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June 1, 2020

Dear Maine State Ballet Families,

 

Here is an update on June Open Ballet Classes:

 

As of yesterday, we registered with the Maine CDC under the classification of “Day Camp and Summer Recreation Programs.”  This designation allows us to begin re-opening dance classes as of June 1st by agreeing to follow the Maine CDC’s safety standards.  We were not expecting this good news.  However, for the safety of our staff and dancers we will proceed with caution in reopening the dancing school through a hybrid “Zoom  /  In person” approach as described below.

 

The hybrid approach:  All of our June Open Ballet classes will remain live on Zoom.  We will also now allow a limited number of registered students from each class into the building to dance in person during these live Zoom sessions at their scheduled time.  Dancers will be rotated to allow for as many dancers to come in person as possible.  Late registrants will still be considered to fill in any gaps in the schedule.  To register, go to the Summer Workshops page.

 

Here are some specific precautions we are taking in tandem with and in addition to Maine CDC guidelines.  These remain in place through June.  Very Young Dancer Workshop and Pre-Intensive Workshop are currently online only. 

IN BUILDING

  • Wearing of face coverings by all Staff, dancers and dance teachers

  • Providing hand sanitizer and tissues

  • Using only our 2 largest dance rooms (both rooms are over 2000 sq. feet) with approximately 4 dancers at a time in room 5, and 8 dancers in the theater

  • Limiting exertion rates for dancers

  • Dancers bringing their own drinking water, hand sanitizer, tissues, face coverings, small snack if needed, and coming dressed in dance clothes (dressing rooms are closed)

  • Recording daily attendance for follow up purposes in case anyone comes down with symptoms

  • One person per ballet barre

  • One person at a time per bathroom

  • All doors in the building are to be propped open to avoid touching of common door handles (weather permitting for the outside entrance door)

  • Room AC always off during class time (some fans may be placed in outside door blowing outside)

  • Water fountain closed

  • Daily cleaning / disinfecting of public areas including barres, bathrooms, etc.

PARENTS

   

  • Please drop off and pickup up your dancers at the front door (for now we are asking that parents avoid coming into the building to sit down and wait); parents can wait in the parking lot or return later for pickup

  • All payments are to be online or by sending in a check (no in person payments please) until further notice

  • Limited apparel including dance shoes, leotards, etc. by appointment and no selling of snacks or water until further notice

 

We look forward to a slow, safe and cautious re-opening of Maine State Ballet’s school.

 

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Davis, School Director

May 6, 2020

  

Dear Maine State Ballet Family,

 

On behalf of the Maine State Ballet Board of Directors and staff, I want to reach out personally and let you know our decisions regarding Spring Recital and Summer Workshops.

 

First of all, we love and miss you.  You have been supportive and encouraging in our mission “to uplift the Maine community through dance” in these challenging times.

 

Our top priority has always been people – our staff, dancers and families.  So making the decision early on to continue paying our staff, while offering online classes free of charge, was an easy one.


After reviewing Governor Mills’ guidelines for the re-opening of Maine economy, and in consultation with teachers and staff, Maine State Ballet has decided to make the probably not surprising, but still difficult decision to cancel Spring Recital 2020.  While this greatly saddens us, we anticipate a phased re-opening of Maine State Ballet and of trying to hold some of our Summer Workshops in a safe and limited fashion.  More on this in another email.

 

What Spring Recital cancelation means for you:

 

If you pre-paid April/May tuition, you may:

 

  • Ask for a refund;

  • Use it as future summer or fall tuition credit; OR

  • Make a tax-deductible donation to Maine State Ballet, as some of you have already graciously offered.

 

If you still owe some tuition through the end of March:

 

  • Please pay it as soon as you are able. If you are financially stressed at this time, please let us know.

 

Regarding recital costumes:

 

  • The money you paid for recital costumes was used to purchase costumes in December in anticipation of holding a Spring Recital.  The collective amount is over $30,000.

  • Even though recital is canceled due to the pandemic, these costumes are yours and are available for pickup when we can safely open again.

  • If most of us (including my family) are able to refrain from asking for a recital costume refund, Maine State Ballet will avoid more drastic staffing decisions and a lot of financial stress.  Our shared sacrifice in this matter may well be a significant factor in carrying Maine State Ballet through the worst (economic) part of this ordeal.

 

Thankfully our financial situation is fairly stable.  This is mostly due to careful planning and budgeting through the years, but also significant help from our volunteers and your generous support.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know.  We look forward to seeing you again.  Please be safe and take care.

 

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Davis, School Director

March 25, 2020

Dear Maine State Ballet Family,

On behalf of the Maine State Ballet staff and Board of Directors we hope you are well.

Through the years, Maine State Ballet’s top priority has been taking care of our people – staff, dancers, our families and the greater community.  This is reflected in our mission “to uplift the Maine community through the medium of dance.”

With this foundation the decisions we make are relatively simple, even in world crisis.  While this is a difficult financial time for us as a non-profit, we are going to be a part of the shared sacrifice to combat the virus.

Here is what we are going to do:

  • Suspend April and May’s tuition charges until further notice, pending a change in the situation.  We are hoping to be able to salvage the end of the school year in late spring/early summer with some sort of recital, but this is obviously up in the air.

  • Continue to provide free “Dance from a Distance” online classes.  It will be LIVE on Maine State Ballet’s Instagram and eventually saved to YouTube for later viewing.  We will send a weekly schedule in advance.

  • Summer Workshops - June and early July’s “Very Young Dancer,” “Ballet Pre-Intensive” and “Musical Theater” workshops MAY have to be pushed to early-mid August.                    “Ballet Intensive” workshop dates in July/early August are tentatively still on.

 

We hope this plan will help ease some of your financial and other concerns, and provide for your dancers’ emotional and physical well-being.  Please hang in there and stick with us.  We will all get through this together!

And Maine State Ballet promises to be here for you when this worldwide crisis comes to a close.

Be safe and well.

Kind regards,

Glenn Davis, School Director

March 14, 2020

Dear Maine State Ballet Family,

 

After discussion and consultation with our board of directors and full-time staff over the last 48 hours, we have decided to implement the next level in our plan of action regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

As of Monday 3/16, we are canceling dance classes for the next three weeks.  We will do this by moving April break to next week, and using our remaining two weeks of planned snow cancelations for the following next two weeks.  Classes would resume Monday April 6th and continue straight through to our Spring Recital (without a spring break) on May 15th and 16th.

 

This will put Tuesday and Thursday classes over our limit of snow cancelations (see below for an explanation).

 

Assuming we can hold Spring Recital at Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center on May 15-16, this plan will work.  If for reasons beyond our control (pandemic worsens, Westbrook closes their auditorium, etc…), we have other performance venue options available including our own theater here at Maine State Ballet.

 

If the pandemic worsens, other options include opening even later in the spring and moving recital to June.  A worst-case scenario would be a cancelation of all dance classes and Spring Recital for the remainder of the school year.

 

We thank you for your continued support of Maine State Ballet.  We look forward with hope of reopening and celebrating a recital with your wonderful dancers in the spring.  We’ve been around for over 100 years and have weathered many things throughout our nation’s history.  We will be back to continue our mission of uplifting the Maine community through dance.

 

Full-time staff will be in the building during this hiatus for any of your questions.  Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Davis, School Director

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Get in Touch

348 U.S. Route One 

Falmouth, ME  04105

Phone:  207-781-7672

Box Office:  207-781-3587

info@mainestateballet.org

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