June 30, 2020 updates:
MBT’s Updated “What to Expect at the Studios” one-pager for Gaithersburg studio parents/guardians/students/teachers – June 26, 2020
MBT’s Updated “What to Expect at the Studios” one-pager for Clarksburg studio parents/guardians/students/teachers – June 30, 2020
MBT’s Updated Re-opening Protocols document – June 26, 2020
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Email update to MBT Families – June 16, 2020. MBT Covid recovery – reentering the studios and adjusting your registrations for camps/classes

Hi MBT Families – 

We are excited to report that County/State guidance will allow MBT to open our studios in a very limited capacity. Please see below for re-opening dates for various MBT programs. We will manage this transition in a slow, careful manner, prioritizing the safety of our families and staff. Attached is a list of procedures and requirements that will be in place for participants in any program at either MBT studio. PLEASE READ THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT.

Camps:  All camps will move to the studio starting July 6. We are planning to open certain camps in a limited capacity on Monday, June 22 and Monday, June 29. You will be contacted if that is an option for your camp.

Evening/Weekend Classes: Evening/weekend classes will open with In-Studio options on July 6th. (All classes will remain on Zoom until then.)

Virtual: The DREAMS online camps, and select evening/weekend classes, will be available on Zoom all summer

MBT staff will be in touch with you as we get closer to your registered dates with information. If you know now that you would like to transfer your registration from Virtual to In-Studio, or from In-Studio to Virtual, please email me (paula@mbtdance.org). We also suggest that you register now for any In-Studio options you want through the summer. Space in the studios will be VERY limited due to current requirements for physical distancing. Students who are not officially enrolled in a class or camp will not be allowed to enter the building, and there will be no “same-day” enrollment. Enrollment for In-Studio options may also be cut off as the limited capacity is reached.

Please email me with any questions!

This is very exciting, thank you for continuing to have patience as our team manages this next transition phase and the reopening of our studios as safely as possible.

Many thanks!

Paula

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Email update to MBT Families – May 27, 2020. Also posted online and information added to summer class and camp MBT web pages.
Summer2020 @MBT – Updates about Camps and Classes

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Hi MBT families –

We all hope that your families are doing well. Ms. Liz and MBT’s team have been working hard to create various options for fun, engaging summer programming that you can participate in from the convenience and safety of home. There is a lot of information contained in this email and in the attachments about the changes we have made to our summer schedule. Please take a few minutes to read the information about camps and classes carefully. Please let me or Brenda know what questions you have.

MBT Summer Camps and Intensives:

  • A virtual option for summer camps has been added for every week of the summer session.

  • The virtual camp is called DREAMS camp (Dance, Recreation, Education, Arts, Movement, Social Time), and will be offered for ages 5-7 ad 8-11 each week. Dance classes in this camp will include ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern. The DREAMS camp will not be offered in the studio even after state/county guidance allows it but will remain virtual for the entire summer session for families who might prefer a virtual option.

  • Other select summer camps and Intensives will be offered virtually as the summer begins, until state/county guidance allows us to move back into the studios.

  • When we transition camps back to the studios, several new health and safety protocols will be in place. Details will be provided.

  • MBT staff will make decisions about our summer camp schedule in two week increments, approximately three weeks ahead.

  • For the weeks of June 22 and June 29, all programs will be virtual. If you are currently registered into a camp for those weeks, MBT staff will be contacting you this week to move you into one of our virtual options and make account adjustments, to provide a credit for later in the summer/fall, or to refund your camp tuition.

  • MBT’s website (www.mbtdance.org) has been updated with all virtual options.

MBT Summer 9-week Session Evening/Saturday classes:

  • The schedule of Summer Session classes has been updated.

  • All classes will begin virtually on zoom, and as state/county guidance allows, we will transition classes back to MBT-Gaithersburg and MBT-Clarksburg.

  • When we transition classes back to the studios, several new health and safety protocols will be in place. Details will be provided.

