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

10 Tips To Help You/Your Child Get The Most Out of Zoom Dance Classes.

 
1. SPACE: Make sure you have set up a clear space, free from distractions and safety hazards. This means you might need to push coffee tables and couches back.
 
2. TIDY UP: A cluttered learning space creates a cluttered mind and can cause poor focus and poor concentration.
 
3. TURN THE HEATER OFF: Having the heater on during dance class will dehydrate the body and can cause headaches and nausea during class. If it’s cold, start class with a jumper on and take it off after warm-up. Have a water bottle nearby.
 
4. DON’T MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR: Parents should be close by to supervise but shouldn’t be involved beyond helping set up. Siblings and family members sitting around watching, offering input/feedback, or trying to participate can be distracting for the student and diminish their confidence.
 
5. GET OUT OF YOUR ISO CLOTHES: Put your dance uniform on and the correct footwear. Tie your hair back and splash some water on your face to refresh and wake up. Get out of “slouch mode” by rolling the shoulders back and making a conscious effort to stand up tall. Look like a dancer, feel like a dancer, act as a dancer.
 
6. DO YOUR OWN WARM UP BEFORE CLASS: Everybody’s body needs something different right now. If you’ve been experiencing stiff or sore muscles from spending more time on the couch, you may need to take extra time to ensure your body is ready for class. This will also help you get in the right frame of mind for dance class.
 
7. ELIMINATE REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR DANCE AREA: Go to the toilet and have a snack before class. Have your water bottle full and nearby.
 
8. ELEVATE YOUR SCREEN: If you need to continuously look down at your device to see the teacher, you are practicing poor posture and will develop bad habits that can cause injury over time. If watching an iPad or laptop, elevate these to eye level or above. Shelving, stands or a pile of books can help with this OR use an HDMI cord to connect your device to a large tv screen. If using an iPad or MAC you may need an adapter.
 
9. BE EARLY: Sign-in and set up 5-10 minutes before class to allow for technology hiccups, forgotten passwords, etc. It is especially hard to jump into a dance class late, remotely.
 
10. BE AS CLOSE TO YOUR INTERNET MODEM AS POSSIBLE: To help with internet speed. Ask family members to refrain from using the internet/downloads during your class time (it’s only 30-45 minutes!) A wifi extender may be helpful if you are struggling with lagging.
 
And a bonus one…
 
11. BE PATIENT: This set up is not perfect or seamless but we are all, including you, trying our best. Be patient with technology, it is out of your control. Be patient with your internet, it is in demand more than ever. Be patient with your teachers, this is new for them too and most importantly, be patient with yourself. You have gone weeks without dance class and it will take time to get back to where you were. You are also likely facing more challenges and more distractions than you ever have before. Your body and mind are understandably exhausted from all the change and setbacks you have endured. Keep trying your best and know that it’s ok if your best is not where you want it to be right now. We promise to be patient with you too. 🧡

The Benefits of Online Dance Classes

Well, with nearly all of us confined to our houses, I bet you are just about sick of hearing about online subscriptions, at-home workouts, and “our response to covid-19”. But, I am going to test your patience here and keep talking to you about online dance classes. I know I am on thin ice but don’t worry, I promise not to mention the words “unprecedented times”…

Last week Main St Funk announced the launch of our brand new online dance program “MSF Live Online”.  As far as small-businesses-adapting-and-moving-to-the online-platform-during-a global-pandemic goes, you could say that we were a little late to the party. This is because we wanted to be sure this was the right move for our students and for our business. We wanted to be sure we could deliver an online dance program that was safe, effective, worthy of your time and money, and mirrors the culture and community of our school. 

Whilst we have had a lot of interest and support from our community, we also know, that with the current information overload we are all experiencing, we wouldn’t blame you if you briefly glanced at the information about online classes and thought “ugh, this all too hard.” We can understand why you might feel overwhelmed and under enthused about adapting and changing yet another aspect of yours and your child’s life. Trust us when we say we understand and that we feel exactly the same way. We even considered for a minute, not offering online classes and instead, waiting out this storm and returning to the studio to teach when it was safe to do so. 

When we decided to push aside our own doubts and fears, which were mostly personal and not related to the school (so likely what you are feeling now) we explored what the benefits of providing online classes would be. Yes, for us as a business but mostly how we would be impacting our community. So if you’re unsure, just like we were, about pursuing a dance education online, here are just a few reasons to give it a go.

 

