Welcome to Term 2!

Woah, we blink and it’s Term 2! Time flies when you’re having fun hey?
We would like to extend a huge welcome to our many new friends joining us on the dance floor this term and of course a big welcome back to our loyal dance fam.
We trust you are all well rested and re-energised for a fun and jam-packed term as we prepare for our mid-year concert, our first performance since Nov 2019!

A few housekeeping reminders as we head in to term 2…

COVIDSAFE POLICY
Our covidsafe plan is still in place, in line with current government guidelines for our industry. We know it is tiresome but we appreciate your cooperation and patience.

The short version:

  • Drop off ON TIME, dressed for class
  • Parents, don’t stay on-premise unless your attendance is absolutely essential
  • Don’t bring anyone extra to the studio, if you can avoid it
  • Parents staying must sign in using QR code
  • Clean your hands before and after class
  • Stay away from the studio if you are unwell or have been advised to isolate.
  • Read the full covidsafe plan here: COVIDSAFE PLAN – dance school epping

Please note, these policies are a legal requirement that our dance school must have in place in order to operate. By enrolling into a Main St Funk dance class, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agree to abide by our Covidsafe Plan. This not only keeps you and your peers safe but also protects our business.

CAR PARKING REMINDER
At Main St Funk we have a strict “street parking only” rule. Please do not park in the neighbouring factory’s car spots. We have had complaints from our neighbours because MSF patrons were parking in their spots and blocking their doors. Under no circumstance should your car enter the gates on Lydia Court. It is not safe for our children walking to and from the studio and you do not have permission to park there. This includes “drop & go”. If you are just dropping your child off, please park in the street and walk your child down the driveway to the studio, and do the same for pick up. We thank you for your cooperation.

UNIFORM
Now that the majority of our schools has settled in to their classes, please ensure you/your child are coming to class in correct uniform, dance attire and shoes. This includes ensuring hair is off face for class. You can find our uniform guideline here: https://mainstfunk.com/uniform-shoe-hair-requirements/

MSF MERCHANDISE
Woohoo we have finally re-stocked which means more MSF kids can rock the orange spot. We have had so many requests for hoodies and tees so thank you for your patience! Please come and see one of The MSF Team at the desk to make a purchase. Why not complete your MSF look with an MSF Bow or funky cap!?

  • MSF HOODIE: $45
  • MSF TEE: $30
  • MSF CAP: $20
  • MSF BOW: $10

IMPORTANT DATES
In 2021 MSF will hold 3 end of year concerts and 3 compulsory theatre rehearsals. Most classes will perform in one concert only and will only be required at the one rehearsal.

  • All seniors, teens and “open age” classes will perform in all 3 shows.
  • Petites do not perform in the concerts.

The concert and rehearsal dates were originally sent out in early December 2020 and have been sent out to every new student upon enquiry. We hope this means you’ve had ample time to diarise these important dates and ensure there are no clashes that will mean your child will miss out. If you haven’t yet, please note below.

MID-YEAR DANCE SHOWCASE
In term 2, MSF students will work towards a dance to perform at our Mid-Year Dance Showcas to be held at the end of June. We are still finalising details with the venue and hope to be able to provide more info soon. But, in the meantime, let’s get these kids excited about performing on stage again, or for the first time!

THANK YOU!
We know we have said it over and over and we hope you don’t ever get sick of hearing how wonderful you all are, but thank you again for your support and dedication to MSF. Whether you are brand new or a golden oldie, we respect and value every single dancer and their family that walks through our doors. Thanks for riding this wave with us, let’s dance!

The MSF Team.

Of course if you have any questions, please get in touch.
http://www.mainstfunk.com
http://www.facebook.com/mainstfunk
http://www.instagram.com/mainstfunk
mainstfunk@gmail.com
0433220973


School Holiday Program + Term 2 Enrollments

Hi MSF Fam,

As promised, Main St Funk will be holding a School Holiday Program during the second week of the Easter School Holidays from Tuesday 13th of April – Thursday 15th of April.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • This school holiday program is free for all MSF students who were enrolled in term 1, based on their term 1 enrollments. 
  • Additional classes are $10 each
  • Eg. If you are only enrolled in term 1 Mini Hip Hop, you may participate in the Mini Hip Hop school holiday class for free, but if you want to also participate in Mini Ballet, it will be $10.
  • Bookings are essential as places are limited. First in best dressed.
  • Waitlists will be available if classes reach capacity. If there is enough interest, we can put on additional classes.
  • Please do not enrol unless you intend on attending as you may be taking the place of someone who can attend.
  • If your plans change and you can no longer attend, please ensure you let us know so that we can offer your place to someone on the waitlist.
  • The School Holiday Program will be different to our usual timetable, please see below.
  • Non-MSF Students are welcome but they MUST register online and pay $10 per class prior to the program.

HOW TO BOOK

  1. Login to the MSF portal: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk
  2. Click “Register for Classes”
  3. Ensure you are viewing the tab titled “School Holiday Program” and not term 1 or term 2 classes.
  4. Select your class/es of choice and click submit.
  5. If your class is full, please join the waitlist.
  6. If you cannot see your usual age group/class, please email us to let us know and we will enrol you from our end.

COVIDSAFE

Our CovidSafe policy still applies during the school holiday program. As we expect large class numbers, the policy will be strictly enforced, with no exceptions.

