Since the day we opened Stagelight’s doors, I knew our space was important. But it wasn’t until our recent mandated closure that I felt the heart-tugging depth of the studio’s importance to kids and families. The loss of face-to-face time and connection with teachers and classmates is impacting our Stagelight kids more deeply than I ever dared to think possible.
We know the priority is to keep our kids and communities safe–and we are grateful our Stagelight family is healthy and safe!–but it breaks our hearts hearing about the frustrations and sadness some of your children are facing with the loss of school, studio, social interactions, and general normalcy.
5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – Neuf.
Neuf (pronounced ‘“nuff,” as in, e-nuff is e-nuff) is the number nine in French. We’ve been sheltering in place for nine weeks. And although we’ve been witness to some high highs over the last 63 days (watching our Stagelighters’ excitement in seeing friends on screen, admiring students’ tenacity as they dance in unique and distracting environments, celebrating e-birthdays and lost teeth with our Mini Stagelighters à la Zoom) there has been an equal or greater amount of struggle (WiFi interruptions, misunderstood communication without physical proximity, and feeling helpless when our students get overwhelmed “in class”). It leaves us thinking, “This is enough.”
The reality is, we don’t have the authority to say just yet, “That’s enough. Quarantine is over. Doors are open.” But we can equip you with some strategies and resources to help your kids get through this time despite the rampant frustrations and discouragement they’re dealing with.
Ways to encourage your child with Perspective Shifting
- Endurance: Your child may not be seeing the same level of skill development in online classes as compared to their weekly in-person classes (a testament to how important in-person classes are!). Rather than letting this fester as a source of frustration and a reason to give up, help guide your child’s perspective in seeing this period of time as a test in endurance rather than a period of rapid skill growth. If your child wants to be a better performer, endurance is a characteristic he or she will need to develop. Endurance is developed when the temptation to give up is overpowered by the choice to show up. The real victory right now is in showing up consistently, even though it can feel like the hardest thing to do.
- Healthy Choices: When the temptation to give up on virtual classes creeps in, we can gently turn our kids’ thoughts to making this about small, healthy choices. Connecting with their teacher and peers virtually is a healthier choice than disconnecting. Physically moving during an online dance class for an hour is healthier than not moving all day. Learning choreography–although challenging and difficult in this format–is healthier for the brain than watching an hour of YouTube. The practice of making small, healthy choices can help kids form the positive decision-making skills they’ll undoubtedly need in the future.
How we can support you
- In just a few days, we’ll be announcing our Summer Showcase plans. Preparing for a performance is a great way to get kids re-inspired and focused on a goal. Look out for an email over the weekend with a detailed plan on how we intend to end this unique season with a unique experience.
- Open office hours for one-on-one “pep talks” now available. If your child just needs a little face time with Ms. Lindsey or myself, we’ll be open for office hours on Zoom beginning next week and throughout the rest of May (we’ll extend this into June and include other instructors if the demand is there!). Keep in mind that when you enter the meeting, you may be in the waiting room for a bit as we’ll conduct pep talks on a first-come, first-served basis:
- We are e-here for you! Continue sharing your child’s success stories, updates, and concerns with us over email and we’ll get right back to you. It is a pleasure to serve our Stagelight community in this way.
We will live on stage again.
Every child and family is facing unique challenges right now, and there is no one-size-fits all approach to getting through this difficult time. We are grateful for those of you who have been able to support the studio with continued participation in online programming, and we are grateful for our families who needed a temporary break but are with us in spirit. Either way, we will be back to living on stage together very soon.
It is an honor to be a part of your (virtual) village.