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: This one is the most obvious and probably doesn’t need to be said but exercise and staying active is important for not only physical health but mental health and emotional wellbeing too. The department of health recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children aged 5-17 years of age. We know lots of our students usually participate in weekly swimming lessons, sport games, and training, gymnastics, and P.E class at school, all on top of their weekly dance classes. Children who are usually so active will need to maintain as much as their routine exercise as they can to ensure they don’t lose their fitness or skills.
  • A SENSE OF NORMALITY AND ROUTINE: Children thrive off routine and structure and in fact, so do many adults. Whilst in isolation, it’s important to maintain as much structure as possible, and scheduling your usual weekly dance class will help with this. You may also find when the social distancing directives are lifted and we can return to the studio, that your child is more mentally prepared to return to dance class then they would be if they had spent months not participating in a class.
  • IT ENSURES THEY WON’T FALL BEHIND: While Main St Funk won’t be working on concert work, we will continue to build on our technique, skills, musicality, and confidence. Dancers are known for their determination and work ethic. They owe it to themselves to not only continue with their growth and improvement but to also maintain the skillset they have already built. Not participating in the class does not only mean they miss out on “what’s next” but an extended period of time without dance can mean a loss of strength, flexibility, and technique. Just think how you feel when you miss a week or 2 of going to the gym.
  • THEY WILL FEEL CONFIDENT RETURNING TO CLASS: Missing class for an extended period of time can dampen confidence and self-esteem. Returning to the studio after weeks or months of not dancing can be daunting or stressful. If your child participates in online classes they will feel ready to return to the studio, knowing that they haven’t missed out.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE ADAPTABLE: It is such an important life skill to be able to say “the show will go on!” when life throws you a curveball. Our students will come out of this situation strong, versatile, and adaptable, knowing that there is always a plan B.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN LEARNING: What a great opportunity to take ownership of their motivation and energy. Dragging yourself off the couch and switching from “free time mode” to “dance mode” takes real strength. Being a self-motivator is a great skill to have and one that builds up over time. After this experience, your child will be further motivated to practice dancing at home because they are familiar, comfortable, and well-practiced in doing so.
  • IT KEEPS THEM CONNECTED: We hold a strong reputation for the community and family feel that runs throughout our school. Every student is valued, special, and is an important member of our dancing family. The friendships created in the studio are their own kind of special. Dialing into class each week will help your child feel connected to our community, will further develop their sense of belonging, and will help them maintain the beautiful friendships they have built at dancing as well as their relationship with their dancing teacher.
  • DANCING IS THEIR HAPPY PLACE: Dancing brings joy! Our students have already sacrificed so much of what makes them happy already, birthday parties, school, seeing friends, visiting family and grandparents, trips to the movies… by providing online dance classes we are ensuring there is just one less thing they have to give up. We hope that not only will we be assisting in continue your child’s growth and education, but that we will be supporting their happiness too.

 

It is hard to believe that we ever considered not offering online dance classes as an option when the benefits of doing so are undeniable. In this trying time, offering online dance classes at an affordable, discounted rate is our way of supporting our community and our students. We understand that you might find this new concept a little overwhelming, so we are here to help you through it. If you have any questions or need help setting up your tech or dance space. Please get in touch so that we can continue to support you and your children. Dancing is our happy place and that doesn’t have to change. The studio may be closed but our school is still open! We are working harder than ever to keep delivering the joy of dance.

To sign up to an obligation free trial class of our online classes, click here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk

P.S We know that participating in our online classes will not be a possibility for all of our students. If you just read this blog and are now worried because your child will be missing out, don’t worry! We understand and we haven’t forgotten you. We have a series of free pre-recorded practice videos available on Vimeo and we will continue to keep your child engaged with free and fun online activities. There are benefits in taking time off too, so please make a decision that is best for your family. We look forward to welcoming you back to class at the studio, with open arms, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Dancing with Summer

Attention all little MSF kids with itchy feet and ants in their pants…

Our gorgeous and clever assistant teacher Summer (who is only 11 years old!!!) has created an online dance tutorial just for you!
This class is suitable for all Petite, Mini, and Tiny dancers.

We recommend setting it up on the tv or a large PC screen, making sure your dancer has lots of space and we encourage mums, dads, and siblings, to join in too.

We would love to show Summer some photos or videos of the MSF kids taking her class so please send them through OR why not write Summer a thank-you letter or draw her a picture.

We are so very lucky to have such clever, innovative and thoughtful students like Summer, a dance teacher in the making!

P.S Please note the youtube links are set to “private” so you will not be able to search for these videos on Youtube. Make sure you save the links in case your little dancer wants to dance with Summer again and again.

Have fun everyone! xx

 

EPISODE 1 – BALLET PART 1: https://youtu.be/XG3BxugIDSo
EPISODE 2 – BALLET PART 2: https://youtu.be/Ox1kZg6iz-E
EPISODE 3 – HIP HOP PART 1: https://youtu.be/7QPL7p4d3k4
EPISODE 4 – HIP HOP PART 2: https://youtu.be/G1Dj1J2rRsc

Active April

Hi Dance Fam,

We hope you are well and staying safe (and sane!) and are adjusting to our new normal.

As promised, we have a range of activities planned to help keep The MSF kids active, engaged and dancing away the boredom.

Please find attached our Active April calendar. There is a different challenge or activity planned for every day of the month!

Feel free to print it out and get the whole family involved.

We would love to see your kids having a blast and trying new things so please take photos and videos and tag us when posting to Facebook, Instagram, and your stories, using the tag @mainstfunk #MSFathome. If you don’t have social media, please feel free to email us instead.

The first challenge is “re-design the MSF t-shirt.” Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox for a t-shirt template coming your way.

This is just the beginning, we have MUCH more planned and while we are missing our gorgeous students, we are excited to stay connected with you all and to keep the fun going.

Dancing is our happy place and with the studio temporarily closed, that does not have to change.

Keep dancing dance fam, keep in touch and keep looking after each other.

The MSF Team xx

www.mainstfunk.com
www.facebook.com/mainstfunk
www.instagram.com/mainstfunk
mainstfunk@gmail.com
#MSFathome

MAIN ST FUNK AT HOME (1)

How To Maintain a Structured Day in Isolation – With Your Children.

It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed with this “new normal” business. 😅

Try to keep a structured routine for you and your kids and fill your day with fun, learning, and adventure. Their curious minds need stimulation and a challenge. 💪🏻

Remember quality over quantity. It is stressful times for children too and they do need to maintain a little bit of structure. What they really need is lots of hugs, books to read, family movie time and something to look forward to each day. 🧡

MAINTAIN A STRUCTURED DAY IN ISOLATION WITH YOUR CHILDREN (1)