Guidance for teachers and studio owners preparing to return to the studio following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across Australia, RAD Australia has produced a set of guidelines to assist teachers in their planning to return to live teaching in the studio environment. As the national recovery process is measured and cautious, teachers are faced with a multitude of challenges as they navigate their return.
The guidelines reference the Australian Federal Government Roadmap to Recovery and signposts teachers and studio owners to key information, dates and requirements which will all need careful review before reopening studio doors. It also encourages them to observe State specific guidelines which may differ slightly from the national standard. To aid them in their planning and help them apply these standards to a dance studio specific environment, we outline some points to consider both when preparing to return and once students begin to attend classes in person. You can read the guidance document here.
Alongside this work, we continue to develop resources to support those continuing to teach online and dealing with new challenges such as mental health and adapting to technology. We continue updating and sharing both our own efforts and content and that of respected external sources in the wider dance industry, as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring our RAD dance community is best informed, supported and activated.
To advocate on behalf of our Members and the wider sector we continue to liaise with Ausdance National our peak industry body and through them with Government and Arts representatives Australia wide. Find out more about this here. Ausdance have also released their own Return to Dance Principles and Framework document.
Suggestions for teachers adapting their business during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic globally dance teachers have had to adapt their business to follow government recommendations on social distancing. Unfortunately, this means limited access to studio classes governed by the Federal Government’s Roadmap to Recovery.
If you have concerns over loss of income, advice from the experts is that even if you think your insurance will not cover your loss of income due to COVID-19 you should still put in a claim. The more insurance companies have data on the financial impact of COVID-19 the more likely this is to spur further government intervention.
Online classes and private coaching sessions
One of the ways to combat enforced isolation and generate income is to think about offering classes online. We’ve put together some useful suggestions, tips and things to think about.
We recommend using a secure platform to stream live classes. Vimeo is offering advice on how to plan virtual events, and you can learn how to host a Facebook Watch Party here. Zoom and Skype are also popular platforms. In line with safeguarding advice, we recommend your classes be on secured platforms, not public ones such as You Tube. If access can be password protected and that password sent directly to your students then this is the best option. You can download some tips for privacy and security when using Zoom here and if you are using Zoom you can also see some of our tips to set up and manage this platform here.
Movitae is a broader solution that is tailored for dance schools which offers a secure online platform for communication, filming and sharing. Whilst Movitae does not offer live streaming you can post links to other platforms. This dance learning platform helps dance studios and teachers to educate and connect effectively with students outside of social media and with parental oversight. Granular sharing to individuals, class groups or your whole school is easy. Teachers can share class ‘highlights and homework’ videos with class groups and can enable conversations around the dance content. Students can share their home practise videos with teachers for comment.
Movitae is website and app based, which makes sharing and notifying students easy and the website can be cast to any large screen. Dance specific functions like the ability to mirror video make Movitae really useful for dancers learning movement from a screen. Included in the licence is a library of dance conditioning content that can be shared with individual students or student groups to practice at home.
Given the current uncertainty, RAD schools can access flexible month by month payments with no contracts. Please contact Movitae with any questions or if you want to start a trial movitae.com/freetrial . For more information on how you can use Movitae at this time please see this blog online-dance-services-in-the-time-of-coronavius-covid-19 and check out the website.
- As the demand for the National Broadband Network (NBN) increases be prepared for technical glitches and difficulties. Not every class will work seamlessly. Have a clear contingency in place for your students should problems occur during the broadcast.
- If it is important for you to be able to offer feedback consider which platforms offer you this? It may be you use one platform for younger students where they just copy along to a live stream each week and another for more feedback-driven coaching for vocational students where you can watch them too.
- Protect intellectual property. If using a syllabus or someone else’s choreography and presenting it on a public platform, ensure you have the permission to do so and state this in your footage to credit copyright verbally and in writing whenever possible.
- You might like to say “As an RAD Registered Teacher, I’ll be taking students through the RAD syllabus Advanced 1 centre practice today” to open your filming. This will ensure you are crediting appropriately should the video be viewed by anyone other than your students.
- Or in the video description say “Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 1 syllabus centre practice work presented by Joe Bloggs, RAD Registered Teacher”
- You can also use your RAD Registered Teacher logo to let people know you are qualified to teach our syllabus.
- Be sure to follow a similar practice for sharing others’ choreography and IP.
- Streamed classes are subject to the same safeguarding rules in place for all events and classes. Ensure that an adequate health and safety warning is issued to all participants either verbally at the start of the class, or preferably by email to those joining. As an example, we would expect a member to advise participants to ensure that they;
- have enough room to participate in the activity without there being any obvious risk of injury to themselves, to others, or risk of any damage to surrounding property
- ensure that the flooring in the room is safe for the activity to be undertaken
- ensure that where appropriate and especially in respect of activities for children, participants have a suitable parent/guardian present, or as a minimum, have their consent to participate at home.
- For your students’ and your own protection, we recommend the following example disclaimer
Any child participating must have a suitable parent/guardian present, or have their consent to participate in this activity. Given the nature of these activities, you participate at your own risk and should only do those activities that you consider safe for your own body and the space that you are working in. Before participating, please consider if you have enough clear space, that is free of obstacles and suitable to work in safely; that the floor surface is suitable to work on; and that you have footwear appropriate for that surface. Please warm-up and cool down appropriately (before and after the session) and do feel free to stop and/or modify activities as necessary.
- Always film with your camera in landscape. This will offer a much better experience for the viewer including more footage. It will also avoid the empty black bands beside the video on the viewer’s device.
- Consider purchasing a lapel microphone to improve sound quality on instructions.
- Purchase a tripod to hold your camera steady at the right height. These are available relatively inexpensively at stores such as Kmart, Target and JBI HiFi.
- Position your music player further away than your microphone so your voice is not drowned out.
- Film with light in front of you not behind you.
- Publicise your live stream times and dates well in advance and send out reminders of when you will be live.
- Ensure your camera is mains connected or use a backup battery.
- If WiFi coverage is patchy consider using a 3G/4G connection.
- Check your internet plan before you start. Do you have enough data? Upgrading to an unlimited plan might be best in the short term.
We have been working hard lobbying behind the scenes with One Music on behalf of our Members and can confirm that OneMusic Dance School Licences will cover live streaming under the following conditions. These conditions are still under review but are provided as guidance for now:
- Granted for a period of six months (through to 30 September), although they are happy to review in the coming months as this situation unfolds
- For the purpose of live streaming only (i.e. not to enable the copying, storing and subsequent communication of the content by either the licensee of their clients)
- Must be communicated from platforms registered to the licensed entity i.e. Not publicly available for non-members on a site such as YouTube.
- Must be from a secure password protected site (i.e. not generally available to public) – At the moment they cannot cover streams via other platforms like YouTube and Facebook and while you may choose to use one of those platforms OneMusic doesn’t own (control) all the music rights for Facebook and YouTube etc. This means that your live stream class music on those platforms is ‘tracked’ and you may be sent what is called a take-down notice or your live stream may be disrupted.
- The stream is not to include any third-party advertising.
We have created a document with Frequently Asked Questions regarding Exams in 2020 which Teachers might find useful. If you have further questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org of your local Tour Organiser.