UC Irvine alum Brooke Taylor is the owner of multiple Tutu School locations in Orange County.
How have you continued to offer classes during this pandemic?
We very quickly moved our in-studio classes to a live streaming platform where students can take their ballet class from home. We’ve also put together a ton of recorded story times, crafts to do at home and virtual scavenger hunts to keep little ones busy at home. Our teachers also sent out cards to their students telling them how much they missed them, and our students loved receiving mail from their ballet teacher. We’ve worked to be available extra hours and via text to ensure that all of our families are able to access our virtual classroom without any issues. Moving our classes to live streaming and putting together extra content has allowed us to keep our teachers employed and keep everyone safe and healthy.
What response have you gotten from parents and students?
We have had the best response from our Tutu School families. They have been so supportive and appreciative of being able to keep ballet consistent for their children. Parents have told us how frustrating this is for young kids. They don’t understand why they can’t go back to ballet class or school. Seeing their ballet teacher and their friends from class is a huge way to support these kids and reassure them that we are going to twirl again at the studio as soon as we can!
Why do you think it’s important to keep kids staying at home engaged and stimulated?
We know keeping little ones at home is no easy task. Consistency, creativity and connectivity are important for children during times of uncertainty. Continuing their activities and social interactions, even if it’s virtually, is fundamental and will help to ease the transition back to in-studio classes, school, and social situations when that time comes.
What keeps you going and inspired to keep teaching these days?
From a teacher’s perspective, seeing and interacting with my students on a weekly basis is the highlight of my week. It reminds me that those little dancers are counting on me and on Tutu School to be their support system and this inspires me and my teachers to show up every day and continue to be a positive light for our dancers and their families.
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