancing at >6 feet apart is required whenever and wherever possible.  

  • All staff will be required to take their temperature upon arrival at work, before they are permitted to begin their work. (Temperature must be under 100.4 to work, a temperature higher than this constitutes a fever, and the person will be sent home).

  • Dancing For Joy will have an onsite Covid-19 Supervisor at all times to enforce all protocols when we are open.  Dancing For Joy will properly train all staff regarding the protocols required, and regularly update them with any changes, improvements, or alterations to any protocols.

Studios/ Classes

  • All students will have their temperature taken with a touch-free thermometer at the beginning of class.  All temperatures will be logged. (Temperature must be under 100.4 to participate, a temperature higher than this constitutes a fever, and the person will be sent home).

  • Class sizes are currently restricted to 5 students maximum plus an instructor.

  • Students are not required to wear masks during class, but must wear them at all other times, or in any other part of the studio. (*Some exclusions/additions may apply - see above information on the lower half of page 1 and upper half of page 2 of this document.)

  • Teachers will wear face masks, face shields or both at all times (*Some exclusions/additions may apply - see above)

  • Dancers will be socially distanced within class at least 6 feet apart at all times.  

  • Students will be assigned a position at the barre and/or in the studio during instruction that will remain their “spot” for the entirety of the class period - so that students are not touching the same surfaces as other students.

  • There will be no hands-on or physical movement corrections given by the teachers to the students (Unless there is some cause for a safety concern).

  • Students will not have access to the drinking fountain and should bring their own water. The water bottle filling station will be open, since it is hands free, by permission only.
     

Lobby and Common Spaces

  • The office will be open for all customer service questions and purchasing prepackaged snacks/beverages, and dance retail items.  (Please adhere to social distancing standards)

  • No coffee, smoothies or customized food requests will be available until further notice.

  • Because the office staff is heavily involved in Covid-19 supervision, sanitization, and safety - you may experience longer than expected wait times for help, or responses to your inquiries.  Please allow for extra time and patience with us during this season of pandemic. Thank You.

  • All lobby areas are closed for “waiting”.  (All parents waiting for dancers are expected to wait in their cars or outside of the building. All dancers waiting for another class or to be picked up are expected to wait outside. Parents & students are expected to stay >6 feet apart and adhere to social distancing guidelines anywhere on the property including the parking lot - The only exclusions to this rule would be for safety purposes or special arrangements made and approved by management or because of inclement weather conditions.) 

  • Dressing rooms and bathrooms will still be available for use, and sanitized regularly. (However, we recommend using a bathroom at home before coming to Dancing For Joy, and layering dance clothes for other classes to limit the necessity of this use).

Drop-Off and Arrival - Students will enter directly into their assigned studios for class from a studio specific outside entrance. Each studio has its own entrance and exit protocol. Before & after classes, students must remain socially distanced - there will be markers to signify the distance.

Bellingham Campus Entrance/Exits

  • Studio 1 - students will use the front door designated as “Studio 1 Entrance and Exit”, which is the furthest door to the right when facing the Dancing For Joy suites.  

  • Studios 2, 3 and 4 - Entrances are accessed from behind the building, and labeled accordingly.

  • Studios 2, 3 and 4 - Exits will be in front of the building. (After class teachers will escort the kids to the front of the building where an office staff member will wait with the kids to be picked up).

  • Studio 5 - is on the second floor and will be accessed through the front left door marked as “Studio 5 Entrance and Exit”, which is the furthest door to the left when facing the Dancing For Joy suites.

  • The middle front door is solely for access to the office, customer service, prepackaged snacks/beverages, and dance retail purchases.  (We ask that no more than 5 customers are in that area at one time - please adhere to social distancing guidelines.)

Lynden Campus Entrance/Exits

  • Studio 6 - students will use the alleyway door designated as “Studio 6 Entrance and Exit” this is the left side of the studio between DFJ and Westside Pizza.