A reminder:

  • Drop and go, parents are not permitted in the facility.
  • Parents of Petites and Minis are allowed to stay, if essential. Strictly one parent per student and no siblings or extra family members. Please wait outside if the foyer/lounge becomes crowded.
  • Our classes are closed, no spectators.
  • Parents staying must sign in using QR code
  • Clean your hands before and after class
  • Stay away from the studio if you are unwell or have been advised to isolate.
  • Read the full covidsafe plan here: COVIDSAFE PLAN – dance school epping

We are so looking forward to a wonderful week of dancing on the holidays with you all, it’s going to be super fun and a chance for us to keep building our skills, confidence and friendships in a relaxed environment.

TERM 2 ENROLLMENTS

It’s hard to believe that term 2 is already just around the corner! Enrollments roll over automatically each term, you do not need to re-enrol. Please let us know if you would like to make adjustments to your current enrollment or take additional classes. Please also spread the word to your friends and family that are interested that we are now taking new students for term 2 2021! Direct them to our website or contact details!

As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch.

The MSF Team x

www.mainstfunk.com

www.facebook.com/mainstfunk

www.instagram.com/mainstfunk

mainstfunk@gmail.com0433220973


Beating the “after school blues” and getting the most out of your dance class

Each year, in term 1, we do see a common trend. Our children have just enjoyed a relaxing six week break off EVERYTHING only to be thrown straight back in to the deep end. And by “deep end” I mean school; 6-8 hours a day of exhausting mental stimulation, all that learning, playing, running around and adjusting to everyday life, responsibility and independence. That hot Aussie sun that is famous in Term 1, takes a toll on their bodies too. These kids are coming to dance TIRED.

2021 is proving to be an even bigger adjustment. Some people would say it has been a tsunami wave of work, social life, commitments and just existing outside of your house to adjust to…those people would be, me. Given that most of us spent 2020 at home, with no activities or appointments to run around to and now the new year has kicked off with a bang, we have gone from zero to a hundred and so have these kids! I heard one lovely MSF mum say she had actually gone from zero to 4000, and I think many parents would feel the same. Even though they might not be able to articulate it, the children are feeling that too.

It may seem impossible now, but I promise you, your child is capable of overcoming this little bump in the road and having an absolutely awesome year of dancing, filled with learning, progress, friendships and FUN!

There are few things that will help this happen.

1. WATER: Ensure you/your child has had a sufficient amount of water, everyday, but especially the day and night before a big activity and throughout the day leading up to class. Not only will this keep them hydrated, it will increase their brain power, energy levels and help keep them focused and alert. If your child is extra sleepy or lethargic after school, they may not have had enough water. When we are extra thirsty, our body can crave sugar. Try not to give in to this – don’t fill your child up with cordial, soft drinks or energy drinks as this will actually make them more dehydrated and give them a burst of the sillies. If you think they might be dehydrated, try electrolyte tablets for a kickstart before exercise.

2. FOOD: The dancing kids hear us talking about food a lot. We loooovveee food! Food is our fuel, it gives us energy and focus. Make sure your child has a nutritious lunch and an after school snack before dance class. A healthy snack that provides long lasting energy is best. Try to avoid chips, lollies or sugary snacks as these will only provide a short burst of energy (usually a bit of craziness) before a crash landing back into sleepy-vill. Try to avoid big meals too – no one does well in a dance class with a food coma and a food baby (just ask me). Some good snack ideas: banana, muesli bar, yoghurt, healthy sandwich, fruit and nuts etc. Our cars don’t run without fuel and neither do our bodies. EAT.

3. FRESHEN UP: Before dance class, or whenever you or your child need a little boost through out the day, freshen up by washing your face and redoing your hair. It is such a simple thing to do, just like restarting your computer when it starts slowing down. Washing their face washes the day away and wakes them up ready to start again with focus and a fresh attitude. Brush their hair. Everybody is familiar with the hairstyles that come home from school, they are usually very different from the ones that get dropped off in the morning. By brushing their hair and pulling it off their face, not only will they look like a presentable dance student but they will be focused without hair on their face to distract them.

4. GET CHANGED: MSF do have a uniform in place and it is an important factor in the way our students embrace class. Getting changed out of their school uniform, gets them out of “school mode” and allows them to let go of everything that has already happened that day. Putting on a clean and dry dance uniform will help them reset and get in the zone for dance class. Changing socks and undies too might sound a little silly (and like more washing for mum and dad) but being fresh and clean all over can lift spirits and refresh our energy levels for what the rest of the day has in store for us.

5. GET ORGANISED: Prepare your dancing clothes, shoes and snacks the night before. That way you don’t have to come home and frantically look for all your bits and pieces. If you’re coming straight from your school, have your bag packed and in the car, when you leave in the morning.

6. DON’T GET COMFY: If you have time to pop home between school and activities, try to take it easy but don’t get too comfortable. Avoid watching tv or getting caught up in activity that will distract you from getting ready for class. Get changed as soon as you get home and eat your healthy snack at the table so that you don’t succumb to the very tempting afternoon slouch!

