These past few months have been a whirlwind, so we would like to remove as much uncertainty as possible before your first class by sharing some of our new protocols. Prestige has implemented safety precautions so that all our operations work toward protecting our dance community by decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
Prestige abides by the bylaws and follows the health and safety recommendations issued province-wide, so we will continue to update our practices to be as safe as possible. We appreciate your continued support and suggestions to make Prestige a safe place for our community.
The first of these measures is that our lobbies are closed and drop off is now at the external door. This lowers the number of people inside the building, which reduces potential exposure. For this to be effective, we require students to be dressed for class and have already used the washroom before arriving. Arrive only five minutes before class and wait in a socially distanced spot outside. All dancers must wash to sanitize their hands before entering and exiting the studio.
We require all dancers to be able to remove and put on their outerwear by themselves to reduce contact. Teachers will invite each class separately to reduce the traffic, and there are social distancing stickers throughout the hallways to allow dancers space as they remove outdoor clothing and put on their dance shoes. Once inside the studios, there are social distancing squares for each dancer.
We encourage dancers to have a bin to hold their jackets and other items since they are easier to sterilize and are less likely to “spill” their items into another dancer’s square. Any dance tools or props used will be assigned to an individual dancer and sterilized before their next use. Personal bins are to be taken home and sterilized before the next day of class.
If a dancer requires the washroom during their time at the studio, they will use the assigned washroom for the studio that they are in. Washrooms are not available as change rooms at this time. For pickup, caregivers must wait at a socially distanced dot outdoors; dancers will wait for their caregiver at a socially distanced dot within the studio lobby.
Masks are required in all common areas and any time using shared items (such as the barre) or coming closer than the recommended 2 metres with another person. At our West and South locations, masks may be removed once a dancer has settled into their socially distanced square.
At our ITC location, masks will be worn throughout the class to accommodate the varied intensive program requirements. When a dancer requires a snack for a night that is longer than two hours of dancing, they may remove their mask in a socially distanced spot to eat. At this time, only dancers, staff, and the caregivers of our daytime preschool and daytime sessional classes are able to enter the premises, and they must wear masks.
Each studio is now equipped with a hospital-grade fogger disinfection system that will be used between each class. We have increased our administrative staff presence in order to sanitize high-touch surfaces each hour and whenever there is high use.
All staff on duty will have hourly sanitization checklists to ensure that each area is as safe as possible throughout the dance day and will wear PPE whenever they must be in contact with a dancer. Full sanitization cleaning of each facility will be done each night. Bodysuits and tights are no longer available to try on, and any items that are tried on will be wiped down where possible and/or set aside for 24-48 hours.
Though we always suggest that dancers be prepared before their classes, this year’s preparation is especially important. Carefully review your Welcome Package, review your dress code, and purchase a plastic bin before your first class. Their new plastic bin will act as an easily sterilized dance bag that will hold all their dance belongings—water bottle, hair things, jacket, outdoor shoes, dance shoes—during class.
Please ensure that your belongings are clearly labelled before bringing them to class. Since our lobbies are closed at this time, it is extremely important for dancers to arrive with their hair done, appropriate dance attire on, and to have already used the washroom.
We ask that any items your dancer may need to change while in the facility are easy for your dancer to navigate by themselves. Pack any “extras” that your dancer may need—hair elastics, bobby pins, brushes, tights—in your dancer’s bin. Please know your class time, location, and teacher’s name to smooth the transition into class while we implement our new protocols.
Before you arrive in each class, each dancer must do a self-assessment check and confirm that they are feeling well when entering the studio. Any dancers that are feeling symptoms that are not the cause of a pre-existing condition—even if your symptoms resemble a mild cold—must stay home.
Also, Dancers need to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and follow all AHS protocols. But don’t worry! Now each of our studios is outfitted with video equipment so that dancers can take their class from home when they need to, or want to, and they won’t miss a thing.
Prestige has a Rapid Response program if there is a second wave or any COVID-19 exposure within the studio. We are prepared to switch to an online-only program at a moment’s notice. Emails will be sent if there are last-minute changes or closures. Dancers or staff who are sent home with COVID-19 symptoms need to remain home and follow all AHS protocols.
We know that our community will adapt and grow stronger despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and we want you to know that your health and safety always come first here at Prestige. Further information is in your Welcome Packages, and if you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Welcome home, dancers. We’ve missed you.