  • A selection of classes will be offered for the full 9-week class session virtually via zoom regardless if the studios are able to open, for families who might prefer the virtual option.

  • MBT’s website (www.mbtdance.org) has been updated with virtual options.

Unlimited Summer2020@MBT registrants: 

  • For our students who registered for the unlimited option earlier this year:

  • Please register and take whichever classes, camps, and virtual programs you would like.

  • Email brenda@mbtdance.org with your requests, and staff will enroll you into any new programs.

  • The virtual programs are offered at a reduced cost. If by using virtual options, the Unlimited option no longer makes financial sense for you, we will make account adjustments for the cost difference at the end of the summer. Those account adjustments can be in the form of a credit on your account toward the 2020-2021 academic year, or a refund.

 
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or Brenda. We look forward to the time when we can all be together in the studio again. Until then, we’ll do our very best to provide an excellent dance education to your child from the convenience and safety of home.
 
Many thanks,
Paula
 
#MBT2020
#flexible
#MBTZoom
#ZoomMBT

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April 21, 2020 4:0pm – extended closures through May 15th

Email to all MBT Families – Closures, Gala, MBT Spirit, & More

Dear MBT Families – 

First, thank you to the many of you who have emailed, called, mailed, and texted with kind words and gifts of support for MBT. We all really appreciate it. These are strange times, we are incredibly grateful for the grace you have shown to our team as we learn different ways to serve you and your childrens’ needs. We’re also very thankful for our amazing faculty, who have stepped to the plate to teach on zoom, to create recorded class videos on vimeo, to teach on facebook, and to share resources with other staff and their students. 

Schedule for zoom classes and studio closures

Most of MBT’s students have been able to participate in zoom classes or have streamed the vimeo or facebook recordings. Thank you for staying engaged and keeping up with your classes! The arts are a powerful force, and we are convinced the arts can help us all with the current difficulties and unknowns. If you/your child are unable to participate in the zoom classes due to a conflict with your online school schedule, please let us know so we can offer you alternatives. The schedule and passwords remain the same weekly.

MBT will follow the guidance from MCPS with our building closures at both locations. Currently, MCPS is closed through May 15. We will continue to offer MBT’s online dance education options through that time, and we hope to welcome you back into the studios on May 16th.  We, and our dedicated Board of Directors, are 100% committed to continuing to pay our faculty and staff through this closure period to support our wonderful team, so the teachers can engage with you and teach online during this time! Our staff team is working diligently from their homes to ensure programming continuity, to apply for and raise needed grant funding for our nonprofit school, and to respond to inquiries. Thank you for your support. When we do welcome you back to the studio, we will be following CDC directives. 

Annual Scholarship Gala 

Our Annual Scholarship Gala & Dance Concert will unfortunately need to be cancelled for May 30th. Even if schools are open by then, it would not be prudent to gather 500 people together. Ms. Liz has reached out to the Ballet 6-9 students to participate in their annual choreography competition, with a new virtual twist! In the coming weeks during zoom classes, faculty will teach dance combinations that students will hopefully perform together for their parents at the studio during the last week of classes in June. Because the Gala also serves as MBT’s largest fundraiser of the year for our scholarship program; our Board of Directors will be working on an online platform for the annual Gala silent auction and raffles to raise scholarship funds. More details to come!

Looking forward: summer, fall, and MBT spirit!

In the meantime, MBT is looking forward! We are continuing to register for summer programs. While we don’t yet have all the answers if programs will need to change from what we have planned, please reserve a space in your desired summer classes. If circumstances change, MBT will of course credit your account. The entire summer schedule is on the website (www.mbtdance.org) and online registration is open.

Speaking of looking forward, we will be emailing the 2020-2021 schedule of MBT classes later this week to all current MBT families. We will send registration details at a later date, but want to make sure our current families have the information first. As usual, there will be flexible payment plans and our current MBT families will have at least two weeks to reserve their spots in classes before we open registration to the general public. 