7. DON’T GIVE UP: My main piece of advice, and probably the most important, is not to quit now. Your child is resilient and capable of making this huge adjustment – they are already doing it and so are you! Pulling them out now will only set them further back and they will eventually have to start this adjustment process all over again. Coming home from school or dance tired, is completely normal. It’s a sign of a hard worker, of a little body doing big things and a person who has put themselves out there to make friends, build new skills and have fun…yes, having fun is exhausting but in the best way! Pushing through this short tough period will teach your child that they are capable of overcoming more than they think and that when things can get hard, you don’t have to quit.

Don’t forget, your dance teachers are adjusting too! Some of us spent most of 2020 on the couch watching Netflix and ordering Uber Eats, and by some of us, again, I mean me. We understand how you feel because we’re feeling it too. We are in this together so let’s take our time, be kind to ourselves but let’s not give up!

By Chloe Jobson – Fulltime Dance Studio Owner and Part Time Sloth.

The MSF Spirit

It’s 2021 and we are celebrating 15 years of dance!

This year, like always, we aim to continue our legacy of being a welcoming, inclusive, FUN and vibrant dance school. We strongly believe in ensuring every student feels special and valued in our community and we hope that as each of you walk through our studio door, that not only do you experience the benefit of our big family culture but you also uphold the Main St Funk spirit by being kind, having a positive attitude and trying your very best. This standard filters right through our school, from our leading teaching team, to our younger students and even our dance parents.

If you are new to MSF, you may have signed up for our dance classes because you want your child to dance for fun, fitness, and friendships. We absolutely provide an environment for these things to flourish but please know, we also instill in each of our students a strong work ethic and we encourage our students to be dedicated and committed to dance in a way that is realistic and sustainable. We encourage our students to approach dance by putting their best foot forward, having a positive mindset and knowing that it is ok to make mistakes and to be a “work in progress.”

At Main St Funk we have found a fabulous balance where our students are consistently challenged to work to the best of their abilities and at the same time, have fun and make amazing memories along the way.

We have eliminated the pressures that are often associated with dance class by teaching a quality dance education without competitions, exam results or report cards and there is no in-house competitiveness because every student is “the star” in their own special way. We aim to encourage our students to work as a team, to applaud in each other’s acheivements and to aim to be THEIR best not THE best.

Main St Funk has made a mark in the local community because our reputation for being an all-inclusive, welcoming dance school is beyond compare. Our vision was to create an environment that felt like family but that doesn’t work without the wonderful kids and parents who share and uphold our values. So thank you, for contributing to what makes Main St Funk a dance school with a difference.

As we continue making the worlds most epic comeback, let’s hold our heads high and let the MSF spirit fly in 2021. ✨

CovidSafe Plan and FAQ

Hello Main St Funk Family and welcome to Term 1 2021…we are so proud and happy to be here. After everything we overcame as a community last year, here we are, with arms open wide, ready to welcome you all back into our dancing home!

We are thrilled to see so many returning dancers enrolled and equally as excited to welcome many new faces, who will begin their dancing journey with MSF this year. 

In 2021, Main St Funk turns 15 and we are so excited to celebrate on the dance floor with you all.

CLASSES RESUME MONDAY, FEB 1ST.
But, before we get our dancing shoes on, there a few things you need to note.

COVIDSAFE PLAN
No, we aren’t out of the woods yet. The health and well-being of our community is priority and MSF is a covid safe studio. Enrolling, attending a class, or visiting our facility indicates that you agree to comply with our covidsafe procedures. Please ensure you read through it thoroughly so that you and your child know what to expect when attending our studio. 

The general gist of the covidsafe plan is:

  • Drop off ON TIME, dressed for class
  • Parents, don’t stay on-premise, unless your attendance is absolutely essential
  • Don’t bring anyone extra to the studio, if you can avoid it
  • Parents staying must sign in using QR code
  • Clean your hands before and after class
  • Stay away from the studio if you are unwell or have been advised to isolate.

Read the full covidsafe plan here: https://mainstfunk.com/2020/06/29/covidsafe-plan/

FAQ

As a new year of dance approaches, please see below a simple guide to all of your quick and easy questions. Of course, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the MSF team if you have more questions.

When do dance classes start back?
Main St Funk runs inline with the public school terms. Term 1 begins Monday, Feb 1st and finishes Thursday, April 1.

When are fees due and how can I pay?
Fees are due in the third week of each term and are payable by electronic transfer, cash or cheque. We do not have eftpos facilities at this stage and in this post-covid environment, we do prefer electronic payment (transfer). You will receive an invoice, via email, which will list your balance and the MSF bank details for payment. Please make sure you have added mainstfunk@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure you don’t miss our emails. 

What does my child need to wear?
To start with, just wear loose comfortable clothing that is easy to move in. eg: leggings and a t-shirt. Main St Funk Does have a uniform policy in place, however, we allow the first term as a grace period to give the students time to settle in and decide on their classes and to give their parents the opportunity to source good quality and affordable options. Please read our uniform policy here: https://mainstfunk.com/uniform-shoe-hair-requirements/

What kind of shoes are appropriate for dance class?
For hip hop, we recommend a supportive sneaker, similar to what the kids wear on sports days at school. Eventually, you will require plain black shoes for performances however these are not compulsory for weekly classes. If enrolled in ballet or jazz, you will need to buy the correct dance shoes from a dancewear store. These are also outlined in the uniform policy linked above. 

