In today’s changing times, Tonawanda Dance Arts has stayed consistent by delivering top-notch service no matter the situation. This summer, Director and Owner Melanie Boniszewski and Associate Director Kelsey Boniszewski invested in a state-of-the-art tech system for their studio. Shortly after, they launched their distance-learning platform and have had an overwhelmingly positive response from their clients.
“With COVID-19 still posing a concern in our area, not all of our families are 100% comfortable with in-studio classes at this point,” said Melanie. “The fact that we are now tech-enabled allows students to take class from anywhere at any time with high-quality video and audio. Plus, they can still see their friends and gain an emotional connection which is so important during these times.”
Currently, Tonawanda Dance Arts summer programs are operating under a hybrid model. They offer both in-studio and live-streamed distance dancing classes that go on at the same time with the same instruction. Instructors wear a microphone, which enhances the audio for the students at home and each dance studio has a wireless sound system and wide-angle lens camera so that students can see the entire room from a birds-eye view. Instructors can interact with the students dancing at home via a TV that is mounted to the wall.
All classes are recorded and the replays are posted on TDA’s Distance Learning Platform after class has finished. If a student misses a class, they have the convenience of watching the replay at any time.
Due to the limited capacities of all indoor spaces, parents of students dancing in-studio are encouraged to wait in their car while class is in session. With the tech-enabled system, parents can log in to watch and listen to their child’s class at any time. This is a feature that was never a possibility before TDA became tech-enabled.
Tonawanda Dance Arts is an affiliated member of More Than Just Great Dancing, an organization that holds its members to a higher standard of dance education including quality curriculum, teacher training, management practices, and community involvement. More than 300 of MTJGD studios across the world have now transitioned to hybrid learning. In addition, TDA follows the Safer Studio guidelines put in place by MTJGD, which prioritize a hierarchy of safety and wellness measures.
Lastly, Tonawanda Dance Arts is also the first dance studio in the region to achieve Youth Protection Advocates in Dance certification. To earn the designation, studios must complete training in CPR, first aid, dance education and safety, injury prevention, emergency preparedness, abuse awareness and prevention, dancer wellness and development, social media safety, nutrition and disordered eating, bullying, and conflict resolution.
To watch a short video about TDA’s most recent updates and protocols, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3LlyUnu_XQ.