  • Studio 7 - students will use the parking lot door designated as “Studio 7 Entrance and Exit” this is the right side of the studio between DFJ and Lynden Manderin Restaurant. 

  • The front door is solely for access to the office, customer service, prepackaged snacks/beverages, and dance retail purchases.  (We ask that no more than 5 customers are in that area at one time, signs will be posted - please adhere to social distancing guidelines.)

*We respectfully request that you be right on time to pick up your child or children in order to facilitate a safe and smooth flow for the exits and entrances of each person. Thank you!

FAQ’s 

What if my student has multiple classes in a row?

Unfortunately, at this time, we are closing all lobbies and common areas inside the building for “waiting” purposes.  Students will have to exit the building, or sit in the specifically designated spot for their belongings until 5 minutes before their next class, and then exit the building and wait outside, until their next class.  Please prepare for possible inclement weather when appropriate.  There will be a staff member monitoring pick up locations. This is a fluid work in progress and may be adapted once the session begins.

What if I need to change my clothes between classes?

Yes, our changing rooms are open for changing, but not for waiting.  Please inform your teacher that you need to use the changing room between classes, instead of being escorted to the pickup location.  Please use the changing room and then exit the building to go to the appropriate entrance for your next class.

What if I miss a class and need to make it up?

We are so sorry, but because of the current pandemic climate - we are not offering make-up classes, and are not offering refunds for missed classes.  Smaller cohorts (the same small groups of students being kept together without mixing) have been shown to limit exposure among children and within schools.  There are many resources on-line for additional strengthening and training exercises to stay engaged with if you miss classes.  If you need assistance locating these resources, please inquire at the office. This is our new make-up policy until further notice.

What if I forgot my water bottle, or my water bottle is empty and I need a drink?

We have mini-cups available to fill up and use in the sink.  We are allowed to keep our water bottle filling station open, next to the water fountain, because it is hands free.  The water bottle filling station is located between studio 1 & 2, and can be used by permission.  If others are filling up water bottles as well, please make sure to maintain social distancing and return to class when you are finished filling your water bottle.

In the event of a rumored Covid-19 exposure?

We will work with local county health department officials and/or medical professionals to identify next steps to take.  

In the event of a confirmed Covid-19 exposure?

We will immediately let all people who have had possible exposure know of this exposure, to the best of our ability and knowledge, so that everyone can quarantine if indicated, including teachers, for the duration of recommended time (currently 2 weeks).  To the best of our ability and knowledge we will protect the identity of the positive Covid individual. For that period of time Teachers’ classes will be on Zoom and not on-site.  We recommend that all exposed persons follow the updated guidelines for testing, monitoring of symptoms, and quarantine.   We will also notify the local county health department, who may get involved in notifying families of students who are considered “close contacts” of a positive case, and they can help arrange testing and provide recommendations for symptom monitoring and quarantine.  

In the event of a confirmed Covid-19 positive case?

We will immediately let everyone enrolled at the studio know, and let all people who have had possible exposure to a positive case, to the best of our ability and knowledge, know of this exposure, so that everyone (including teachers) with exposure can quarantine, if indicated, for the duration of recommended time (currently 2 weeks) For that duration of time Teachers’ classes will be on Zoom and not in-person at DFJ.  We recommend that all exposed persons follow the updated guidelines for testing, monitoring of symptoms, and quarantine.  We will notify the local county health department, who may get involved in notifying families of students who are considered “close contacts” of a positive case, and they can help arrange testing and provide recommendations for symptom monitoring and quarantine.

In the event of an outbreak at the studio?

We will close down the studio for a minimum of 2 weeks, probably longer, depending on the recommendations by the Whatcom County Health Department, and local and state authorities.

If you have to close down - do I get a refund?

Yes, you will be refunded for classes that have been paid for that you do not get to participate in, if we have to close down again because of an outbreak, or because of a changing pandemic climate, or because of local and state mandates.  We will offer refunds for missed classes and will not charge anyone’s accounts until things have resolved and until further notice. We would not reopen until we are cleared to safely do so by state or local authorities.