Do we need to bring anything else to class?
Yes, every child is required to bring a water bottle to each class. Please ensure this is filled up before class starts and is clearly labelled with your child’s name. If your child requires medication, eg. Asthma Puffer, please pack that in their dancing bag each week and if they are at the studio for a big block of classes, eg. 3 hours, feel free to pack a quick, healthy snack.

Where is the studio?
Main St Funk is located at factory number 6 at 13 Lydia Court Epping. We are tucked away behind the Epping Bunnings on Cooper St.

Where do we park our car?
There is ample parking available in Lydia Court and Taryn Drive. It is street parking only and parking is not permitted inside the complex or out the front of our studio. This is out of respect for our neighbors, who have not expressed permission to use their car spaces but more importantly for the safety of our students who walk up and down the thoroughfare to and from the studio.

What time should we get to the studio?
Aim to get to the studio 5 minutes before class starts. This will give you time to park, take your child to the toilet, fill up drink bottles, change shoes if needed and will help your child settle in. Arriving rushed or late can create an anxious and stressful situation for your child and may mean they miss out on important things at the beginning of class.

Can I sit and watch my child’s class?
In general, no, we don’t allow spectators in the studio during class as we find it to be disruptive for the children and teacher. We do however believe it is important that you know what happens in an MSF dance class and for you to be assured the class is suitable for your child, so we do allow you to sit and watch your child’s first class with Main St Funk. Please refrain from talking while the class is on and remember not to take any photos or videos during class. *Please check the covidsafe plan in regards to parents at the studio as this is updated regularly.*

Why can’t I take photos or videos of my child while they are in dance class?
Main St Funk has a strict “No Photos or Videos” policy. This is in line with our child safety code of conduct and copyright laws. We understand the importance of capturing special milestones so we encourage you to take photos of your child before and after class but never during. You agreed to our policies and procedures upon enrolling in our classes. Please have another read if you need to clarify anything: https://mainstfunk.com/code-of-conduct-child-safe-policy/

I’m not sure if my child wants to dance or what style of class they will like. Can they do a trial class?
Absolutely! Your first class with Main St Funk is always an obligation free trial. This means if they try the class and it’s not for them, you won’t be charged. We do still ask you to enrol online before your trial class. This helps us keep track of who is attending the studio and ensures you have secured a spot in your class of choice.

What happens if I or my child can’t make a class?
Main St Funk encourage full attendance where possible but understand that sometimes illness, school camp and holidays can get in the way. If you’re going to be absent, a courtesy email or text is appreciated. Please remember, missing lots of dance classes can cause stress and anxiety for the child who will need to work extra hard to catch up. Please avoid missing dance class where possible to ensure a more positive experience for your child and to help their confidence grow.

Do you offer make-up classes?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer make-up classes for missed lessons. Each of our classes are taught by different teachers and working on different lesson plans and choreography. We also find that attending a class time that is out of their ordinary routine, with a group of students they don’t know and a teacher they haven’t met, can actually end up being a stressful experience for the student and of little benefit to their progress.

Can I get a refund for missed classes?
Unfortunately, Main St Funk cannot offer a refund for occasional missed lessons. As our fees are all-inclusive, we charge the same amount per term regardless of the number of classes. In the event of an extended planned absence, i.e. a family holiday for 3 weeks or more, we can on occasion, adjust the fees. Please talk to the MSF team in advance of your planned, extended absence.

Do dance classes still run on super hot days?
Main St Funk do have a Hot Weather Policy in place. On days where the temperature is 38 degrees or above, classes will be cancelled. Students/Parents will be notified via text, email and social media at the earliest possible time. Makeup classes will be offered where possible, but refunds will not be available. On days where the temperature is 33 degrees or above, we will run modified classes appropriate for the heat. You can access the full policy here: https://mainstfunk.com/hot-weather-policy/

How do I get in touch with the MSF team if I have questions or concerns throughout the year?
You can send us an email, text or give us a call.

Remember to leave a voice message if we don’t get to the phone in time.

If you need to talk to us in person, just come up to the front desk if we are not teaching at the time. Otherwise, please call ahead to make an appropriate time to talk. Usually, your teacher will have classes either side of your child’s so they will not always be available to chat before or after your class. Please also refrain from contacting the MSF team on their personal Facebook or Instagram pages. If they are on social media, they are not at work.

E: mainstfunk@gmail.com PH: 0433220973 (Chloe)

Uh oh, the holidays got away from me and I haven’t signed up for any classes yet. Is it too late?
No, it’s not too late! Some of our classes are full but we do have lots of options still available. Enroll for your class of choice here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk

Are there any important dates or events I should know about?
Yes, Main St Funk students work towards a big end of year concert! We also hold a casual mid-year performance, one compulsory rehearsal and are often invited to perform at local community events. The dates + events page on our website is updated regularly and already lists our end of year concert and rehearsal dates. Check it out to stay organized: https://mainstfunk.com/dates-events/

Still, feeling nervous?
Have a read of our article “My Baby’s First Dance Class, What do I do?” for further hints and tips. Even if you are not a first-time dance parent, there are some great tips in there: https://mainstfunk.com/2019/01/23/my-babys-first-dance-class-what-do-i-do/

Want to stay in the loop?
Follow Main St Funk on social media for daily updates, sneak peeks, inspiration and friendships. Join our private Facebook group to stay in the know and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog.

www.facebook.com/mainstfunk
www.instagram.com/mainstfunk
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1904615593183306/

NOVEMBER 2020 – BACK TO DANCE INFO AND SURVEY!

