Covid-19 Resources For Teachers

IRISH DANCE TEACHER'S GUIDE

Keeping Your Dancers & Families Engaged during Covid-19

There are SIX simple ways Irish Dance teachers can strengthen personal connections with dancers and families while practicing social distancing during COVID-19.

Now more than ever it is imperative that Irish Dance teachers prioritize nurturing their dancers and dance families. While dance teachers are using online platforms to continue dance classes, it is important to remember to educate your dance families about the steps you are taking to provide the same quality of service as before, such as preparation time for online classes, steps to secure online security, and following up with dancers after class. 

In addition, while online classes are a good step to keeping dancers interested in Irish Dance, many of our readers have shared their dance teachers are forgetting to nurture the personal connection they have with their students and dance families.

It is vital for every single dance Irish Dance teacher to build connections with their dance families because our dance community is what makes us strong and keeps our industry alive. Having the ability to dance while at home is incredible, but most dancers are deeply missing the connection they have with their teacher and fellow students.

 

While we are being forced to practice social distancing, it is imperative that dance teachers focus on balancing content creation and personal connection. Make it a priority to maintain and GROW your human connection with your dancers. Check out these six ideas: 

  1. Send non-class or info packed emails to dancers to check-in

Before the Coronavirus when dance studios were open, teachers would ask their dancers, staff, and parents how their day was going over a smile or a kind word. Now, you should send emails to your dance families that are encouraging and caring. Check in with them and make sure they know you genuinely care about their well-being.

  1. Post inspirational content on social media to keep spirits high

A lot of the news and social media is fear based, stand out by posting positive quotes and content on your social media platforms page! Everyone will appreciate your efforts.  Here are some inspiring quotes to get you started!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” ~Demi Lovato

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~Aristotle

  1. Post check-ins on social media to encourage 2-way conversation

Once dance teachers have posted their update, make sure to have your students leave a message for them in the comments to encourage two-way conversation and don’t forget to respond! These are a few topics to have your teachers talk about during their check- ins:

  • Their favorite exercise
  • A healthy meal they love
  • Their favorite card games
  • Their favorite tv show or movie
  • How many pets they have?

This will also help grow your social media audience, because the more people who comment on your post, the more your content will be seen. 

  1. Use the “polls” feature on Instagram stories

You can use these polls to ask your dancers how they want to receive your services and to play lighthearted “this-or-that” games.  Here are some examples of polls to create:

  • Live video or pre- recorded class?
  • Would you rather game?
  • Would you rather dance a reel on soap OR do a hornpipe in peanut butter?
  • Would you rather do 100 front clicks OR 10 full run-throughs of your heavy jig?
  • Would you rather be good at math OR good at sports?
  • Would you rather dance in front of 1000 people OR sing in front of 1000 people?
  • Would you rather have super strength OR super speed?
  • Would you rather have a dog that could talk OR a cat that could dance?  5. Use the ‘ask a question’ feature on Instagram stories

Here are some questions to ask your Instagram/Facebook/TikTok followers to keep them engaged:

  • What set dance music do you want to do this Fall?
  • What tricks or new moves do you really want to see in your steps?
  • What did you think of our virtual classes so far, any tips, advice?

  1. Host non-class related virtual challenges

By keeping it light heartened and fun, this will help your dancers keep their minds off the COVID-19 pandemic.  These questions will build the personal connection between the teacher and dancer, which will also build their trust in your school.  Here are a couple fun challenges to post on your Instagram/Facebook story:

  • Guess which teacher this is (dance photo of when they were young) – quiz feature
  • Guess which teacher’s pet this is (photo of a teacher’s pet(s)) – quiz feature
  • Most likely to be the next President (which teacher) – ask a question feature
  • Most likely to hoard all the toilet paper in our school (which teacher) – ask a question feature
  • Which teacher’s warm-up makes you sweat the most (have the winning teacher post a video of their warm-up) – ask a question feature.

This was a lot of information, so here is a “checklist” to get you started!

  • Send a heartfelt email to your dance studio family.
  • Post your favorite inspirational quote on all social media channels.
  • Post teacher check-ins and ask your dancers a non-dance related question to encourage dialog.
  • Use the poll feature on Instagram stories to ask your followers if they would rather take a live dance class or a pre-recorded class.
  • Use the Ask a Question feature on Instagram
  • Choose one teacher to feature for this week and have them post their check-in.

Your dancers need you to keep them encouraged and motivated in this difficult time. Although it seems like a lot, if you keep working through these ideas each week, you will be shocked at how fast the time flies by.  All being said, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself when you are making sure everyone else is okay. Don’t forget to keep yourself physically, mentally and emotionally healthy too. You’ve got this!!!!!!

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Please note, the COVID 19 Section compiled by Irish Dancing Magazine does not constitute as providing medical or legal advice, and is not the personal opinion of Irish Dancing Magazine and/or its personnel. COVID 19 is for informational purposes only and is not designed to address any individual person’s situation nor represent any individual or business from a legal point of view.  Please contact your own medical professional or legal counsel before determining your own plan for COVID 19.  COVID 19 Section includes publications to assist industry Irish Dance professionals and Irish Dancers with resources which other online dance organizations are referring to regarding Covid-19.