Also later this week, I’ll send a link to purchase some MBT spirit wear if you’d like some new MBT gear to rock in your online classes and facetime chats – including a new “MBT2020 #flexible” summer tshirt or tank top! Everything can be ordered online and it will be mailed to you. This sale will also serve as a small MBT fundraiser. We will do it again in the fall, so no worries if you can’t participate at this time.

Remember to send your home dance photos to our student interns (check your email for details)! We are looking forward to seeing your pics!

We hope you all are staying safe and healthy,

Paula and Liz

MBT2020: Thanks for being #flexible!    #zoomMBT

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March 27, 2020 5:00pm – extended closures through April 24th

Hi MBT Families –

As our staff works remotely to move all of our programming to virtual options, we are thinking about you – our MBT community – in these challenging times.

In order to prioritize the health and well-being of our students, staff, and the larger community, and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, MBT has extended cancellations of all classes and events at MBT through April 24, 2020. We are making our decisions in concert with the state and local public school decisions.

The MBT offices are also closed. Our staff is working from their homes to continue operations, to move ALL of our classes online to the zoom platform, and to create content for Vimeo videos for students and for Facebook live. We are trying our best to stay connected to you during this unprecedented situation, and to keep you connected with your MBT dance faculty. If you haven’t received links to your zoom classes, please email contact@mbtdance.org.  Please see below for answers to some additional questions about zoom and classes.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and share updates with you via email, website, and our social media channels.

We wish you and your family good health. Let’s #ZoomMBT together!

#MBTProud,
Paula Ross
Executive Director

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. How do I get the most from zoom for my young dancer?
A. 1) Plan to remain nearby for any technical issues that may arise as well as to ensure that your child is engaged, on task, and safe. 2) Try to minimize other distractions. 3) Keep your settings on mute unless the teacher asks you a question. This will help ensure that other class participants can hear the instructor speak as well as hear the music well.

Q2. What is expected in terms of attendance & uniforms in zoom classes?
A. Your attendance is being recorded in our attendance book, as it would be at MBT. Your dancer should be in proper uniform, with hair tied back, and ready to interact with your instructor! The links for your classes will be the same each week.

Q3. Do these classes replace what would have been taught in the studio?
A. Yes. Our teachers are working diligently to maintain the curriculum virtually for your dancers, and to keep them ready to re-enter the studio when it is safe to do so.

Q4. May I do makeups on zoom?
A. You are welcome to jump into any section of any class level in which you are enrolled. For instance, if your Early Ballet dancer is only enrolled on Wednesdays, but would also like to dance in class on Saturdays, please join in. We will revisit this allowance if classes become too large. Class attendance will be recorded as usual.

Q5. What if I’m not comfortable taking class on zoom or my class time no longer works for us?
A. MBT staff and faculty have also prepared dance classes on Vimeo (links sent to all of our student families) for you to do at your own time. A second series of Vimeo classes will be issued in early April.  There are also several Facebook live classes that you may stream at your convenience by scrolling through MBT’s Facebook news feed.

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March 22, 2020 8:00pm

Email to all MBT Families – online live classes

Dear MBT Families,

We hope you are all safe and well. MBT staff and faculty have been working very hard to create online videos which are now posted on our Vimeo site as well as Facebook Live classes which you can find on MBT’s Facebook page.

Additionally, we have worked with our team of instructors to create a Zoom Class Schedule which is attached to this email. The zoom links will be shared with you in a separate email. The instructors at MBT look forward to starting our virtual Zoom classes tomorrow, Monday, March 23rd. There are a few things you should know:

-The daily schedule of dance classes has been altered to meet the needs of employees who will be working from home. Also, we took into consideration that MBT has many siblings. We have done our best to schedule classes at coordinating times so that parents do not need two devices or two separate rooms/spaces in their home.