Hello Dance Fam!

Finally, an email with some good news! We’ve taken a second to stop happy dancing and throwing confetti bombs to touch base with you all about our RETURN TO DANCE plan! Hooray!

In case you missed yesterday’s grand announcements, it was confirmed that dance studios like ours, will be able to re-open from Monday, November 9th. It took a few moments for the news to sink in, but then we got straight to work getting ready to throw open our doors and arms for you all in less than two weeks!

There’s still a bit to figure out, but here is how “Term 4 part 2” is shaping up:

  • This “block of classes” will run IN THE STUDIO for 6 weeks from November 9th – December 19th
  • We will have a covid safe plan in place.
    • We will need to adhere to the guidelines set out by the DHHS.
    • We are just waiting on further information to ensure we have all our ducks in a row before we release an update to the Covid safe plan we published back in July
  • There won’t be a concert or photo shoot.
    • With only 6 weeks to prepare and no certainty yet on easing of restrictions for performance venues, it’s not possible to hold a concert this year.
    • We know this may be disappointing, but it does give all us all the opportunity to ease back into dancing at our own pace, without the pressure of remembering choreography or performing in front of an audience.
    • Let’s all just relax, have fun, reconnect with our bodies and catch up with our dancing friends. While there is no concert, we do hope to make the end of year, fun, exciting and special for our dancers.
  • Fees
    • Our term fees usually include include weekly tuition, costumes, professional videography of the concerts and other theatre costs
    • We always strive to be as affordable as possible so we have a special fee structure for this block of 6 weeks, tuition only.
      • 1 hour classes: $80
      • 45 min classes: $65
      • 30 min classes: $50
    • Our normal discounts for families and students taking multiple classes will also apply:
      • Family with 2 classes: 10%
      • Family with 3 classes: 15%
      • Family with 4 classes: 20%
      • Family with 5+ classes: 25%
    • As you know 2020 has been tough for all, and as a small business who’s been closed for 7 months we have definitely felt it. You can help us by:
      • Paying your fees on-time
      • Paying early, if you’re able
      • Let us know your circumstances if you’re having trouble paying
  • Timetable & Return to Dance Survey
    • We are preparing a timetable that accommodates all of the covid safe practises required. Some classes will need to be capped (in line with government requirements) and some classes may be put on hold if numbers are low
    • Please help us plan the timetable by filling out our quick survey to let us know your dancing plans for the rest of this year. https://forms.gle/oxNVUbJU1UqydGNe8
    • We understand some circumstances have changed for some families and you may not be in a position to return to dance right now, please use this survey to touch base and let us know where you are at.
    • Lots of you filled out a similar survey back in June, please fill this one out anyway as it is slightly different and to let us know if your circumstances have changed. 
  • Enrollment
    • Enrollments will open ASAP once the timetable has been set.
    • Please note the survey is not an enrollment form, but priority re-enrollment will be given to those who fill out the survey so make sure you get your responses in quick!

For us, this has been a long time coming. The past 7 months have been gruelling. Not just from a small business standpoint but because dance and these kids are our absolute passions. For the past 14 years, we have poured our hearts and souls into dances, costumes, concerts, events, parties, photoshoots and these kids! And this year it was all, temporarily, taken away from us. 

To be honest, it still doesn’t feel real. It will feel real when we finally have our dancers back in our beautiful dancing home.

For the millionth time this year, thank you dance family for your continued support, patience, understanding and love during this terrible time. We are so thrilled to finally see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Kristie, Carla and Chloe xx

www.mainstfunk.com

www.facebook.com/mainstfunk

www.instagram.com/mainstfunk

mainstfunk@gmail.com

0433220973

The Forgotten Industry

Dance studios around Australia felt the sting of Covid-19 before their year had even started. 

Parents were calling in “We will be staying away until this dies down.” Parents who had family overseas were warning us, “it’s worse than they’re letting on.” 

As an industry that is forever ahead of the times, dance principals and dance teachers put their heads together and devised communication templates, cleaning strategies and covidsafe plans! Yes!! Dance schools across Australia had implanted Covidsafe plans before they were even a thing. But it was mid-March when despite our best efforts, anxiety in the community was at an all-time high. There was no government directive regarding dance schools but there was advise issued byThe Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to parents. “Consider whether your child/young person’s out-of-school activities are essential”  

This saw classes that originally had up to 20 students, dwindle down to 2-3 dancers as parents made the responsible decision to practice social distancing and stay home. 

My sisters and I, who have owned our dance school for 14 years, all agreed that it did not feel right to keep our doors open. We, like always, had a responsibility to our students and our wider community. We needed to lead by example, set the expectation and temporarily close our doors to do our part, in keeping our community safe. 

Days later, it was confirmed we’d made the right decision when it was announced that all non-essential businesses were to close. We still cried though. We cried for our students, predominantly children, who were about to have everything they’ve ever known and understood taken away from them, we cried for our colleagues in the dance industry and we cried for every small business owner because we were sharing in their pain. We were comforted, knowing that “we are all in this together”. We were reassured that this was temporary and while we knew things would be hard financially, we had confidence in our government who had talked up small business grants and payments. 

