Health and Safety in a Dance Studio: Handling Flu Season
The influx of chilly winter weather can also bring along particularly tricky illnesses like the seasonal flu. To promote health and safety in a dance studio, it’s important to proactive in keeping the space clean and germ-free.
Think Ahead and Change Studio Habits
When the season changes, it’s hard for everyone to adapt at the same pace. As a studio owner, the best you can do is to broadcast best practices and habits for your dancers: how to eat, how to dress, and how to deal with sickness (more on that later).
Immune systems often face a challenge when it comes to changing weather, so it’s important to remind dancers to eat well and get plenty of sleep. Don’t wait until you’re already sick to be eating chicken soup and other nutritious meals!
As far as dress goes, the sooner dancers start carrying some warmer clothes around, the better. All it takes is a day or two of lower-than-expected temperatures to give your dancers a chill and a case of the sniffles.
Remind Parents of Your Sickness Policies
You probably explained your studio’s sickness policies at the beginning of the season, but now is a good time to reiterate them to your students and instructors. Explain to everyone that if they feel too ill to perform, you’d prefer they stay at home and rest.
Sometimes, dedicated dancers will want to push through their sniffles, but it’s in their best interest to take time to recover. Simply ask that anyone who misses class give you adequate notice via your preferred method of communication and that you’ll make exceptions to your studio’s attendance policies in the case of illness.
By staying home and getting better, they accelerate their recovery AND keep germs out of the studio.
Dance Studio Life noted that it’s generally a good idea to encourage students and teachers to take a full week to recover from the flu, while they will usually be able to return in a few days if it is just a cold.
Be Diligent About Disinfecting
The second important step in combating seasonal sickness is to keep your studio as clean as possible. Seattle Yoga News explained that you should amp up your disinfecting procedures to 110 percent if you have sick students. This means wiping down equipment with disinfectant after every use.
It might be easiest to take a few minutes at the end of each class to have students wipe down whatever barre or mats they used.
Have your office staff help disinfect high traffic areas and objects, like door handles, bathrooms and the front desk. You can also have bottles of hand sanitizer in strategic places around your studio to encourage parents and students to keep their hands germ free.
Follow Your Own Rules
Finally, keep in mind that you’re just as susceptible to sickness as your students are! It’s equally important that you follow the studio rules should you fall ill.
Even if you have a to-do list a mile long, you won’t be helping anyone if you come into class sick. Take time off to recover and delegate as many tasks as you can. Your instructors and support staff will be more than willing to help out if you extend the same courtesy when they’re feeling under the weather.