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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

We are coming to the end of our first block, post lockdown, and we have loved welcoming our dancers old and new back into the studio and back into classes! With such a long break it was inevitable that there would be some first day back nerves. We knew, having been away for so long, that coming back would be a little different and we have definitely seen the effects of lockdown on our dancers.  
For those who got over their nerves and got into class and started moving again the buzz and excitement of being back to dance life was so rewarding to watch but we have also seen many dancers, from our tinies to our seniors, lose their confidence. For some, it took a little time to get back into the swing of things and some haven’t made it back through the studio doors yet.
We want all our dancers to know that we get it and we are just happy to see everyone again and get moving even if it is not quite where we left off! With it being Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to focus on FUN and play our part in helping our dancers. For our minis we introduced more props and surprises in class to see big smiles on their wee faces! With our juniors and pre seniors we cranked up the party vibes and introduced some dancehall afro vibes to help just feel the music and let go! Our seniors are the group we would say have been most affected as not only have they lost confidence, their mental health is still suffering. With the pressures of assessments and a new normal at school, this group will take a while to get back fully and unfortunately for some they haven’t been back at classes at all yet.
For those who made it back, we recognised that some had been second guessing their abilities and training so we introduced a ‘GOOD DANCE VIBEZ JAR’. So now they each open a little note/affirmation before their class to help remind them to believe in themselves and that we do it all for the love of dance and the feeling it gives us back!  
We have been doubling up on our Dancer of the Week trophies in many classes to encourage more of our students and to recognise more of their hard work! We have also seen the return of our popular marble jar reward scheme which sees the class work together to earn marbles to fill up their jar and earn a treat! Sometimes it is just the little confidence boost needed during class or often a brilliant tool to get a kid’s’ attention back. Our juniors in particular responded so well and will definitely have a full jar in no time!  
We are just thankful to be back together again and we want to say we are so proud of you all for walking through those doors as we know for so many it felt daunting – it has been so rewarding seeing the energy and smiles to remember why we do it!!

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