Well, fast forward to 6 months later. We are still here, feeling like this is very much the opposite of temporary AND with little to no financial help from the government. Each dance studio’s situation is different, but for us, we didn’t qualify for ANY grants and our inbox is a chain of rejection emails. This is because, like most dance schools, we don’t have any employees, we employ contractors. As a partnership of three people, we did qualify for job keeper but for only one of us. That’s right, only one of us gets to take home a wage. 

Recently a new grant was announced. A $3000 payment for sole traders with commercial property. While this is a step in the right direction, $3000 is laughable. $3000 barely covers the cost of one month’s rent. Our small business has lost 90percent of our revenue, so far this year and 92percent of our fellow studio owners have reported that they are worried their business won’t survive to see March 2021. $3000 is simply not enough for us to survive. 

As soon as the restrictions hit, the dance industry adapted and took to online platforms, offering dance classes to their students and the wider community. It was an effort to keep dancers active, connected to their community and friends and of course to generate some sort of income. With many parents having lost jobs or endured pay cuts, dance school’s around Victoria dropped their prices dramatically hoping to keep some families on board. It wasn’t just the cost of classes that deterred many, usually very keen dancers, away from online dancing. Many parents expressed that their children were experiencing fatigue, they were spending hours a day online for school and needed to step away from the screens. Many still felt disconnected, that it just “isn’t the same” and others were simply overwhelmed with technology. Our school had less than a quarter of its students enrol into online classes into term 3. 

Just as an added kick in the guts to dance teaching professionals, the Victorian Government, after providing no financial support to our industry, started offering FREE dance and other fitness classes online as a “commitment to help keep Victorians active and healthy.” Even though, our industry of professionals has been committed to keeping Victorians active and healthy in lockdown since day 1 of the restrictions. This initiative is completely tone-deaf, and many dance teachers were left in shock. Not only do we not have any support from our government, but they are now competing for our clients. With no financial assistance, we can only rely on our paying students and who would pay for a service that is being provided for free? We are sure, the Victorian Government wouldn’t stand out the front of a local café and start handing out coffee for free, so how is this ok? 

Back in January, when our country was absolutely rattled by the bushfires, dance studios around Australia stepped up. Classes, workshops, and performances were put together as fundraising events and it was the arts and dancing communities that are now being neglected, that were so eager to help. Our dance school alone raised close to $1000 for the Bushfire Appeal. Each year dance schools contribute to The Good Friday Appeal, Red Nose Day, Ronald McDonald House Charities and more. Every year our school runs a Mother’s Day drive, collecting and donating essentials to the St Kilda Mums organisation as well as collecting and donating warm winter clothing to the Big Group Hug. We are a body of people who continue to volunteer our time, resources, and energy to others in need and they are the kinds of people we are raising on our dance floors. Now we are the ones in need and the Victorian Government is turning a blind eye.

As they say, “the show must go on!” Our dance industry is determined to open our doors again because our students need the connection and the community that we provide. They need the activity, the chance for self-expression and they need the opportunity to continue developing their art. Our latest hurdle is getting on the map, the roadmap out of lockdown. 

Yesterday it was announced and then almost immediately retracted, that dance studios do in fact fall under the “creative studios” banner. This means dance schools across regional Victoria could open, with restrictions, immediately and dance schools in metro Melbourne were set to open October 26. But the premier reconsidered in just matter of hours and decided that no, dance schools, where creativity lives and breathes, are not considered a creative studio. What is a creative studio then? Apparently, it is a deathly quiet, empty dance school where just one, professional dancer can attend. This makes absolutely no sense. It is extremely rare that a professional dancer would be rehearsing on their own with majority of performances opportunities including a choreographer, director and other dancers at the very least. On top of this, gigs, performances and events aren’t even running under the current restrictions! So what is this lonely, professional dancer rehearsing for in their big empty space? 

Currently dance schools are considered “Physical Indoor Recreation Facilities.” Which pushes us further back on the roadmap. It means kids will be able to tackle each other on the footy field, they will be able to share playground equipment and push each other down the slide, they will be able to sit side by side at their school desks, all before they can dance, 1.5m apart without touching another student. When students return to their classrooms, they will also return to dance class within their school’s curriculum. Apparently, dance class is safe during school hours, but not after. 

Dance schools are run by professionally trained, experienced individuals whose priority, even before this pandemic, was to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their students. Dance studios are equipped to provide classes in a covidsafe environment with covidsafe plans having been prepared and been in place before it was a government directive to do so. Dance teachers have taught social distancing before it even had a title, teaching spacial and body awareness to dancers from their very first dance class in an environment that is structured, right from the minute you walk through the door. 

Our industry is on the brink of collapse with many dance studio owners terrified they are about to lose their life’s work. These are not passion projects or hobby jobs. These are businesses that work to provide incomes, put food on the table and contribute 300 million dollars a year to the Victorian economy. On top of that, they provide a safe space, make a difference in the lives of young students, and bring communities together. 

