The world is a dumpster fire. There. I said it. Many things are closed. Everyone is home. Many are scared and battling anxiety. Our “leaders” are changing ideas and solutions by the minute. And lives are in the balance. By definition “dumpster fire: a chaotic or disastrously mishandled situation.” So now we have two options: 1. we can sit around wondering if the building next to us is going to catch fire or 2. we can grab some marshmallows and chocolate and look to a sister for a laugh. If you’ve ever been to Aerial Dance you know, we like our desserts.
Since the end of February I have been watching the international situation and planning what it would mean for Aerial Dance. Initially I planned to stay open through this thinking our cleaning procedures, which are extensive, would be enough. But then I found myself telling an instructor who is pregnant that the risk to her teaching isn’t worth her staying on the schedule right now. And that was an ethics check for me. If I don’t think it’s safe for her, I don’t think it’s safe and I need to make other plans. So I did. And Aerial Dance put in place a plan to close before we were “required” to because it was the right thing to do. We always put our people first.
What’s great about being proactive in this is we have so many things in place. We started doing our FB LIVES before we closed. This is an hour workout on our FB All Inclusive Member Page that they can access any time. This makes working out at home completely flexible. When we initially conceptualized this, the workout was going to be up for 24 hours and then removed. But our members requested longer. So right now they are accumulating for our members on the closed group so they can refer back to and workout with us at any point. How cool is that?!?!
The interaction with our members is critical to us. Yes, we are a fitness program, but we are a sanctuary. Our women look to us to brighten their days and give them a safe space to exhale. Doing classes that were one way (like the FB LIVE) didn’t provide the community and interaction that our program requires. So we have multiple zoom accounts and are running online classes. I just need to take a second here to say that even in the midst of a state of emergency and international pandemic my amazing team is offering ~60+ online live classes PER WEEK. Most pole and aerial studios don’t even offer that many class during a week when they are up and running healthy. Many studios are currently offering 1-2 per classes online day. Aerial Dance is offering on average 10 live classes per day. Most other studios are only offering one option, live or record. Aerial Dance is offering both. We are killing it! Aerial Dance is creating new and interesting content and bringing our members so many options from their houses. I’m super proud about the number of online classes and options we are running because:
- Our instructors are willing to go way outside their usual space to be creative in this time of need.
- Our membership makes running so many classes possible. Our sisterhood is strong and staying together through this difficult time! <3 so many thanks to all our amazing members for rolling with the changes and getting excited with us as we innovate in this unsettling time.
- Because our membership is so awesome I’m able to keep my instructors employed. This means the world to me. So thank you members!!!!
We are very aware at Aerial Dance that some of our members come more for the community than the workout. So we are also doing free activities multiple times per week that involve learning and socializing. We’ve had a cooking/meal prep event; salsa dancing and book club so far. Coming up is a make-up tutorial; wine Wednesday; and more couples dancing fun. We have an entire spreadsheet filled with ideas to keep our women entertained from their homes as this continues. We know that stir crazy is a thing and is going to happen. Aerial Dance plans to bring our members so many options and so much joy that this period of “stay at home” flies by!
So yes, the world is crazy. But our community is strong. The dumpster fire is raging, but we’ll all be fine together. I personally like my marshmallows golden brown.