-If you cannot attend a new scheduled time of class on the day you were previously scheduled please email contact@mbtdance.org at your earliest convenience and we will find a different class schedule that suits your needs.

-MBT can provide tutorials and help if you need assistance with Zoom. You do not need any special software on your device to launch a class on zoom. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask. Email paula@mbtdance.org for questions regarding Zoom.

Many thanks for your patience with MBT during these unprecedented times. We hope to provide you and your children with the care and dance education you deserve.

Sincerely,

Liz, Paula, and the MBT Team

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March 20, 2020 

Email to all MBT Families – online video classes

Good Afternoon MBT Families,

MBT is happy to finally share these virtual classes with you! They are designed so that students can follow along in the convenience of their home. As students will not have a teacher to supervise or give corrections, we would like for you to keep the following in mind…

-Feel free to pause and repeat sections for additional practice.
-If your body is already feeling less flexible or your muscles are feeling weaker, use your discretion as to how much you should challenge yourself.
-Feel free to watch any section that you feel is too challenging for you at this moment or that you have not done in class with your teacher.
-Any movement that is not demonstrated with a barre can be altered so that you have something to assist your balance such as a chair or countertop.

Lastly, we wanted to clarify that any footage including students was filmed prior MCPS closings.

I have also attached tomorrow’s Facebook Live schedule. Keep an eye out for our upcoming schedule of live streaming classes on Zoom.

[[links removed for web – check the email connected to your student profile for all active links to these classes!]] Katerina’s Ballet Fitness
Creative Movement
Early Ballet
Ballet 1-2
Ballet 3-4
Ballet 5-9
Modern
Street Jazz
Jazz 3-5
Mini Hip Hop
Mini Tap
Youth Tap

Stay healthy and keep dancing!
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March 18, 2020 4:00pm
Email to MBT families regarding online class opportunities 

Hi MBT families –

Your MBT team is working diligently (mostly from our respective homes) to maintain a schedule with this “new normal” at MBT.  In the coming days, you will see opportunities to participate in your regular classes via the following platforms:
Facetime Live video – anyone can watch and participate from home, and you can play these videos back later when you want to do them again. Yesterday, Ms. Liz produced 3 live videos on Facebook. Creative Dance, Beginning/Intermediate ballet, and Intermediate/Advanced ballet. You can replay these now – scroll through MBT’s newsfeed.
Vimeo – you will receive links to watch and follow pre-recorded videos from our wonderful faculty on Vimeo. You will be able to play these videos anytime you like.
Zoom – some of our classes will be available in real time on the Zoom platform, where an MBT instructor and fellow students can interact with each other. Links will be emailed out.
Assuming this closure might extend beyond March 27th, we are planning for that possibility. It is our ultimate goal to build up a virtual class schedule that closely mimics our regular class schedule at the studios, involving many of our faculty and various disciplines.

In all cases, please be safe when you are dancing at home. Do your best to be mindful of your technique. Remember, you can slow down or pause the video to focus on the steps and your body.

Thank you for your patience as we put these classes into place. We love our MBT community and can’t wait to see you again soon – virtually for now.

Many thanks,
Ms. Liz and your MBT team
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March 12, 2020 8:00pm

Classes suspended until March 27, 2020

MBT Students and Families –

MBT is suspending all classes effective immediately through Friday, March 27, 2020. MBT staff will be in touch with students and families in the coming days with videos of class exercises and combinations to stay strong and keep dancing during this time. We will also be deep-cleaning our facilities as a precautionary measure while we are closed.

MBT is working on plans to build make-up classes into our schedule before the end of our semester in mid-June, and we will communicate those plans to you soon.

As a commitment to our outstanding faculty, and acknowledging the difficulties facing many in our community during this unprecedented situation, we want our community to know that our faculty members will be compensated for their cancelled classes.