The dance industry is not asking for special treatment or exemptions. We are simply asking for the same respect and understanding that has been shown to other small businesses during this time. We need the government to acknowledge the significance of our sector and to step up and do their part to ensure we make it to the other side of this pandemic. We are constantly told, “we are all in the same boat” which might be true, but dance school owners are riding a very different, terrifying storm, on their own. 

NOW WHAT? Please sign the petition in support of your local dance schools: http://chng.it/sz4bmxDp4M

By Chloe Jobson – Co-Owner of Main St Funk Dance School 

chloe_jobson@hotmail.com

mainstfunk@gmail.com

www.mainstfunk.com

www.facebook.com/mainstfunk

www.instagram.com/mainstfunk

0433220973

Term 4 Part 1 – Online

Hi Dance Fam,

Well, here we are again, checking in with you through the power of technology and not in person as we would so love to do. We know we start most emails with “We hope you are well.” Please know this is not said in vain and we genuinely hope our dancing community are safe, healthy, happy and finding little sparks of joy each day in lockdown. Never have we ever had to spend so much time away from our studio and please know, when we say studio we mean the people in it. It’s you we miss so much.

The online classes we have been providing have been a silver lining. Being able to see our smiling students working hard and doing what they love as well as keeping our community connected is what has given us the ability to just keep going. And, of course, your involvement not only means the continued support of our dancer’s physical and emotional wellbeing, but it also supports our small business and will help ensure we will make it to the other side of this pandemic.

Sadly, at this stage we still don’t have a “return to dance” date but we project we will be dancing from home for at least the first 4 weeks of term 4. So, let’s keep zooming on and dance from our lounge rooms once again. Join us for another 4 weeks of online fun and learning starting Thursday, October 8th and Saturday, October 10th. 

PLEASE NOTE:

  • If you are currently enrolled in our online classes, you will need to re-enrol for this next block of classes
  • If you haven’t been participating in our online classes, but would like to give it a go you are more than welcome to. We will be starting fresh routines and may even change the teachers up so no one will feel behind.

WHAT WE’VE LOVED ABOUT TERM 3:

  • We have had so many MSF kids, from all age groups get involved. It has been such a positive and energetic atmosphere, even through our screens.
  • Our condensed timetable makes it simple and easy for families. 
  • Having classes on a Saturday has worked well for students who are homeschooling and need a break from screens and learning at the end of the school day.
  • Our back to back classes keeps younger students engaged and keep the momentum going.
  • Our  “package price” means you/your family can take as many classes as you like (within your age group) for the one price.
  • See timetable and fees attached.

How it will work

  • Classes will once again be delivered online via a program called Zoom
  • The MSF teachers will lead the class and students can watch, participate and interact.
  • Classes are shorter than our studio classes to suit the at-home format
  • The movements and steps will be tailored to a smaller space.
  • We will work on some choreography over the course of the term, but we won’t be planning for concert routines at this stage- just practising and enjoying the skill of learning choreography
  • We know these can’t replicate the in-person classes you’re used to, but they’re designed to keep you dancing, progressing, thinking and MOVING as much as we can in these imperfect circumstances.

To participate, you will need:

  • Some clear, safe floor space to spread out, such as a lounge room. You might need to move furniture out of the way. Choose a “public” area of the house for supervision eg: not their bedroom.
  • A computer, tablet or phone, suitable for video calls. 
  • An HDMI cord is helpful to connect smaller screens to a larger tv screen or monitor.
  • Ballet students would benefit from access to a wall, chair or kitchen bench to use as a barre
  • Your MSF uniform and a drink bottle – to get you in the right mindset for class.

Timetable and Pricing

  • The timetable and pricing is different from our usual in-studio timetable- see attached
  • We’ve designed it to enable students to take multiple classes, even if they don’t normally, as we know lots of other activities have been cancelled or scaled back.
  • Feel free to enrol in any or all classes for your age group.
  • We have made a decision not to offer acrobatics in this format, but we encourage acro students to take a ballet/jazz class to keep progressing their foundation technique
  • We have been as generous as we possibly can in discounting fees for Term 4, as we’d love to see as many MSF kids as possible enjoying dance over this time, particularly for families with multiple children.
  • We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different, and there is a lot of pressure on families at the moment.
  • As a small business, we are experiencing the uncertainty first hand- there is a very real pressure to remain afloat during this time. For this reason, we respectfully ask that you ensure your fees are paid by the due date to confirm your ongoing enrolment.
  • If you’re unable to participate during this time we understand! We encourage you to keep utilizing the free practice videos and activities we’ve provided and just dance if and when and however you can.

What Next?

  • Classes will commence Thursday, October 8 and Saturday, October 10.
  • Enrolment will work the same as it does for our studio classes
    • Log on to the parent portal here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk
    • Enrol in any or all classes for your age group by clicking “Register for Classes”
    • We will send you an invoice which is payable via electronic transfer. MSF’s bank details will be listed on the invoice.
    • To access your class, log on to the parent portal 5 minutes before class.
    • Click the video camera icon underneath “Todays Schedule”
    • Students participating in back to back classes will only need to log in once.
    • More detailed instructions and a visual guide can be found here: https://mainstfunk.com/2020/04/25/how-to-enrol-and-access-your-online-dance-class/

On the 21st of September, it will mark 6 months since we announced that our doors would close temporarily due to covid-19. With the exception of one week in June when we got to see a handful of online students at the studio, we really had no idea of the huge impact this crisis would have on our dance school. For those who have been following our story on social media, you will know that we, along with majority in the dance education industry, have not qualified for ANY financial assistance from the government while we continue to pay for our beautiful dancing home and all its overheads. 

