Avoid the “Studio Flu” with Proper Acro-Class Hygiene
By Lisa Claydon of Acrobatique AcroDance
The cold and flu season can feel like the plague in your dance studio – one student gets sick, then their whole class gets sick, and then the whole studio gets sick.
While some element of “studio sickness” is inevitable, there are absolutely things you can do to drastically reduce the spread. Not only will this mean less students get sick and miss class; parents will appreciate your initiative in keeping their kids healthy – it’s good business!
Read on for my two favorite ways to keep the germs at bay:
#1: Clean SMART
Maybe you clean your studio, or have parent volunteers, or hire someone to do the job. Either way, you and your cleaner should have a discussion and think about what needs to be cleaned besides the standard floors and mirrors…
- Sound system controls
- Preschooler props
- Wall space used for acro drills
- And the big one: MATS
Think about how many hands and feet touch each of these items every day – you don’t want to skim over them during cleaning time.
In fact, I make it a routine for my students to clean as they go. For example, at the end of each class, my students know to grab a disinfectant wipe and quickly wipe down the mat they were working on that day – it takes about two minutes of class time.
#2: Have Sick Student Protocol
When sickness does spread: your students, their parents, and your staff should know how to handle it.
For example, maybe a student with a sore throat can participate in acro class, but needs to sit out of partnering; a cough means they sit in their own space for the entire class and take notes; flu-like symptoms means stay home from dance.
Especially when so many dancers have perfectionist-tendencies and would rather take class sick than sit out or stay home, it’s our job to tell them “we want you to rest so you can feel better and get back to training faster.” Sure, it’s not ideal to have one student miss a night of classes, but I would personally much rather have a student with the flu stay home, than have them come to class and spread it to myself and all their peers. So be confident in your approach, and have a happy and healthy dance year!
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