Our leadership team will continue to work from the office or remotely during this time to plan for our studios to open again on Saturday, March 28th. We will continue to check email and phone messages to the best of our ability.

With thanks for your patience,

Paula Ross

Executive Director

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March 12, 2020, 4:30pm

Statement from Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy regarding COVID-19

La Boutique Fantasque performances cancelled

MBT’s upcoming performances of La Boutique Fantasque – The Magic Toyshop have been cancelled. This decision is made in partnership with the Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College, and is the responsible decision to protect the health of our community.

Our goal is to reschedule the performance for later this spring, but of course no decision can currently be made in that regard.

After hearing decisions from MCPS and the Governor’s office later today, we will send a followup email to cast members regarding future rehearsals that will be filmed/recorded to help preserve their work for a future date. We will also be communicating any temporary class closures after we hear from MCPS.

We are following up with ticket buyers in the next few days. On behalf of everyone at MBT – dancers, staff, and faculty – we truly appreciate your commitment to MBT and ask you to please be patient with us as we make decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, staff, volunteers, and community.

With thanks,
The team at MBT

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March 11, 2020, 5:00pm

Statement from Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy regarding COVID-19

Please continue to check MBT’s website for updates, as the concerns related to the virus are changing daily and this information is subject to change without notice. MBT will always do our best to notify students and patrons of changes as quickly as possible.

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre (MBT) is currently monitoring the situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cares deeply about the health and safety of our students and their families, our dancers, patrons, and volunteers. 

We are assessing the health advisories daily with regard to 1) the upcoming performance of La Boutique Fantasque at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College in Rockville, 2) dance classes ongoing at MBT’s studios in Gaithersburg and Clarksburg, and 3) dance classes held off-site by MBT in partnership with other community organizations or schools.  

  • La Boutique Fantasque – The Magic Toyshop, currently scheduled to perform March 21-22 at Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College in Rockville:

-The performances are currently planned to proceed as scheduled with changes noted below.

-The CDC has discouraged public gatherings larger than 250 people. MBT has committed to selling only 200 tickets to each performance so that patrons may be spread out in the theater, which accommodates 500.

-MBT is making changes to the interactive components of the show so that patrons will no longer be interacting with each other or directly with the cast. 

-We are in close communication with Montgomery College to continually assess the use of the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center.

  • Dance classes and programming at MBT’s studios in Gaithersburg and Clarksburg:

MBT works diligently to keep our facilities as healthy as possible for our staff and students with routine cleaning and disinfection. MBT classes are currently proceeding as scheduled. To prepare for potential impacts based on recent health advisories, MBT has incorporated additional cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces, including building lobbies, restrooms, door handles, railings, and ballet barres with Lysol and/or Clorox wipes.

While the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low, we advise everyone to take the following precautions and preventative measures to prevent the spread of any illnesses.

-If your child has had a fever, please do not attend classes until the fever has cleared for at least 24 hours. (You have the entire semester to schedule any makeup classes.)

-Because many of us share the ballet barres in class, please ask your children to wash their hands before and after classes at the studio with soap and warm water.

-If you eat snacks or dinner at the studios, please clean up the area afterward with soapy water and a paper towel, which are available in the kitchen or restrooms at both MBT studios. Clorox wipes are also available in the kitchen in each studio location. 

  • Dance classes held off-site at schools and in partnership with other community organizations.

-MBT will follow the lead and instructions of the organizations and schools hosting these classes. 

Please follow these additional precautions from health officials:

-Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

-Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.

-Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

-Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance.)

-Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

-Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.

We understand that many people are concerned about this virus, and we are closely monitoring the situation, including close monitoring of any actions MCPS might take as related to the risk of the virus spreading to school-aged youth.  MCPS currently remains open for all school and after-school activities. MBT is also currently operating classes and rehearsals as scheduled. If you feel like you should not come to class, we will honor a makeup class for you. Should guidance change, MBT will communicate any changes through email and social media if and when appropriate or necessary.