We do remain positive that Main St Funk will open it’s doors again in 2020 and that we will return to a busy, buzzing and happy studio full of our crazy and quirky MSF kids. There is one sure-fire way to show your support and help us make that happen and that’s to enrol in our online classes. Your kids need dance and we need your kids. We are all in this together.

SEE YOU ONLINE! 

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch. We LOVE hearing from you.

The MSF Team (Kristie, Carla and Chloe)

mainstfunk@gmail.com

Chloe: 0433220973

Help Save Our World.

We ALL know that this year has been anything but rainbows and butterflies. Small, and even medium and big, businesses are feeling the brunt of this global crisis.

We know that our small, suburban, family-run dance school, is just one tiny speck in our big giant planet that is currently crashing and burning. 

But the thing is, those four walls in Epping, those mirrors, that barre, the staircase and the mezzanine that we fought so hard for, the pictures your kids drew for us that are stuck up on the wall and THEM, their smiley faces, their laughs, their tears….those things are our world. Our whole world.

This is not just business for us. This is where our own kids dance. Where 14-year-old Chloe discovered a passion for teaching and eventually became “co-principal” alongside Kristie and Carla. This is where we watch our students work hard and turn into assistant teachers and then teachers themselves. This is where Nakarin felt at home. And where we celebrated his Australian citizenship. We’ve helped write resumes and provided reference letters. We’ve given advice and taken it too. We’ve celebrated all of your success and we’ve felt all of your loss. We’ve announced babies and engagements here and we’ve cried tears of joy and tears of angst too. We’ve cheered for every milestone and cheered for every milestone that was just missed. This is where we show up after the longest and hardest days and let it all go. This is where we feed our children, where we chuck our dinner in the microwave and get on with it, where we do homework, where our family shows up unannounced, where our family shows up when we need them. It’s where we have quiet cups of teas and loud, passionate “discussions ” too. Where we catch up with friends because our work and social life are all intertwined. This dance school is so much more than a small business. For one thing, it is HUGE in purpose and impact. It’s our whole world. And we hope,  at least a big part of yours or your child’s world. 

In term 1 2020, we opened our doors to our anticipated biggest year ever. MSF was thriving. Classes were full, the parent lounge wall to wall with happy, chatty, parents and kids. We felt like a full-time call centre because our phone was constantly buzzing and if we weren’t answering calls, we were replying to emails. 

Numbers were never important to us but, we did celebrate when we reached an incredible 300. 300 enthusiastic boys and girls of all ages were filling our world with even more dance and even more purpose. 

Then covid hit and in that last week, before the restrictions were announced, the studio felt eerily quiet. Not the calm before the storm but the quiet after. 

In term 2, like many dance schools and with little choice, we moved online. 85 students joined us on zoom to trial our classes and 62 enrolled…

The prospect of term 3 returning to face-to-face classes was exciting! We had held out hope that our dance family would come back to us and we were right. We had 200 kids ready to return to dance and a huge number who were waiting in the wings, riding out the wave. Then lockdown 2.0 came crashing in like a tsunami.

It’s now time for us to resume online classes and so far we have 30…30, important, special, valued individuals who will join us for class online. Just 10percent of our term 1 family.  This is the smallest student base we have ever had. Even smaller than our first year back in 2007.  

Dance family, we need you now more than ever.

The simplest way to support our dance school is to enrol into our online classes if you can afford it. This way, you are also supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of your child and their dance progression. Not only will you be making a small financial contribution to our school but you will be helping our community to stay connected, to stay as one.

However;

We know that the structure of online learning does not suit everyone. If it’s not for your child or they are not interested, we understand. We don’t want to pressure them into doing something they don’t want to do.

We know that an overwhelming majority of our families are experiencing some form of income loss or employment loss. We don’t want you to spend money on dance classes if you can not afford to. 

What we don’t know is how far will we get, without the continued support from YOU our big, extended dance family.

So, if you won’t be continuing your dancing online, there are other ways you can show your support and help us see through this crisis to the other side.

  • Please follow and keep engaged with our Facebook and Instagram pages.
  • Please share our post about online classes (or any of our social media posts) on your Facebook and Instagram pages
  • Tag people who you think might be interested in online dancing
  • Tag people who might be interested in dancing at the studio when this is all over
  • Leave a review on our Google or Facebook page 
  • Upload a photo of you/your kids at an MSF event 

These gestures might seem small but they will make a huge difference to us. We are so grateful to every single MSF student and parent. Whether you’ve danced all the way through iso or we haven’t seen you since term 1. Even if you’ve just been keeping up to date with our emails, we are thankful. Hey, if you’ve come this far on the longest social media post ever, that says a lot!! 

We said in a recent email, this year has been a rollercoaster. And it has, but one that has broken down right before the free fall and left us hanging. Stomach-churning, heart in our throat, we are just hanging out here looking out over the world. OUR world and that’s you, our dance fam. 🧡

With lots of love, we hope to see you on the dance floor soon.

The MSF Sisters,

Kristie, Carla and Chloe. xx