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To Mask or Not To Mask

As the founder of a private institution where ALL my staff is vaccinated and we are mandating that every child who can be show proof of vaccination, I am flooded with parents asking me “NOT” to mask their children. Kids above the age of 12 who are vaccinated want to sing and dance without masks. I assumed everyone in NYC whose children take my dance and musical theater classes would want masks on other children, so no younger or older vulnerable people get sick, but this is not the case.

Parents have called and written pleading with me saying:

  1. My child has been masked for a year and a half and can no longer dance with a mask
  2. My teenager is breaking out and wants to meet boys
  3. What was the point of getting vaccinated with all other vaccinated people if you are making them mask?
  4. If you make them mask we want refunds
  5. Audrey, “Be Bold” a parent said – what does that even mean these days? 

Getting through last year was hard enough with 3 quarters of our students gone, but our strict mandates got us through the year without ONE case. 

What does an owner do, when there is no one really guiding the way?

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How We Brought Back In-Person Performing Safely (For Kids)

How has Applause safely reentered the world of performing arts for kids?

The most important thing to Applause for re-entry was  #studentsafety and staff as well as #community. Kids miss seeing their friends more than anything as well as doing what #children love (performing)!

We’ve mapped out space with 8-12 feet between each student. We taped out squares with 3 feet on each side and put a decal in the middle which is numbered . This way there is no question for anyone where a child’s space is!

Each child is given a number and a mapped out path to get to their space. As a child enters our space there is a distanced crew to take temp., dispense hand gel, & each child receives a fresh mask & face shield weekly.

Children must wear mask & put on face shield on top of the mask when it is time to sing.

Classrooms are fully sanitized between each class.

Any kind of snack or drink is distributed outside during break time when students go outside where spots are labeled as well.

We’ve opened safely for all students as well as our staff. Children and parents have thanked us profoundly in countless emails for figuring out how to do this where children can connect.

We offered outdoor distanced dance and musical theater classes as well as virtual classes.